Announcement: Dr. Jigna Desai, “Contesting Nueral Citizenship: Feminist Crip of Color Neurocultures”


Artist: Karen Norberg, Location: Boston Museum of Science

Please join us for a talk, Contesting Nueral Citizenship: Feminist Crip of Color Neurocultures, by Dr. Jigna Desai on Monday, March 7, 2:00-3:30pm in CLA 3.210. The description is below.

“With the emergence and rise of neural knowledge and its mainstreaming in contemporary culture and society, new forms of knowledge are transforming how we identify, understand, and manage personhood and citizenship vis-a-vis conceptions of “normal” and “abnormal” brains. In short, we live in an era characterized by neurocentrism where the brain is seen as central to explaining who we are. Drawing on intersectional feminist, queer, and disability theories of biopolitics and citizenship, the presentation addresses contestations over our neural selves, imagining feminist crip of color possibilities.”

Dr. Desai teaches at the University of Minnesota.

Announcement: Imagined Futures


Tomorrow, the Humanities Institute of the University of Texas at Austin is hosting a symposium entitled “Imagined Futures,” the culmination of the 2014-2016 Faculty Fellows seminar of the same name. An all day event, the symposium features a keynote from Professor Emeritus Betty Sue Flowers as well as a talk by AMS faculty member Dr. Shirley Thompson, entitled “The Political Economy of Black Futures.” We’ve posted the full schedule below, and hope to see you there.

8:45 am – 9:00 am Opening Remarks
Pauline Strong, Director, Humanities Institute
Randy Diehl, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

9:00 am – 10:30 am Social Movements and the Future
Madeline Hsu, “Migration and imagined futures”
Virginia Burnett, “Revolutionary Catholic priests in Central America, 1960-1983”
Paola Bonifazio, “Postfeminism and the future of gender”
Xavier Livermon, “Black queer futurity in South Africa”
Shirley Thompson, “The political economy of Black futures”

10:45 am – 11:45 am Untold, Unintended, Unimaginable Futures
Minkah Makalani, “The politically unimaginable in the political thought of C.L.R. James”
Marilén Loyola, “The past and the (un)imaginable future in contemporary Spanish theatre”
Lucy Atkinson, “Political consumption and its unintended, uncivic consequences”

12:45 – 2:15 pm Designing and Imaging the Future
Allan Shearer, “Composing futures”
Violina Rindova, “Where strategy meets culture: finding a place for design in strategic management research”
David Edwards, “Reflexive reflective practice and the future of social theory”
Mary Bock, “The future of photojournalism”
Brian Korgel, “Innovation arts”

2:30 – 3:45 pm Crisis and Sustainability
Craig Campbell, “Postindustrial dreamworlds and nightmares in Siberia”
Wenhong Chen, “The risk society and a sustainable future: PM2.5 and the networked public sphere”
Donna DeCesare, “Collaboration and a sustainable future for photojournalism”
Patricia Somers, “The entrepreneurial university: scholars on the precipice?”

4:00 – 5:00 pm Keynote Address: Betty Sue Flowers
Elizabeth Cullingford, Introduction
Betty Sue Flowers, “Working with Imagined Futures”

Announcement: Dr. Jane Ward, “Not Gay: The Homosexual Ingredient in the Making of Straight, White Men”


We are pleased to announce a lecture by Dr. Jane Ward, “Not Gay: The Homosexual Ingredient in the Making of Straight, White Men,” to be given on Thursday, February 25th at 1:30 PM in CLA 1.302B. We’ve included a description of Dr. Ward’s talk below; we hope to see you there.

Although the U.S. media has recently been abuzz with commentary about heteroflexibility, most accounts have focused on “girls who kiss girls” for the pleasure of male spectators, or men of color “on the down low” who are presumed to be gay and in the closet.  But where do white men—the dominant culture’s most normalized and idealized figures—fit in to these narratives? In this talk, Ward traces narratives about straight white men’s homosexual encounters across three sites— the United States military, online personal ads, and popular culture—illustrating the unique ways that whiteness and masculinity converge to circumvent the pathologizing gaze of popular science, the gaze applied to men of color. Taking sex between straight white men as its point of departure, Ward’s project offers a new way to think about heterosexuality—not as the opposite or absence of homosexuality, but as its own unique mode of engaging homosexual sex, a mode characterized by pretense, disidentification and racialized heteronormative investments.

Announcement: Dr. Lisa Duggan, “Normativity and Its Discontents”


We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, is giving a talk on Feburary 25th at 6:00 PM in CLA 0.128 called “Normativity and Its Discontents.” The description of Dr. Duggan’s talk is below; we hope to see you there.

What or who is normal? Norm, normal and normative are terms of both social aspiration and political revulsion, referring alternatively to laws or rules, averages or means, ideals or ethical judgements. They are deeply embedded in the histories and cultures of capitalism and empire, race, gender and sexuality. They are central terms in psychoanalysis, psychiatry and psychology, and well as in biomedicine, the philosophy of ethics, sociology and economics. They are also vernacular terms of popular approval and rejection. In this talk, we will consider the history and politics of normativity in two contexts: (1) The geopolitics of mental diagnosis deployed during the “war on terror,” as represented in the Showtime television series Homeland, and (2) The widely popular fiction of libertarian capitalist hack Ayn Rand. These can show us how American Studies, disability studies and gender/sexuality studies, in particular, put these binaries to work in a global context. The goal is to understand the role of “normal” life in the contradictory moral discourse of neoliberal imperialism.


Announcement: Lecture by Dr. Katherine Capshaw

CapshawflierfinalwithlogosOn Thursday, February 25th, the Department of American Studes, the Institute for Historical Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and the John L Warfield Center for African and African American Studies present a lecture from Dr. Katherine Capshaw, associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut, in GWB 2.206. Dr. Capshaw’s presentation, entitled “Framing the Possibilities of Black Childhood in Photographic Books and Comics” will “consider the potential of visual representation to promote social justice through resistant, playful, unsettled images of black childhood. In photographic picture books of the 1960s and early 1970s authored by women, we find substantial child involvement in images that represent lived experience. Joy becomes a politcal statement in many photographs of the era, an expression of psychological freedom that can lead to political action. The second half of the presentation will engage contemporary graphic novels and comics by African American authors and illustrators; these artists often employ comics’ metatextuality in order to interrogate social opresion and to counter the pejorative images that have framed black youth.” We hope to see you there.

Announcement: BlaxploItalian

blaxploitalian(FINAL DRAFT)On Wednesday, February 17th, the French and Italian Department, in conjunction with the Center for European Studies, the Department of American Studies, the Department of History and the Department of Radio, Television and Film, will present an evening with Italian born and Brooklyn based director Fred “Kudjo” Kuworno. In addition to a Q&A with the documentarian, the event will feature screenings of his films BlaxploItalian, a “call to action for increased diversity in international cinema” that follows the careers of several Black actors working in Italian cinema and Inside Buffalo, about a unit of African American Buffalo Soldiers who fought in Italy during World War II. We hope to see you there.

Emily Roehl and Jeannette Vaught Giving Talks on Friday 2/12

Emily Roehl

This upcoming Friday, 2/12, is an embarrassment of riches for UT AMS as both graduate student Emily Roehl and instructor (and almuna!) Dr. Jeannette Vaught are giving talks. At 11:00am in the Glickman Conference Center (CLA 1.302D), Emily Roehl will participate in a conversation about Stephanie LeMenager’s book Living Oil, alongside the author and professor of English Ann Cvetkovich. That event follows a talk, cosponsored by UT AMS, that Dr. LeMenager is giving TONIGHT (Thursday, 2/11) at 6:00pm in the Glickman Conference Center (CLA 1.302B).

At 12 PM in WAG 316, Dr. Vaught will be giving a talk, entitled “Feet not Fat: Eugenic Beef and Anxious Husbandmen, 1940-1945,” to the The University of Texas History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium. We’ve included Dr. Vaught’s description of her talk, below.

Dr. Jeanette Vaught

Shortly before 1940, a well-established veterinary surgeon from Colorado State University was hired as the first Head Veterinarian at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The surgeon, Dr. H. H. Kingman, was charged with revolutionizing this famous beef herd’s breeding program through a combination of eugenic selection and a new technology: artificial insemination. This talk will use Kingman’s daily record of his work as a window into the myriad biological and cultural difficulties of this process between 1940 and 1945. Kingman is a transitional figure—a man poised between evaluating bodies by sight, as cattlemen habitually did, and by an animal’s ability to carry fat, and later by statistics. By focusing on genetics over nutrition, Kingman’s work on the Wyoming Hereford Ranch destabilized the conventions of animal expertise. This instability is especially apparent through his conflicts with the ranch’s husbandmen, who often flummoxed—intentionally or not—his efforts to “scientize” the herd. Considering Kingman’s mixed legacy at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch helps us understand broader shifts in human-animal knowledge and American understandings of nature and the natural that accompanied a postwar transition into an industrial agricultural system.

We hope to see you on Friday!