Announcement: AMS Pecha Kucha

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UPDATE: Due to the weather, we’ve decided to reschedule this event for next week. More soon.

Today, at 4 PM in Burdine 436A, the department of American Studies will hold its first ever Pecha Kucha. Excitingly, both members of the faculty and the graduate student body will be giving presentations of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each. The lineup is below.

We See You: The Art of Surveillance
Randy Lewis

 

Saving Jeannace June Freeman: Capital Punishment and the Lesbian-as-Victim in Oregon, 1961-1964
Lauren Gutterman

 

An American in Vienna
Steve Hoelscher

 

“They Do Say It’s Real”: G.I. Pitchford’s Postcard Images of the American West
Jeff Meikle

 

Apple Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Andrew Gansky

 

Kicking the Football: Charlie Brown in the 1950s
Josh Kopin

 

Deconstructing Tiki
Kerry Knerr

Announcement: INGZ Gallery Show “In Heartbeats: The Comic Art of Jackie Ormes”

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On Thursday in GWB 2.204 beginning at 5:00 PM and running until 6:30 PM, there will be a gallery talk and reception for In Heartbeats: The Comic Art of Jackie Ormes, a show curated by Rebecca Giordano on behalf of the INGZ curatorial collective, of which our own Natalie Zelt is a member. Featuring “selections from four comic series by the first African American woman cartoonist, Jackie Ormes,” the show tracks the cartoonist’s career “beginning in 1937 in the Pittsburgh Courier,” and displays a selection of her “irreverent and witty comics tackling major cultural events in newspaper comics that centralized the experience of African American women. From the House of Unamerican Activities to segregated train cars that enabled the Great Migration, Ormes’ vivacious and intellectual characters countered pervasive stereotypes with images of stylish, self-driven, and savvy women of color.” We spoke to Giordano about the thoughtful and exciting show earlier this week, and will run that interview in the next few days.

Announcement: Salman Rushdie at the Harry Ransom Center, 10/28!

Salman Rushdie in New York City 2008

What an event: novelist Salman Rushdie will be at the Harry Ransom Center, delivering the keynote address for the symposium Gabriel García Márquez: His Life and Legacy.

Registrants for the symposium have reserved seating, and while all other free tickets have been claimed, there will be a standby line at the Hogg Memorial Auditorium should any seats become available last minute. The event happens on Wednesday, October 28; doors will open at 5:00pm and the talk will begin at 6:00pm.

Alumni Voices: Robin O’Sullivan’s American Organic

Robin head shot 2015UT AMS grad Robin O’Sullivan recently published American Organic: A Cultural History of Farming, Gardening, Shopping and Eating, about the history of the organic movement in the United States. AMS grad student Kerry Knerr spoke to her last week.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book American Organic, and how you came to the project?

It’s a cultural history of the organic food and farming movement, which first elicited my interest after I happened to visit the homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing in Harborside, Maine (when I was living up there in Portland). As I began to research the history of homesteading, I learned more about the organic movement, which was related but also distinct.

 
What projects or people have inspired your work?

The Nearings, certainly; and the major player in the organic farming movement was J.I. Rodale, who began farming in Pennsylvania in the 1940s and subsequently developed a media empire that publicized the organic movement.

 
How do you see your work fitting in with broader conversations in academia and beyond?

It’s relevant to work in environmental and agricultural history, consumer studies, food studies, and, of course, American Studies.

 
How is this work you’re doing now, as a scholar, teacher or both, informed by the work you did as an American Studies student at UT?

At UT-Austin, four talented professors served on my dissertation committee: Jeff Meikle, Janet Davis, Steve Hoelscher, and Elizabeth Engelhardt. All four have written books that served as models for mine, and all four were delightful to work with.

 
Do you have any advice for students in our department about how to get the most out of their experience at UT?

I’m sure the students already know how fortunate they are to be surrounded by such stellar faculty members!

 
What projects are you excited to work on in the future?

My next project will be an analysis of “techno-natural” phenomena, with a particular focus on its manifestations in 19th century literature.

Announcement: See these talks at the Texas Book Festival

The annual Texas Book Festival is upon us this weekend, so we’ve curated a list of events that would be of interest to friends of American Studies for your perusal and planning.

We’d like to draw your attention especially two events with American Studies participants. The first is a discussion moderated by Dr. Steve Hoelscher: “A Long Walk Home,” featuring Magnum photographer Eli Reed. Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home presents the first career retrospective of Reed’s work. Consisting of over 250 images that span the full range of his subjects and his evolution as a photographer, the photographs are a visual summation of the human condition. This event will take place at the Contemporary Austin – Jones Center (700 Congress) at 2:00 PM on Saturday.

The second is a discussion moderated by Dr. Shirley Thompson: “Negroland.” Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and memoirist Margo Jefferson recounts growing up in a small region of African-American upper class families in Chicago during the civil rights movement and the genesis of feminism. With this point of view, Jefferson discusses race, identity, and American culture, through her own lens. This event takes place at the CSPAN-2/BookTV Tent at 12:00 PM on Sunday.

Here are some other things to do, too – enjoy!

Reagan: The Life (Saturday)
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM, C-SPAN2/ Book TV Tent

In his newest biography, historian H. W. Brands presents Ronald Reagan as one of the most influential presidents of the twentieth century. Brands traces Reagan’s life from humble beginnings to Hollywood actor to his rise as a politician and president.

The History of Franklin’s Barbecue (Saturday)
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM, Texas Tent

Get hungry for some barbeque with Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay as they talk about their new book, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto.

Jacksonland (Saturday)
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM, C-SPAN2/BookTV Tent

In his latest work, Jacksonland, NPR host and author Steve Inskeep dives deep into an era of change that spanned the country and shaped the future. The Trail of Tears, the Five Civilized Tribes and the acquisition of Jacksonland are important pieces of American history, all of which have two things in common: Andrew Jackson and John Ross.

That Day (Saturday)
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM, The Contemporary Austin–Jones Center (700 Congress)

Join renowned photographer and Texan Laura Wilson as she discusses what it takes to capture the many facets of the unyielding, ever-changing West in her new book That Day: Pictures in the American West.

Talk of the Town (Saturday)
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM, The Sanctuary at First United Methodist Church (1201 Lavaca, enter from Lavaca St.)

Fans! Join two writers who are fans of each other. Jonathan Lethem and Adrian Tomine as they talk about their new respective collections, Lucky Alan and Killing and Dying, which explore humor, identity, and emotional vulnerability in both realistic and absurd landscapes.

The Dystopian Mirror Reflects the Past (Saturday)
11:45 AM – 12:45 PM, Capitol Extension Room E2.016

Whether the starting place is a reimagining of the Lewis and Clark voyage or a historic Texas War, the future is bleak. Join Benjamin Percy and Zachary Thomas Dodson, two futuristic masterminds, as they unravel the mysteries of the past and the ways in which it predicts our future.

The Art of Politics (Saturday)
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM, Capitol Extension Room E2.026

Join poets Mark Neely and Juliana Spahr as they discuss their latest collections and address tackling current events through poetry. From terrorism to environmental issues, two poets converse about their eloquent, witty works.

Place and Race (Saturday)
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM, C-SPAN2/BookTV Tent

Authors Wendy S. Walters and Jason Sokol discuss the dynamic and complicated course of civil rights over the past several decades in America. Racism emerges in unexpected locations, and the ways in which people resist, cope, and consent are not predictable.

Invisible y Sin Fronteras (Saturday)
3:00 PM – 3:45 PM, Ahora Si Tent (12th & Colorado)

Join Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Javier Auyero, and Ricardo Ainslie, writers tackling issues of race and place through different genres, as they engage in a wide-ranging discussion of Latino identity in Austin and beyond. (Spanish)

Desde distintos géneros, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Javier Auyero, y Ricardo Ainslie trabajan temas de raza, etnicidad, e identidad. Los invitamos a sumarse a la conversación sobre varios tópicos relacionados a la identidad Latina en Austin y en el país. (en español)

Wimmin’s Comix (Saturday)
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM, Capitol Auditorium Room E1.004

Cartoonists Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Anne Opotowsky, and illustrator Aya Morton discuss the role of women in comics, and the influences on their current works. From the subversive Wimmin’s Comix to Anna Tenna and the Walled City Trilogy, the graphic novel genre proves to be inclusive and provocative.

The Wind in the Reeds with Wendell Pierce (Saturday)
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM, House Chamber

With moving recollections of his family, childhood, and artistic journey, Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Treme) relates the story of his mission to rebuild his beloved New Orleans neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina in The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken.

A Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man (Saturday)
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM, Capitol Extension Room E2.010

Join the “Dean of American Rock Critics” Robert Christgau as he dives headfirst into the inspiration behind his new book, a memoir which is equal parts love story and tribute to New York and the metamorphic power of art.

Invisible in Austin (Sunday)
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM, Texas Tent

Join editor Javier Auyero and some of his collaborating graduate students, Katherine Jensen and Caitlyn Collins, in discussion about Invisible in Austin, an essential study of the growing gap between wealth and poverty in a dynamic and overall thriving city.

Getting Real (Sunday)
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM, Capitol Extension Room E2.014

Saeed Jones and James Hannaham bring the crucial Black Lives Matter conversation to the forefront. Join Texas-native Jones and Bronx-born Hannaham in a cross-genre panel as they discuss how race and racism has influenced their respective texts and their poignantly unique perspectives.

Standing Out, Blending In (Sunday)
12:15 PM – 1:00 PM, Capitol Extension Room E2.026

Join Allyson Hobbs and James McGrath Morris as they share their investigations into the tumultuous history of racial identity in the U.S. in their respective works, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life and Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press.

Grant Park (Sunday)
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM, House Chamber

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Leonard Pitts’ latest novel alternates between 1968, the year of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, and Chicago during the election of 2008. Grant Park showcases his talent for addressing racial tensions that are just as relevant today as they were during the Civil Rights era.

Her Texas (Sunday)
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM, Capitol Extension Room E1.026

Multicultural, multiethnic, and multidisciplinary, Her Texas includes stories, essays, memoirs, poetry, song lyrics, paintings, and photographs by 60 Texas women. Some of the contributors are here today to talk about her own Texas.

Undergrad Research: Molly Mandell Awarded 2015-2016 Rapoport-King Scholarship

SelfPortraitWe are very pleased to announce that UT AMS undergraduate Molly Mandell recently received a Rapoport-King Scholarship from the College of Liberal Arts to support her honors thesis research this school year. A Rapoport-King is a great show of support from the College, and we are very pleased to have Molly represent the great work being done in the department to the wider university community.

If you’d like to learn more about Molly and her research on organic farming in Cuba, check out this interview we did with her last spring.

Grad and Faculty Research: see UT AMS at ASA in Toronto

City of lights.jpg

City of lights” by paul (dex) from Toronto – city of lights
Uploaded by Skeezix1000. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

We have a slew of participants in the annual American Studies Association meeting in Toronto next week (October 7 – 11). Here’s a schedule of panels and papers from folks at the UT American Studies community – we hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 8

Carrie Andersen, “‘Dwell, Detect, Destroy’: Marketing the Drone in the Post-9/11 Era” (8:00 to 9:45am, Sheraton Centre, Chestnut West)

Emily Roehl, “Oil Landscape Photography and the Performance of Resistance” (8:00 to 9:45am, Sheraton Centre, Forest Hill)

Caroline Pinkston, “Katrina in the Eye of the Beholder: Hurricane Katrina Tourism and the Commodification of Disaster” (2:00 to 3:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Yorkville West)

Natalie Zelt, “Out of Africa? Race, Olmec Colossal Heads and Contested History at LACMA” (2:00 to 3:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Willow East)

Cary Cordova and Amanda Gray, dialogue, “Cultivating Communal Sites of Knowledge Production in the Critical Latin@ Studies Classroom” (4:00 to 5:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Chestnut West)

Kerry Knerr, dialogue, “Committee on Graduate Education: Precarious Resistance to the University of Austerity” (4:00 to 5:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Chestnut East)

Saturday, October 10

Janet M. Davis, dialogue, “Caucus Environment and Culture: How American Studies Scholars Can Address Climate Change” (12:00 to 1:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Linden)

Elissa Underwood, “Pop-Up Prison Kitchens: A Food-Based Challenge to the Prison Industrial Complex” (12:00 to 1:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Leaside)

Sunday, October 11

Lily Laux, “Public Schooling as Social Misery: Students, Disability and the School-to-Prison Pipeline” (8:00 to 9:45am, Sheraton Centre, Rosedale)

Irene Garza, “‘War is an Ugly Thing’ Sgt. Eric Alva, Queer Latinidad, and the Disfigurements of Liberalism” (12:00 to 1:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Maple)

Susan Quesal, “Devastating Optimism: Landscapes of Renewal from Ida B. Wells to HUD HOPE VI” (12:00 to 1:45pm, Sheraton Centre, Provincial Room North)