AMS Events this Week!

Hello AMS :: ATX community! We’d like to draw your attention to a couple of great events happening in and around the department this week!

First, the inaugural showing of the 2011-2012 AMS Film Series will be tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 21, from 7:00-9:00pm in Parlin 203. This year the theme of the series is “The ‘Other’ Americans.” Each of the films will deal with the interactions between the U.S. and the people and nations of the rest of the Western Hemisphere. In this first installment, we’ll be vieweing Island in the Sun. Stay tuned for future showings packed with private armies, drug smugglers and cartoon llamas.

Also, later this week, our very own Janet Davis will be giving a talk titled, “Docked Tails, Fighting Cocks, and Raging Bulls: Making Gendered Sense of the American Animal Welfare Movement, 1830-1940.” The talk will be presented as part of  the History Department’s Gender Symposium this Friday, September 23, from 3:00-5:00pm in Garrison 1.102.

Here’s what Professor Davis has to say about this exciting event:

The title of my talk pays homage to Cynthia Enloe’s path-breaking book, Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, which found international politics in unexpected places: women’s labor as wives of diplomats, plantation workers and service industry employees, and the sexual politics of U.S. military bases overseas. Likewise, my talk will explore racialized and classed historical constructions of American femininity and masculinity in unlikely places: in fashionably modified equine bodies; cockpits in the United States, the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico; and in the bullrings of Spain (through the eyes of American tourists), Mexico, and Texas.

This talk is part of my current book project, “The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America,” which will be published by Oxford University Press. My book manuscript encompasses a long historical arc—from the genesis of the humane movement in the evangelical milieu of human perfectibility and moral free agency during the Second Great Awakening, to its growth and development in America’s overseas empire in the early and mid-twentieth century. Throughout, I contend that the growth of the U.S. animal welfare movement was inextricably tied to ideologies of nation building and the flowering of America’s exceptionalist mission. In other words, considerations of “the least among us” were always connected to larger questions of nation, benevolence as a barometer of American civilization, citizenship, and struggles over culturally specific animal
practices in a pluralistic society.

We hope to see you at these and all the other great events happening around campus and around Austin! For updates on events, check out our calendar page!

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