Five Questions with First-Years Continues: An Interview with Kameron Dunn

KameronIn our second installment of “Five Questions with First-Years,” we bring you Kameron Dunn. Kameron comes to UT after teaching in Oklahoma with plans to research the furry fandom and queer online subcultures. Read on to learn more about Kameron’s interests in digital humanities and creative American Studies research (and for a perfect answer to the question, “What are your goals for graduate school?”).

What is your background, academic or otherwise, and how does it motivate your research?

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, which proved to be a bit of a learning experience as a queer person. For this reason, a lot of my identity expression was shaped by my online interactions. This act of discovering my queer identity in spaces beyond my immediate location has inspired my research on queer online subcultures, with my particular focus being on the furry fandom. I am very active in the furry community here in Austin and more broadly online, so my involvement also inspires that type of research that I do and what I want it to do. Teaching-wise, my background at a regional university that served the rural population where I come from influences my desire to make higher ed as accessible as possible for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Why did you decide to come to AMS at UT for your graduate work?

I felt like my research interest on the furry fandom combined with my methods (in the digital humanities) was kind of…peculiar, and seemed to fit in with a lot of the creative work being done by graduates in the department. The field of American Studies seems conducive to the type of work I am wanting to do, so being able to do that in a super cool department in the super awesome city of Austin seemed like a really worthwhile opportunity.

What projects or people have inspired your work?

For the furry fandom specifically, there is a large research project entitled “FurScience” that has been going on for a while now. I attended a talk by one of the researchers and found what they were doing to be very compelling. They publish their findings publicly, so I have used data from that project for some of my initial work in the fandom, as well. Moving forward, I’ve reached out to them and am hoping to be part of the project in some way.

What projects do you see yourself working on at UT?

In addition to my research on the furry fandom, I am hoping to participate in ongoing Digital Humanities projects happening at UT. Additionally, I want to do some work in David Foster Wallace’s archives, as my last big DH project was on his work, Infinite Jest.

What are your goals for graduate school? What do you see yourself doing after you graduate?

  1. Get a PhD
  2. Do research that contributes to the field and my own community(ies)
  3. Make new pals

My main goal coming into this is professorship, but as long as I continue to be in a position where I can conduct research, I will be quite happy.

Bonus: In your own words, what is American Studies?

Still figuring this one out, haha.

This Wednesday (11/13): “Indigeneity, the Land, and Storytelling”

indigeneity the landOn Wednesday, November 13th, the UT Humanities Institute is partnering with Texas Performing Arts and Native American and Indigenous Studies to host a Difficult Dialogues public panel featuring musician Martha Redbone with filmmakers Angelo Baca and Anne Lewis.

The artists will present brief samples of their creative work and then engage in a conversation, moderated by HI director Pauline Strong, about the relation of their work to social issues such as land rights, labor rights, and indigenous traditions. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion and a question-and-answer session.

This event will take place from 7 – 9 pm in the Santa Rita Suite of the Texas Union. Please see the event page for more information.

ASA 2019: UT Austin Faculty and Graduate Student Presenters

asa logo

The 2019 American Studies Association Annual Meeting (ASA) will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii from Thursday, November 7th through Sunday, November 10th. Faculty members and graduate students across several disciplines at UT Austin will chair panels, speak on roundtables, and present papers reflecting on the year’s theme “Build As We Fight.” 

Below is a list of all UT Austin presenters in alphabetical order. All events take place at the Hawai’i Convention Center. 

Micah Bateman

  • Paper presenter, Polyqueer Anti-Nationalism in Juliana Spahr’s Post-9/11 Poetry and Prose, Sunday, November 10th, 10:00 am to 11:45am, Meeting Room 318 A

Nicholas Bloom

  • Paper presenter, Total War and the Quotidian Plantation: Reframing the 1811 German Coast Uprising, Thursday, November 7th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 325 B

Simone Browne

  • Paper presenter, Ecologies of Surveillance: Waste, Extraction and Resistance, Saturday, November 9th, 12:00 pm to 1:45pm, Meeting Room 317 B

Leah Butterfield

  • Paper presenter, Backpack Warriors: Soul-Searching and Solidarity in Solitary Women’s Travel, Thursday, November 7th, 8:00 am to 9:45am, Meeting Room 308 B

Kristin L. Canfield

  • Paper presenter, Mickey Mouse and Bigger Thomas in Nazi Germany: Walter Benjamin, Richard Wright, and Geographies of Anti-Black Racism, Friday, November 8th, 10:00 am to 11:45am, Ballroom C

Beth Eby

  • Paper presenter, “Health Education for Indian Girls”: Ella Deloria, Gender, and Physical Culture at Haskell Institute in the 1920s, Friday, November 8th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 317 B

Kate Grover

  • Paper presenter, Country Labor Feminism and Precarious Intersectionality in Margo Price’s “Pay Gap,” Friday, November 8th, 8:00 am to 9:45am, Meeting Room 323B

Siri Gurudev

  • Paper presenter, Performance Studies Genealogies: A U-Turn Away from Whiteness, Friday, November 8th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 302 B

Laura Gutiérrez

  • Panelist, Queering Nostalgia and Time: Affective Registers of Resistance in Casa De Las Flores, Saturday, November 9th, 8:00 am to 9:45am, Meeting Room 319 A

Kerry Knerr

  • Panelist, Occupied Archipelagos: Visions of Militarism, Indigeneity, and Racialization in the Pacific, Friday, November 8th, 12:00 pm to 1:45pm, Meeting Room 319 A

Marison Lebron

  • Paper presenter, Feminist Praxis in Puerto Rico, Thursday, November 7th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 313 C
  • Panelist, Resisting Carceral Empire: Rethinking American Studies Approaches to the Carceral State, Saturday, November 9th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 304 B

Tia C. Madkins

  • Paper presenter, Black Teachers’ Protection of Black Students in STEM Learning Environments: Disrupting AntiBlack Climates, Thursday, November 7th,  10:00 am to 11:45am, Meeting Room 319 B

Minkah Makalani

  • Panelist, Haunted Objects and Contingent Futures: Archives, Methods, and Desire in History, Friday, November 8th, 12:00 pm to 1:45pm, Meeting Room 317 A

Jennifer McClearen

  • Paper presenter, “I Think the Whole Reservation Was Here!”: The Promises and Pitfalls of Visibility in Sports Media, Thursday, November 7th, 12:00 pm to 1:45pm, Meeting Room 302 B

Carlisia McCord

  • Paper presenter, (Black) American Heritages: How the Discourses of Public History Shape Contemporary Belonging in America, Friday, November 8th, 10:00 am to 11:45am, Meeting Room 307 A

Julia Mickenberg

  • Paper presenter, Communist Proto-Feminism, Archive Fever, and the Attractions of Biography, Saturday, November 9th, 10:00 am to 11:45am, Meeting Room 317 A

Aris Moreno Clemons

  • Paper presenter, Racialized Bilinguals in U.S. Spanish Language Learning Classrooms, Friday, November 8th, 8:00 am to 9:45am, Meeting Room 302 B

Curran Nault

  • Paper presenter, The Femmepire Strikes Back: Call Her Ganda and the Activist Afterlife of Jennifer Laude, Thursday, November 7th, 10:00 am to 11:45am, Meeting Room 318 A

Tabias Olajuawon Wilson

  • Paper presenter, Beyond Fugitivity: BlaQueer Furtivity As Intervention, Thursday, November 7th, 10:00 am to 11:45am, Meeting Room 304 B

Elena Perez-Zetune

  • Paper presenter, Her Body, God, and Horror: Speculative Latina Fiction Then and Now, Thursday, November 7th, 8:00 am – 9:45 am, Meeting Room 303 A

Samantha Pinto

  • Paper presenter, Black History, Black Brains, and the Embodied Futures of Anti-Racism, Friday, November 8th, 4:00 pm to 5:45pm, Meeting Room 318 B

Andrea Remoquillo

  • Paper presenter, Messing with Mess: Old and New Formations of the Colonial Discourse of Mess, Thursday, November 7th, 8:00 am to 9:45am, Meeting Room 304 A

Circe Sturm

  • Panelist, Black and Red Call and Response: Grounds We Build and Fight On, Friday, November 8th, 10:00 am – 11:45 am, Meeting Room 304 A

Eric Tang

  • Panel chair, Unsettling Displacement: Critical Refugee Narratives Against State Violence, Friday, November 8th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 319 A

Lisa B. Thompson

  • Panelist, Resistance through Performing Black Feminism and Desire: 20 Years of Lisa B. Thompson’s Single Black FemaleSaturday, November 9th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 306 B
  • Panel chair, The Measure of a Life: A Celebration of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison
    Saturday, November 9th, 6:00 pm to 7:45pm, Meeting Room 324

Omise’eke N. Tinsley

  • Paper presenter, PYNK is Where the Future is Born, Friday, November 8th, 10:00 am to 11:45am, Meeting Room 313 C
  • Panelist, Sex and Gender as Racial Projects: A Roundtable on Feminist, Queer, and Trans Theories, Friday, November 8th, 12:00 pm to 1:45pm, Meeting Room 323B

Pavithra Vasudevan

  • Paper presenter, “In the Crucible”: Rethinking Racial Capitalism through Black Feminist Materialism, Saturday, November 9th, 4:00 pm to 5:45pm, Meeting Rm 308 A

Kristen Wilson

  • Paper presenter, “Wonderful Sights”: The Collision of American Cultural Imperialism and Declining Hawaiian Autonomy at the Honolulu Music Hall, 1881-1917, Saturday, November 9th, 2:00 pm to 3:45pm, Meeting Room 301 B

UT AMS PhD Candidate Gaila Sims Interviews UT Provost Maurie McInnis

educated in tyrannyDr. Maurie McInnis, Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Texas and Professor of American Studies and Art History, recently edited a new anthology, Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson’s University. Gaila Sims, a PhD candidate in the Department of American Studies, sat down with Dr. McInnis to discuss the book for the UT AMS Website.

You can read Gaila’s interview with Dr. McInnis here.


UT AMS Hosts “Second Annual” PechaKucha

On Friday, October 18th, UT American Studies hosted its “second annual” PechaKucha. After reviving the tradition last fall, the department came together to hear presentations on research trips and upcoming projects.

The rules for presenters were simple: show twenty slides for twenty seconds each and speak as the slides advance automatically.

A huge thank you to the UT AMS faculty and graduate students who presented, and a special shout out to PhD candidate Judson Barber for being our fabulous emcee!

UT AMS PechaKucha 2019

Dr. Janet Davis, “‘aumakua”

Dr. Lauren Gutterman, “The Myth of Separation”

Bahar Tahamtani, “American Atrocities One Through Ten”

Dr. Brendan Gaughen, “Written in the Cards: Desert Storm Trading Cards as a Teaching Tool”

Dr. Randy Lewis, “Into Wasteland”

Kameron Dunn, “WTFurry: American Studies and the Furry Fandom”

Dr. Steve Hoelscher, “Lest We Forget”

Holly Genovese, “Outkast, Afrofuturism, and Black Southern Carceral Resistance”

This Thursday (10/24): “Convict Leasing in Texas” Moderated by Dr. Shirley Thompson

This Thursday, October 24th, please join the UT Austin Department of American Studies, the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, the Department of History, the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement for “Convict Leasing in Texas: Activism and Commemoration.”

This roundtable discussion, moderated by Associate Professor and Associate Chair of American Studies, Dr. Shirley Thompson, features Mr. Reginald Moore, Mr. Samuel Collins III, and Dr. Baxter Montgomery of the Convict Leasing and Labor Project. 

The event will take place from 4 pm – 6 pm at the Harry Ransom Center with a reception to follow.