Tag Archive for American Studies

American Studies Alumni Speak about Careers in the Media Nov. 5

The American Studies Department is hosting a panel discussion on “American Studies Takes On the World: American Studies Alumni in the Media” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Nov. 5 in Downey 113. American Studies Department majors Claire Weinraub ’93, Laura Clawson ’98 and Grace Ross ’12 will discuss ways they are putting American studies into action, thinking about what they are involved in, and what they can do about it. A Q&A and reception will follow the discussion.

ABC’s Emmy-winning producer and documentary creator Claire Weinraub ’93 has worked closely with Diane Sawyer on the “Hidden America” series. In February 2015 Weinraub produced a special about women in prison (viewed by more than 4.8 million people on YouTube).

McAlister Speaks on American Evangelical Spiritual Warfare

Elizabeth McAlister

Elizabeth McAlister

Elizabeth McAlister, professor of religion, professor of African American studies, professor of American studies, spoke at DePaul University on May 11. The topic of her talk was “American Evangelical Spiritual Warfare and Vodou in Haiti.”

According to the flyer for the talk, one strand of American evangelicalism practices so-called “spiritual warfare” in which Christian “prayer warriors” pray against “territorial strongholds.” This group believes the world to be mapped into either Christian or demonic space, where Satanic forces operate as “strongholds” of evil. They believe that Haiti is under the influence of Satan. McAlister draws on recent ethnographic fieldwork in Haiti to examine how American missionaries are waging spiritual warfare on the traditional Afro-Haitian religion of Vodou, and how some Haitian Vodou practitioners are responding, paradoxically, by adopting evangelical modes of prayer, publicity and self-presentation.

Back in January, McAlister spoke on “The Militarization of American Prayer” at the Social Science Research Council.

Faculty, Students Discuss Risk at Symposium

On May 2, the Wesleyan Symposium on Risk brought together faculty and students for an interdisciplinary discussion of risk. The event was sponsored by American Studies, the Center for the Humanities, the College of Letters, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the Neuroscience and Behavior Program, the Science in Society Program, and the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies support funds. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

Brian Stewart, professor of physics, professor of environmental studies, spoke on "The Metastasis of Risk."

Brian Stewart, professor of physics, professor of environmental studies, spoke on “The Metastasis of Risk.”

Female Voice in Politics Conference Inspires Future Leaders

On May 2, The Female Voice in Politics Conference brought notable and accomplished female politicians and leaders together at Daniel Family Commons in Usdan University Center to discuss the underrepresentation of women in U.S. politics and other issues facing women in the political arena today. Speakers included Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut; Connecticut State Sen. Toni Boucher; Dominique Thornton, former mayor of Middletown; Susan Bysiewicz, former Connecticut Secretary of State; Sidney Powell, attorney and author of Licensed to Lie; and Sarah Wiliarty, director of the Public Affairs Center, associate professor of government, tutor in the College of Social Sciences. The event was organized by Darcie Binder ’15 and Kevin Winnie ’16 and supported by the Government Department, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, Public Affairs Center, American Studies Department, History Department, and Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Studies. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16.)

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Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Representative of Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District, speaks to attendees at The Female Voice in Politics Conference.

Faculty, Distinguished Guest Discuss Tragedy and Revolution

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Matthew Garrett, David Scott and Lily Saint led a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution” in the Russell House.

On March 5, the Certificate in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory supported a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution.” Matthew Garrett, assistant professor of English, assistant professor American studies and director of the Certificate, moderated the discussion.

Assistant Professor Matthew Garrett, visiting distinguished guest David Scott and Assistant Professor Lily Saint led a discussion on “Tragedy and Revolution” March 5 in the Russell House.

David Scott, professor of anthropology at Columbia University and editor of the journal Small Axe, spoke about his recent book, Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice (Duke University Press, 2014). Lily Saint, assistant professor of English, provided a response to Professor Scott’s book.

Omens of Adversity

Kauanui Speaks on Native American Politics, Palestine Solidarity Politics

J. Kehaulani Kauanui

J. Kehaulani Kauanui

J. Kehaulani Kauanui, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of American studies, participated in several conferences and events during the fall semester.

She presented on a roundtable, “Indigenous Sovereignty, Conquest Mythology, And Indian
Policy: Histories and Futures in New England” at the New England American Studies Association Conference held at Roger Williams University, Oct 17-18. She also was an invited participant for a public panel discussion, “Countering Columbus Day,” held at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center on Oct. 25.

Kauanui also presented ongoing research on Palestinian solidarity through participation at two events. First, as an invited speaker at Johns Hopkins University for a Gaza teach-in hosted by the Anthropology Department on Oct. 24 where she spoke on a session about academic boycott as resistance. Second, as an invited speaker at the 4th annual National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference held at Tufts University Oct. 24-26. This year’s theme was “Beyond Solidarity: Resisting Racism and Colonialism from the US to Palestine,” and Kauanui delivered a talk on the closing plenary session titled “Transnational BDS – Challenges and Dreams Forward.”

In November, Kauanui participated in the annual meeting of the American Studies Association in three capacities: serving a second year as an elected member of the National Council, as an invited presenter for a session on “New Directions in American Studies,” where she was asked to speak about settler colonialism as an analytic; and as a paper presenter on a session on “Formations of U.S. Colonialism,” for which she presenter a paper titled, “Hawaiian National Land and the Colonial Contradictions of Sovereignty.”

In addition, Kauanui continued her work with nine Wesleyan students co-producing a public affairs radio show, Anarchy on Air, through the campus station, 88.1 FM WESU. The show emerged out of her course, “Anarchy in America: From Haymarket to Occupy Wall Street.”

 

Assistant Professor of American Studies Grappo ’01 Teaches Latino Studies, Queer Studies

Assistant Professor of American Studies Laura Grappo, who graduated from Wesleyan in 2001, is interested in Latino studies and queer studies.

Assistant Professor of American Studies Laura Grappo, who graduated from Wesleyan in 2001, is interested in Latino studies and queer studies.

Q: Welcome back to Wesleyan, Professor Grappo! Can you please fill us in on what you’ve done since graduating from Wes?

A: After graduating from Wesleyan in 2001, I worked a fifth grade teacher at a Catholic school in the Bronx. Then I went to grad school at Yale and got my Ph.D. in American Studies. I took a job for a couple years as an assistant professor of American studies at Dickinson College, a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania. Last year, I came to Wesleyan as a visiting professor, and this year I began as a full-time, tenure-track professor.

Q: How does it feel to be back at Wesleyan?

A: I’m excited to be back. I had a wonderful experience here as an undergrad. It was really formative for me as a scholar and I made good friends and enjoyed many of the resources Wesleyan offers. When I saw there was a position open here, it seemed like a terrific opportunity, as not only is Wesleyan an incredible institution, but it’s also in a great area of the country, with so many excellent resources—other universities,

Slotkin Delivers Inaugural American Studies Lecture

Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of American Studies and English, emeritus, delivered a lecture on "Thinking Mythologically: Black Hawk Down, Platoon and the War of Choice in Iraq" April 24 in Powell Family Cinema. This was the inaugural lecture in the Richard Slotkin American Studies Lecture Series.

Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of American Studies and English, emeritus, delivered a lecture on “Thinking Mythologically: Black Hawk Down, Platoon and the War of Choice in Iraq” April 24 in Powell Family Cinema. This was the inaugural lecture in the Richard Slotkin American Studies Lecture Series.

Slotkin to Speak on “War of Choice in Iraq” at American Studies Lecture, April 24

The American Studies Department will host the inaugural lecture in the annual Richard Slotkin American Studies Lecture Series from 4:15 to 6 p.m. in the Powell Family Cinema in the Center for Film Studies. Slotkin, the Olin Professor of American Studies and English, emeritus, will speak on “Thinking Mythologically: Black Hawk Down, Platoon, and the War of Choice in Iraq.”

In his more than 25 years at Wesleyan, Slotkin helped establish both the American Studies and the Film Studies programs. He is regarded as one of the preeminent cultural critics of our times, and is the author of an award-winning trilogy on the myth of the frontier in America, as well as three historical novels. In 1995, he won the American Studies Association’s Mary C. Turpie Award for his contributions to teaching and program-building.

Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.SlotkinLecturePoster

Kauanui Guest Panelist at Mellon Humanities Conference

J. Kehaulani Kauanui, associate professor of American studies, associate professor of anthropology, was a distinguished guest panelist at the 2014 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the Humanities Conference at the University of California – Los Angles on March 7. She spoke on “Hawaiian Indigeneity, (Same-Sex) Marriage, and the Racial Politics of Colonial Modernity.”

She also spoke on “Till death Do Us Part? Settler Colonialism and (Same Sex) Marriage in Hawaii,” at the Women’s Studies and Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies on Feb. 20 and “New Directions in American Studies: Settler Colonialism and Critical Indigenous Studies,” at the Circuits of Influence: U.S. Israel, and Palestine Symposium at New York University on March 1.

She’ll speak on “Hawaiian Indigeneity and the Contradictions of Hawaiian Self-Determination,” at Tufts University, March 26 and on “Debt and the Commons: The Historical Present of Property and Indigenous Dispossession” at The Settler Colonial ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ and the Politics of Contemporary ‘Reclamation’” Symposium at Harvard University Law School on March 28.

Kauanui Speaks, Organizes Roundtable at Transnational American Studies Conference

J. Kehaulani Kauanui

J. Kehaulani Kauanui

J. Kehaulani Kauanui, associate professor American studies, associate professor of anthropology, participated in two recent conferences.

During the Transnational American Studies Conference, held at the Center for American Studies and Research, American University of Beirut, Jan. 6-9, Kauanui co-organized a roundtable on “Pinkwashing and Transnational Alliance: Challenging Settler Colonialism in Palestine/Israel, the United States, and Canada.” She also organized a panel on “Redwashing: Israeli Claims to Indigeneity and the Political Role of Native Americans,” and presented a paper on “The Politics of Recognition: Indigeneity, Sovereignty, and Redwashing.”

During the American Studies Association annual meeting held in Washington, D.C., Nov. 21-14, 2013, she participated in a panel that discussed “Settler Colonial Dispossession in Hawai‘i and the Contested Status of Public Lands.” The panel was part of the Racial Capitalism and Economies of Dispossession Panel Series.

In 2013, she also spoke at three invited talks: “Gender, Sovereignty and Decolonization in the Hawaiian Nationalist Struggle,” at the University of Saint Joseph, Oct. 30; “Nothing Common About ‘The Commons’: Settler Colonialism and the Indigenous Politics of Land Dispossession,” at Brown University, Oct. 9; and “The Enduring Question of Hawaii’s Sovereignty,” at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point, on Sept. 30.

Kauanui Named Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer

J. Kehaulani Kauanui

J. Kehaulani Kauanui, associate professor of American studies, associate professor of anthropology, was appointed an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer by the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program.

In an e-mail to Kauanui, Alan M. Kraut, president-elect of the OAH wrote, “Since 1981, OAH presidents have appointed their most illustrious and dynamic colleagues to our program, making it one of the longest running and most successful efforts of its kind among scholarly associations. It has proven to be an ideal way to reach a broader audience while raising money for the organization’s initiatives on behalf of historians.”

As part of the appointment, Kauanui agrees to give one lecture per academic year for three years, donating those speaking fees to the OAH, and maintain membership in the organization.

“I’m thrilled to have been nominated for this appointment and to accept,” she said.

Kauanui also is also is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society.