UT AMS Hosts Graduate Conference: Tell-Tale Traces: Living Memory in the United States

traces picOn Friday, April 5th, the UT-Austin American Studies Department will be hosting their biennial graduate student and emerging scholars’ conference, entitled Tell-Tale Traces: Living Memory in the United States. The conference will be held in the Glickman Conference Center in Patton Hall. Student panels will run from 10 A.M. through 4:30 P.M., and followed by a keynote address by Dr. Sharon Holland, Townsend Ludington Professor of American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, at 6 P.M.

To see full schedule with all panels and presenters, please visit: https://tracesconference2019.wordpress.com/

UT AMS PhD Student Ja’Nell Ajani Hosts SXSW EDU Panel on “Prisons as a Learning Space”

Anjani Slagle

Kendall Slagle and Ja’Nell Ajani (left to right) at SXSW EDU

On Wednesday, March 6th, as part of SXSW EDU 2019, UT AMS PhD student Ja’Nell Ajani hosted a panel of academics, artists, and educators entitled “Imagination & Ingenuity: Prison as a Learning Space.” The panel explored “prisons as a learning space for imagination and ingenuity,” and featured a screening of “Fishing,” a short animated film by Dr. Michael Ralph (NYU, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis) “capturing the ingenuity of people who are incarcerated.” In addition to Ajani, who is an Advisory Board Member for SXSW EDU, and Ralph, the panel featured Dr. Brandi Summers (VCU, Department of African American Studies) and Osborne Foundation mentor Moses “El Sun” White as discussants.

Check out Ajani’s post-panel interview with UT Austin’s Kendall Slagle here!

Tomorrow and Friday (3/14 & 3/15): Black Studies @ 50 Conference at UT

The second biennial Black Studies at UT conference kicks off tomorrow, Thursday, March 14th, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. This year’s conference, organized around the theme Black Studies @ 50: 1968/1969, explores the legacy of the first Black Studies programs, including the Afro-American Studies and Research Center established at UT in 1969. black studies conference 2019

On-site registration begins at 2pm on Thursday. The opening keynote address, featuring award-winning author and MacArthur Fellow, Edwidge Danticat, begins at 6:30 pm. Please see the conference website for a full schedule of events.

UT AMS Introduces Students to the Fun of American Studies at Explore UT

On March 2nd, students, parents, teachers and community members from across the state came to campus for Explore UT, an annual event that invites Texans to experience the university and encourages elementary through high school students to pursue higher education. Despite the cold, rainy weather, members of the UT AMS community had a blast introducing the next generation to the exciting world of American Studies.

Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers who made this such a successful (and fun!) event.

Explore UT 1

UT AMS graduate students Kristen Wilson, Holly Genovese, and Bahar Tahamtani (left to right) play music trivia bingo with Explore UT participants. Photo courtesy of Dr. Cary Cordova. 


explore ut 2

UT AMS graduate student Judson Barber (left) assesses answers to the “Name the States” mapping game for candy prizes. Photo courtesy of Dr. Cary Cordova. 


explore UT 3

UT AMS graduate student Kristen Wilson (left) quizzes participants on the origins of various “American” foods. Photo courtesy of Dr. Cary Cordova. 

This Friday (3/8): UT AMS Faculty to Present at Humanities Research Symposium


The Humanities Research Award grants three years of funding to faculty to support the completion of a research project in the Humanities. Every two years, the College of Liberal Arts sponsors an all-day event where faculty recipients present their scholarship to the University community. This Friday, March 8th, three UT AMS faculty members, Dr. Shirley Thompson, Dr. Lauren Gutterman, and Dr. Janet Davis will present their recent work. We can’t wait to hear more about these exciting projects!

Please see the event page for speaker times and a full schedule of events.

New Episode of Dr. Lauren Gutterman’s “Sexing History” Podcast: “Sherri”

The Sexing History podcast, co-written and co-hosted by UT AMS Assistant Professor Dr. Lauren Gutterman, as well as Dr. Gillian Frank, has a new episode: “Sherri.” Dr. Gutterman and Dr. Frank tell the story of Sherri Chessen whose highly publicized 1962 abortion helped to shift Americans’attitudes toward abortion. You can listen to the episode here.

sherri chessen

In August of 1962, Sherri boarded a flight to Sweden in order to getan abortion after she was unable to obtain one in the United States. Sherri had accidentally taken medicine containing thalidomide, a drug that caused children to be born with internal injuries and shortened limbs. Thalidomide also caused women to miscarry, deliver stillborn babies, or have children who died during their infancy. Her decision to terminate this risky pregnancy and her journey abroad attracted international attention fromjournalists, politicians, and religious leaders. Sherri’s ordeal made public what countless American women experienced when they sought to terminate their pregnancies. Her widely shared story changed the way many Americans thought about abortion laws and even about abortion itself.


Tuesday, March 5th: “Before 13th: The Origin of Convict Leasing” with Dr. Michael Ralph

Please join the Department of American Studies and the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies for “Before 13th: The Origin of Convict Leasing,” a lecture and conversation with Dr. Michael Ralph, associate professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. The talk takes place Tuesday, March 5th from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm in RLP 1.302B. We hope to see you there!

Before 13th