Announcement: Congratulations to our newly minted Ph.D.s!

UT tower lit entirely in orange

Enormous congratulations to the following graduate students who are now, as of this weekend’s commencement festivities, official Ph.D. recipients. We are so proud of them!

Sean Cashbaugh
“A Cultural History Beneath the Left: Politics, Art, and the Emergence of the Underground During the Cold War”
Supervisor: Randolph Lewis

Brendan Gaughen
“Practices of Place: Ordinary Mobilities and Everyday Technology”
Supervisor: Jeff Meikle

Josh Holland
“Kurt Hahn, the United World Colleges, and the Un-Making of Nation”
Supervisor: Julia Mickenberg

Lily Laux
“Teaching Texas: Race, Disability and the History of the School-to-Prison Pipeline”
Supervisor: Shirley Thompson

Susan Quesal
“Dismantling the Master’s House: The Afterlife of Slavery in the Twentieth-Century Representations of Home”
Supervisors: Shirley Thompson and Stephen Marshall

Kirsten Ronald
“Dancing the Local: Two-Step and the Formation of Local Cultures, Local Places, and Local Identities in Austin, TX”
Supervisor: Steve Hoelsher

Jackie Smith
“Black Princess Housewive and Single Ladies: Renee Cox’s Housewife Enactments and The Politics of Twenty-First Century Wealthy Black Womanhood”
Supervisor: Shirley Thompson

Grad Research: Ph.D. students Kerry Knerr and Elissa Underwood inaugural recipients of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Dallas Chapter Endowed Presidential Fellowships in American Studies

Steve Hoelscher; Mary Kimbrough*, Susan Auler*, Kerry Knerr, Elissa Underwood, Tracey Evers*, Marvin Bendele (Executive Director, Foodways Texas). * member of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Dallas Chapter

Steve Hoelscher; Mary Kimbrough*, Susan Auler*, Kerry Knerr, Elissa Underwood, Tracey Evers*, Marvin Bendele (Executive Director, Foodways Texas).
* member of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Dallas Chapter

A hearty congratulations to Ph.D. students Kerry Knerr and Elissa Underwood, who have been named the 2016 recipients of the Les Dames D’Escoffier, Dallas Chapter Endowed Presidential Fellowships in American Studies. Les Dames D’Escoffier of Dallas have offered their generous support of American Studies graduate scholarship at UT on topics relating to food studies.

Kerry Knerr’s project, “Cocktails, Class, and Conspicuous Consumption in the Progressive Era U.S.,” examines the early history of the American cocktail and its entanglement with American cultural imperialism. The project will build upon her master’s report, “In Search of a Good Drink: Punches, Cocktails, and Imperial Consumption,” currently under review at Global Food History. In it Kerry argues that understanding the material aspects of alcohol consumption (what people are doing), through close readings of recipe collections and material cultures of public and home bars, can ground otherwise nebulous discourses (what people are saying) of social movements, gender politics, or class formation. Kerry will conduct research at the National Food and Beverage Foundation in New Orleans, which houses both the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the Museum of the American Cocktail. There she will analyze menus, published cookbooks or bar manuals, private recipe collections, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Elissa Underwood’s project, “Women and Food in Carceral Spaces,” will explore women’s understandings of and experiences with food and foodways, including specific nutritional needs and distinct relationships with food, during and after incarceration by conducting oral histories with formerly incarcerated women in Texas. Elissa will interview women working and learning or perfecting skills in food-based industries, as well as women who have started their own food-based companies or non-profit organizations specifically aimed at combating recidivism and/or preventing incarceration.

The winners were announced at this year’s Foodways Texas conference, an organization now housed in the Department of American Studies. For more on the conference, check out this very in-depth, fascinating recap of the weekend of festivities.

Grad Research: INGZ Collective curator Natalie Zelt produces “Sampling,” March 31 – April 2

Exciting news from one of our graduate students: Ph.D. student Natalie Zelt, a curator for the INGZ Collective, has curated a performance series entitled “Sampling,” where artists Tameka Norris (aka Meka Jean), Brontez Purnell and The Younger Lovers, and Kenya (Robinson) CHEEKY LaSHAE adopt personae culled from tropes and representation of musicians- exposing pervasive norms, pressing the boundaries of everyday identity, and reflecting on the relations between personae play, embodiment and power.

All are invited to attend, to participate, to engage!

Thursday, March 31
  • 10-11:30 am: Tameka Norris Become Someone Else Workshop I (Location: GWB Multipurpose Room) Email info@ingzcollective.org to sign up.
  • 5:30-6pmSampling Opening Reception (In Winship Building)
  • 6-8pm: Screening of Free Jazz & Performance by Brontez Purnell and The Younger Lovers followed by a Movement Workshop open to the public (location: Lab Theatre)
Friday April 1, 2016
  • 2-3:30pm: Tameka Norris Become Someone Else Workshop II (Location: WIN 1.148) Emailinfo@ingzcollective.org to sign up
  • 4-4:30pm: CHEEKY LaSHAE gives a paper at New Directions in Anthropology Conference (Location CLA 1.302B)
  • 5:30pm-7pm: Meka Jean “Ivy League Ratchet” Happy Hour Performance (Location GWB Multipurpose Room)
  • 9pm-11pm: MONTH os SUNDAYS–CHEEKY LaSHAE Singes BLACK SABBATH with Meka Jean encore performance of “Ivy League Ratchet” and a opening act by The Younger Lovers (Location: Museum of Human Achievement)
Saturday April 2, 2016
  • 11am-12pm: Brunch Talk with Tameka Norris, Brontez Purnell and The Younger Lovers and Kenya (Robinson) (Location: CLA 1.302D)

Grad Research: Josephine Hill on Communism and Hybrid Corn

Alien-Corn-04-28-1948-by-Daniel-Robert-Fitzpatrick.-The-cartoon-is-held-at-The-St.-Louis-Post-Dispatch-Editorial-Cartoon-Collection.-Congratulations to UT AMS grad student Josephine Hill, who recently published an article called “Sowing the Seeds of Communism: Corn Wars in the USA” on Not Even Past, the blog of the UT History department. You can read the article here, and we’ve included an excerpt below.

Today we often associate hybrid or genetically modified corn with agricultural monopolies, big business, and capitalism, in the early Cold War some feared that the rise of hybrid corn would sow the seeds of Communism in the United States. Daniel Robert Fitzpatrick’s editorial cartoon, “Alien Corn,” published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on April 28, 1948, shows Henry A. Wallace grinning at a corn plant, whose leaves bear hammers and sickles and whose tassel sports a Soviet star –- the fruits of Communism. Wallace was the founder of the Hi-Bred Corn Company (today owned by the Dupont Corporation). He was also vice president to Franklin Roosevelt, Secretary of Agriculture (1933-1940), Secretary of Commerce (1945-1946), and 1948 presidential nominee of the Progressive Party. Appearing during the 1948 election season, the cartoon most directly reflects contemporary suspicions about Wallace’s possible Communist sympathies, which were fueled by his endorsement from the U.S. Communist Party, his progressive platform that included universal health care, voting rights for African-Americans, and an end to segregation, and his interest in Eastern religions. Here, the fear of the “alien” seems to have stronger political than environmental implications, yet this title presciently describes the many ways in which these two concerns would become more and more closely intertwined.

Grad Research: Julie Kantor in the LARB

Congratulations to UT AMS graduate student Julie Kantor, who recently had some of the poems from her chapbook Land published in the “No Crisis” issue of the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly. We spoke to Julie about her work when Land came out last spring, and we’re excited to able to share a selection with you, below.

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Grad Research: Kirsten Ronald and the Public History of the Red River District

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UT AMS grad student Kirsten Ronald (pictured in the archive, above) has been taking her teaching out of the classroom and onto the streets of Austin in a project she’s been developing with local organization Preservation Austin. Kirsten has been working with high school students, teaching them to do oral history and archival research focusing on Austin’s Red River cultural district. Kirsten sez:

Austin’s vibrant Red River Cultural District is currently being threatened by encroaching development and rising rents, so Preservation Austin is working with the Vandegrift High School FFA chapter to raise awareness about the historic and cultural importance of the area and its buildings.  The stretch of Red River Street between 6th and 10th Streets is home to  iconic bars and music venues like Stubb’s, Elysium, Mohawk and the now-shuttered Emo’s, all of which have helped make Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World.”  With many properties dating back to the mid-1800s, the District can also provide valuable insight into what makes Austin tick.  I’m excited to be teaching a new generation of preservationists and oral historians that while growth, development, and change are important components of any living city, the forms they take are not inevitable.

The website for the project is now live and the work that the students do producing an audio tour of the area will eventually be featured on Preservation Austin’s app.

Grad Research: Come See UT AMS at MLA 2016 in Austin

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This year’s Modern Languages Association conference begins today, right here in Austin, and a couple of UT AMS grad students will be participating.

Joshua Abraham Kopin will be presenting a paper called “Lost Causes: Jack Jackson’s Underground Comics as Underground History” as part of the roundtable The Counterpublic of Underground Comix, at 5:15 PM on Thursday, January 7.

Christine Capetola will be giving a presentation entitled “‘We Got Love Too Good to Throw Away’: Frankie Knuckles, House Music, and Black Queer Diaspora,” as part of the panel Sound, Activism and Protest, at 5:15 PM on Friday, January 8.

We hope to see you there!