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Fall | Winter | Spring | Program Director: Ivy Wilson


Fall Quarter 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 3:00 pm || American Studies Lounge (University Hall 022)

Critical American Studies Working Group: Reading Group

The Northwestern American Studies Program announces the formation of the Critical American Studies working group. Bringing together core participants in History, Anthropology, English, Ethnic Studies, Performance Studies, and other fields this group will host a series of readings, writing workshops, and author visits throughout the year. We will also present a symposium, Histories of Violence: War and Memory, on May 10. We invite scholars from all disciplines to join our conversation.

The first fall session will be an article workshop for an essay by Professor John Alba Cutler (Latina and Latino Studies and English), Wednesday, October 24th. Those wishing to participate in the next event, a discussion of Robin Bernstein's new book Racial Innocence.

All meetings will be held in the American Studies, lounge, University Hall, Lower Level, on Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Materials for writing workshops will be available in the American Studies office.

Sunday, October 28, 10:00 am || 1897 Sheridan Road in University Hall 20

American Studies 35th Reunion Brunch

In celebration of classes 1976-78, the American Studies Program is hosting a brunch reception.

Tuesday, October 30, 5:30 pm || American Studies Lounge (University Hall 022)

American Studies Fall 2012 Welcome Back Party

Tuesday, December 4, 3:15 pm || Evanston

Experiential Learning Outing: Lincoln

An invitation on behalf of the Student Advisory Council for you to join us in a viewing and discussion of Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed film Lincoln. This year's Council, comprised of juniors Stephen Rees and Rhaina Cohen as well as senior Emily David came up with the idea for this event and they are planning our extracurricular events for the winter and spring quarters as well. We are fortunate to have Professor Kate Masur of the Department of History, who has worked closely with the Program in American Studies in the past, join us and led a discussion to follow the viewing. Professor Masur is an expert in nineteenth-century U.S. history and has just published a piece on the film in the New York Times. For those of you wishing to join us for the film and discussion, please read Professor Masur's review which can be found at this link here. Afterwards we will have dinner and a discussion at Thai Sookdee, 1016 Church Street; which is less than a 2 minute walk SW of the theatre.

Wednesday, December 5, 5:00 pm || American Studies Lounge (University Hall 022)

American Studies Holiday and Gift Wrapping Party

For the last four years we have adopted two families (3-4 members in each family) from Family Focus and wrapped the gifts during the party. Each person should donate at least $20 as each member of the family MUST receive at least one gift. 

Winter Quarter 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 5:00 p.m. || Harris Hall 108

Robin Bernstein (Harvard University), "Psychological Damage or Resistance?: Re-Evaluating the Clark Doll Tests Through the Lens of Performance Studies"

Department of African American Studies Speaker Series 2012-2013
Co-sponsored by the Black Arts Initiative

Tuesday, January 15, 5:00 p.m. || Harris Hall 108 

Robin Bernstein (Harvard University), "The Making of Racial Innocence Workshop"

Professor Robin Bernstein will discuss the making of her award-winning book Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (2011). She will discuss the genesis of her project, the process of revising the dissertation into a book, navigating archival research, and negotiating the publishing process. This workshop is open to graduate students and faculty. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited.

Monday, February 4, 12:30 pm || Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

Simeon Man (Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Asian American Studies and American Studies, Northwestern University), "Aloha, Vietnam: Race and Empire in Hawaii's Vietnam War"

Abstract: In the 1960's, Hawai'i was popularly imagined as a "paradise" - its tropical climate, natural terrains, and racial diversity made it at once a premier destination for American tourists and a conduit of U.S. Cold War objectives in Asia. In this talk, Simeon Man explores a lesser-known fact: the islands during this time also served as a pivotal staging ground for the Vietnam War.

Saturday, March 2, 1:00 - 7:00 p.m. || 1852 W 19th St (Chicago)

Experiential Learning Outing: National Museum of Mexican Art

We will team with Professor Alba Cutler who is currently teaching, Immigration and Xenophobia in American Culture, which is co-listed as American Studies 310 and Latina/o Studies 393, for a cultural outing to the National Museum of Mexican Art. Elena Gonzales, a visiting scholar from Brown University specializing in Museum Studies, will give a guest lecture about the NMMA to Alba Cutler's class this week in preparation for the trip. Elena worked at the Museum for several years, and will be discussing a special exhibit about the 2006 May Day immigration protests. Elena has worked with the education department at the museum to give us a tour of "Mexicanidad," the permanent exhibition, and followed by the Chaz Bojorquez exhibition. In addition to the museum exhibits, we will take a walking tour through the main artery of Pilsen--18th Street. Keeping with the theme of art, we will pay particular attention to the print makers and public murals in the area. We will conclude with a dinner at El Nuevo Leon Restaurant located at 1515 W 18th Street. Co-sponsored by the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences and the Latin@ Studies Program

Wednesday, March 6, 5:00 pm || Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

Joseph Crespino (Emory University), "Strom Thurmond's America and the Origins of the American Right"

Abstract: Professor Crespino's talk will take a fresh look at the life and politics of Strom Thurmond, the longtime U.S. Senator from South Carolina. Thurmond, the firebrand segregationist who secretly had a black daughter, was one of the last of the Jim Crow demagogues. Crespino contends, however, that Thurmond was also one of the first of the post-World War II Sunbelt conservatives. He didn't start out as one and gradually morph into the other, Crespino argues; for a critical period, from roughly the late 1940s to the 1970s, he was both at the same time. Understanding this paradox has much to tell us about important transformations in American political life in the second half of the twentieth century. Co-sponsored by the Northwestern University Program in American Studies and the Departments of African American Studies, Communication Studies, History, Political Science, and Sociology.

Thursday, March 7, 11:30 am || Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

Joseph Crespino (Emory University) - Lunch with AMST Majors

Spring Quarter 2013

Thursday, April 4, 12:00 pm || American Studies Lounge (University Hall 022)

Lunch with investigative reporter/alum Joseph Neff

We'll be hosting an informal lunch with Joseph (Joe) Neff, an alum from the class of 1983 who then went to Columbia Journalism School and is a lead investigative reporter for the Charlotte News Observer. The purpose of this gathering is simply to create an opportunity for majors to talk with someone who was once like them who has gone on to have a successful and interesting career doing an important kind of American Studies work. If you can, I advise you to read either or both of two samples we have of Joseph Neff's work, one a print version (there are numerous copies in the office) on a questionable murder conviction ("Who Killed Ray Jenkins?"), another online on the finances of supposedly nonprofit hospitals. Joe also wrote extensively about the complex Duke lacrosse case.

Thursday, April 11, 5:00 pm || Helmerich Auditorium (Annie May Swift Hall)

Stephen Wade (Musician/Scholar), "The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Connections: Community, and Creativity"

Abstract: Combining images, live music, and spoken narrative, Wade's dynamic presentation will bring his audience along on his journey into musical traditions across the American South, which culminated recently in his book (with accompanying CD), The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press, 2012).Wade's remarkable research combined with his unmatched musicianship and deep knowledge of music history rediscovers the largely unknown players and singers whose performances of traditional songs were captured on early Library of Congress field recordings. Wade will share stories of folk tunes, creators, and communities that speak to the interconnectedness of American lives. Sponsored by the American Studies Program with co-sponsorship from Anthropology, English, History, and Musicology.

Friday, April 12, 8:30 am || American Studies Lounge (University Hall 022)

Stephen Wade (Musician/Scholar) - Breakfast with AMST Majors

Wednesday, April 17, 3:30 p.m. || Harris Hall 108

David Montejano (Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley), "Gang Identity and Conflict During the Chicano Movement: A Case Study"

Abstract: "When the striking farm workers marched through San Antonio in 1966, the City was in the midst of gang warfare. Professor Montejano will discuss how the social movement set off by the farmworkers transformed youth culture and ended barrio warfare." Co-sponsored by the American Studies Program, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of History.

Friday, May 10, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm || Evanston Campus

Critical American Studies: Histories of Violence: War and Memory
Lisa Lowe (Department of English, Tufts University), Keynote Speaker
Full Day Symposium sponsored by The American Studies Program, Critical American Studies Working Group, and Histories of Violence Collective

Saturday, May 11, 10:00 am || Evanston Campus

Lisa Lowe (Department of English, Tufts University), Workshop with graduate students

Friday, April 29, 10:00 am || The First Congregational Church, 1417 Hinman Ave

Experiential Learning Outing: Evolution of Chicago

Henry Binford and Carl Smith are teaching a class this quarter that includes three field trips. This is the third one, and it will encompass a tour of all sorts of suburbs, old and new, the commercial side of O'Hare airport, the Northwestern Settlement House, some historic churches, and various other things. Sponsored by the Department of History.

Wednesday, May 22, 3:00 pm || American Studies Lounge (University Hall 022)

Critical American Studies: Reading Group

We will be discussing Margot Canaday 's The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton UP, 2011) for our Spring Quarter Reading Group. Light refreshments will be provided!

Wednesday, June 5, 4:30 pm || Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201) 

2013 Senior Research Symposium
Please join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of the following American Studies graduating seniors, who will deliver presentations on their research: The symposium will have two panels with four students apiece moderated by a faculty member. The first panel, comprised of EMILY DAVIDSON, SARAH LOGAN, SAMMIE OFFSAY, and BEN PURDY will be moderated by Professor Elizabeth Pardoe. The second panel, comprised of AHSIN AZIM, WILL BLOOM, HYUNGJOO HAN, and CHRISTINA POWERS will be moderated by Professor Kathleen Belew. Dinner will follow the presentations.

Friday, June 7, 4:00 pm || American Studies Lounge (University Hall 020) 

Annual End-of-Year Picnic
Join us as we celebrate the year and say goodbye for the summer. Congratulate both the new majors and the seniors, featuring great food, games, prizes, camaraderie, and general hilarity.

Saturday, June 22, 8:30 am || Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

American Studies Pre-Convocation Breakfast

Annual traditional for all of the graduating seniors, their families, and American Studies faculty.

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