American Studies

Message from Department Chair Elizabeth Engelhardt

Mon, September 23, 2013

Fall around the halls of the Department of American Studies finds us looking both forward and backward. Our newest graduate and undergraduate students are opening up the books, embarking on the research, and learning that Scholz Garten, the Hole in the Wall, and the Union are hotbeds of American Studies conversation and criticism. Our alumni are sending us updates from far-flung locales about the books they are now writing, the research they are now directing, and the restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and community centers to which they are bringing their American Studies eyes. We also, in good American Studies fashion, are turning inward and outward. Faculty are in the archives, the libraries, and the field working on individual research projects. We are actively studying the New Woman in Russia, amateur musicians on U.S. street corners, issues of mastery and property in the postbellum U.S. South, animal welfare, Technicolor postcards, 1970s-homage slasher movies, iconic photographs, murals, foodways, and drones. We have simultaneously come together to collaborate on a departmental theme through which to explore collectively a big American Studies idea—in our classes, our film series, our guest speakers, and our hallway and social media chats.

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