Saturday, November 16, 2013

Discussion and Brown-bag Lunch with Prof. Maria Cotera

Please join the United States Literatures & Cultures Consortium for a discussion and brown bag lunch with

Maria Cotera
Associate Professor of American Culture, Latino/a Studies, and Women's Studies
University of Michigan 
"Finding the Affinities Inside Difference: Comparative Biography Through a Feminist of Color Lens"

Wednesday, November 20
3154 Angell Hall

Excerpts from Maria's book, Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston and Jovita González,and the Poetics of Culture, are available for download at the USist website:

Please email Emily Johnston ( with any questions about this event.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Continuing the discussion - USists, Americanists, and more!

As a follow-up to the interdisciplinary roundtable kicking off our Fall term, "What is a USist? (Or, are you an Americanist?)," we'd like to share some of the references that emerged from that conversation and get your suggestions for key readings in your discipline or fields of interest (key can mean central, exciting, frustratingly over- or under-cited) that we can center one or more subsequent sessions around.

To suggest a text (preferably an article or selected book chapter or introduction), please email by November 8th. And if you'd be willing to help facilitate the discussion surrounding your selection, please let us know too!

Anna Brickhouse. Transamerican Literary Relations and the Nineteenth-Century Public Sphere (Cambridge UP, 2004).

Paul Giles. The Global Remapping of American Literature (Princeton UP, 2011).

Kirsten Silva Gruesz. Ambassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Writing (Princeton UP 2002.)

Levander, Caroline Field, and Robert S. Levine. Hemispheric American Studies (Rutgers UP, 2008).

Donald E. Pease and Robyn Wiegman. The Futures of American Studies (Duke UP, 2002).

Jon Smith and Deborah N. Cohn, editors. Look Away!: The U.S. South in New World Studies (Duke UP, 2004).

Caroline Levander's forthcoming Where is American Literature?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dissertation Chapter Workshop and Discussion with Kya Mangrum and Liz Rodrigues

Please join the United States Literatures & Cultures Consortium for a chapter workshop and discussion with Kya Mangrum and Liz Rodrigues. 
Monday, October 21
3154 Angell Hall
Snacks provided!
Drafts are available for download at the USist website:
Please email Kathryne Bevilacqua ( with any questions about this event.
Chapter synopses:
Kya Mangrum, "Fictions of Progress: The Visual Slave Narratives of the Civil War"
In "Fictions" I argue that mechanically reproducible photographs of former slaves inspired a new sub-genre of the slave narrative.  This new genre was comprised of two contradictory impulses---a need to affirm the freedman's fitness for battle contrasted against a desire to disqualify his full claims for citizenship.

Liz Rodrigues, "W.E.B. Du Bois, Data, and the Re-assemblage Race and Self"
This chapter demonstrates how data collection—as a conceptual framework for empirical reality, as a method of sociological inquiry, and as a representational form—enables Du Bois to tell new stories about African American life and selfhood. I locate Du Bois's methodological interventions in sociology as engagements with the concept of data and trace how those engagements continue to surface in a series of his later, multi-formal collective works of autobiographical, literary, and sociological-historical writings. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

USist or Americanist? I’m a Regionalist

Are you a USist or an Americanist? This was the question that the U.S. Literatures and Cultures Consortium posed to the participants of the roundtable at our inaugural event of this semester. The subsequent conversation was a thoughtful reflection on what it means to be a scholar of U.S. literature and culture who wants to undo the hegemonic structures that underlie the nation. But what about scholars who aren’t even interested in the nation to begin with?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Panel Discussion: What is a USist? (Or are you an Americanist?)

September 16, 2013, 4pm, 3222 Angell Hall

Photo by Flickr user GillyBerlin.
What is a USist? (Or are you an Americanist?)
An interdisciplinary panel discussion on approaches to defining and doing work in US/American studies across a wide range of historical periods, featuring:

Xiomara Santamarina, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, English, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and American Culture

Aaaron Seaman, University of Chicago, Department of Comparative Human Development

Frank Kelderman, University of Michigan, American Studies

Lisa Jong, University of Michigan, English Language & Literature

Snacks provided!

This event will also serve as our kick-off for the year, so anyone who is interested in suggesting a speaker, a topic of future discussion, or would like to present work this year will have a chance to contribute and find out how to be a part of the USists workshop this year.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Doing Archive Research

April 17, 2013 - Room 3222 Angell Hall, 4pm
Panel presentation and Q&A on doing archive work towards and around your dissertation

Cat Cassel on: Philip K Dick and hassle with archive copyright owners

Dina Karageorgos on: Richard Wright, Sarah Wright, doing interviews, and losing your images

Jesse Carr on: The Arts of Citizenship project, and working with microfilm

Daphna Atias on: Emily Dickinson and finding what you didn't necessarily come to find

Ali Chetwynd on: William Gaddis and hunting down fiction's non-fictional sources

Chelsea Del Rio on: Karate Lesbians and lesbian feminism

Kya Mangrum on: Literary archive work with visual/photographic material

Monday, March 11, 2013

Visiting Speaker: Robert Chodat

March 25-26, 2013

Robert Chodat (Boston University, English)

4pm Mar 25th, 3222 Angell Hall - "Jigsaw Puzzles, Salesmen, and Cavell's Improvisations"
"I address Stanley Cavell’s recent memoir Little Did I Know against the backdrop of some of his philosophical writing. I'll consider Cavell’s challenges to certain entrenched conceptions of language, art, and action, and will focus particular attention on the idea of “improvisation,” which Cavell’s writing often thematizes and enacts"

2pm Mar 26th, 3184 Angell Hall - graduate student event on doing interdisciplinary research in analytic philosophy and literary study, and other occasionally antagonistic combinations.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Graduate Conference: Making it Work: US Thought and Culture Between Practice and Paralysis

April 5-6, 2013 - Room 3222 Angell Hall

Making it Work: US Thought and Culture Between Practice and Paralysis

Paul Taylor (Penn State, Philosophy/ African American Studies)
Lisi Schoenbach (University of Tennessee Knoxville, English)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lineages of the Literary Left

March 21-22, 2013

Lineages of the Literary Left: A Symposium in Honor of Alan Wald
See program here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Visiting Speaker: Robert Viscusi

March 20, 2013 - 3pm, Room 100, Hatcher Library Gallery

Robert Viscusi (Brooklyn College, English)
"Her Hands Were Rough and Smelled of Dead Things: Louisa Ermelino's The Black Madonna"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reading: Colson Whitehead

January 31, 2013 - Helmut Stern Auditorium, UMMA, 5.10pm

Fiction Reading with Colson Whitehead

Visiting Speaker: Marion Smiley

Jan 31-Feb 1

Marion Smiley (Brandeis University, Philosophy/ Politics/ Women's and Gender Studies)

January 31st, 4pm, Angell Hall 3222 - Lecture: "From Science to Symbolic Interpretation: Rethinking American Pragmatism"

February 1st, 1.30-3pm, Angell Hall 1164 - Graduate Student Professionalisation discussion