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Mar. 1 | 2014 Franklin Prize
Nominations for 2014 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for the best-published book in American Studies due
Mar. 1 | 2014 Romero Prize
Nominations for 2013 Lora Romero Publication Prize for the best-published first book in American Studies due
Mar. 1 | 2014 Community Partnership Grants
Applications for the 2014 Community Partnership Grants Program to assist American Studies collaborative, interdisciplinary community projects due
Mar. 1 | 2014 Regional Chapter Grants
Applications for the 2014 grants program to assist regional American Studies conferences and projects due
The Minority Scholars’ Committee of the American Studies Association invites nominations for the 2013 Richard A. Yarborough Mentoring Award. The prize was established in 2012, and will honor a scholar who, like Richard Yarborough, demonstrates dedication to and excellence in mentoring. The winner will be announced at the Mentoring Breakfast of the Minority Scholars’ Committee during the annual meeting of the association to be held November 21-24, 2013, in Washington, DC.
Nominations for the 2013 Richard A. Yarborough Mentoring Award
Nomination materials should include:
1. A letter of nomination (no longer than 5 single-spaced pages) describing the nominee’s achievements in mentoring underrepresented students and faculty. This statement should include his or her contributions locally (at their home institution), nationally, and internationally. This statement might also address the nominee’s scholarly contributions, as well as the impact of the nominee’s research on the careers of underserved and underrepresented publics.
2. Supporting letters from collaborators, colleagues, postdoctoral fellows, undergraduate and graduate students mentored. Although these letters can be individually authored, nominators are urged to solicit a smaller set of collectively authored letters with multiple signatories.
3. URLs for any relevant websites.
Published on February 22, 2013 by John F Stephens.
This website provides scholars with a one-stop shop for the latest research published in American studies journals throughout the world. Organized by the International Initiative of the American Studies Association and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this site is the outcome of a collaboration between numerous journal editors around the world.
Published on March 12, 2013 by John F Stephens.
The voting in the ASA Election is now completed. The following members have been elected to three-year terms that shall last from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2016.
Lisa Duggan, New York University
Ann Cvetkovich, University of Texas, Austin
J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University
Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis
Martin Manalansan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Juana Rodriguez, University of California, Berkeley
Marisol Lebron, New York University
Siobhan Somerville, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Judy Wu, Ohio State University
The Council extends its appreciation to all those who agreed to run for office, congratulates the new leaders of the Association, and wishes them success in their undertakings over the next three years.
The Council also extends its gratitude to those who are completing their term of service. The councilors whose terms expire on June 30, 2013 include:
Evelyn Alsultany, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Jennifer Doyle, University of California, Riverside
Robert Lee, Brown University
Sarah Melton, student councilor, Emory University
Nayan Shah, University of California, San Diego
Priscilla Wald, immediate past president, Duke University
Cynthia Young, Boston College
The Nominating Committee members whose terms expire on June 30, 2013 are:
Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Meredith Raimondo , Oberlin College
Published in News on March 13, 2013 by ASASTAFF.
The San Juan ASA Conference represented an important moment to continue thinking deeply about the conceptual and methodological demands of a truly transnational American Studies. The location of the conference was itself a powerful call for reflection—reflection on indigeneity and dispossession; reflection on the course of US empire; reflection on rich histories of resistance; reflection on American Studies as a set of interpretive and pedagogical practices in that zone where Indigenous Studies, Atlantic World, Caribbean Studies, Diaspora Studies, and Pacific Rim all come together. From the outset the Program Committee felt an awesome responsibility to organize sessions and events that would do justice to the significance of this Caribbean locale and its (anti-) colonial history.
The ASA membership responded to the call and the challenges of the conference with terrific energy, innovation, insight, commitment, and with a spirit of true collaboration and intellectual generosity. This was one of the best-attended and most vibrant ASA meetings in recent memory. The program was expanded in order to accommodate as many of the very fine submissions as possible; the final program comprised over 400 panels, round tables, caucus meetings, screenings, readings, lightening rounds, and installations, involving the participation of over 1500 scholars, writers, artists, and activists from 25 countries in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe. Sessions represented a vast and ingenious array of methods, approaches, and orientations, as well as scholarly and politically committed conversations that ambitiously crossed disciplines, geographic regions, and historical periods. A brief sampling of the interpretive modalities and the intellectual concerns running through the program includes comparative empires, US regions/cities in the context of empire, the Puerto Rican diaspora, empire and migration, political economy, activism and public scholarship, liberalism (in both its broad and narrower meanings), legal structures and juridical discourses, public pedagogy, transnational activism, the carceral state, neoliberalism, militarism and state violence, biopolitics, hegemonic and alternative archives, tourism, commodity chains, settler colonialism, borderlands, cartography, indigeneity and anti-imperialist strategies, digital humanities, consumption and the commercial cultures of empire, religion as oppression and as resistance, oral history, missionaries and explorers, feminist internationalism, environmental justice, sexuality and imperial power, global health, hemispheric solidarities, the politics of water, the global South and the “resource curse,” radical poetics, human rights discourse, photography as a technology of empire, modernities and modernisms, museums and curation, sonic landscapes, narco-empire, graphic novels and animation, race and real estate, and trauma.
This was a tremendously rich, varied, and productive program. Among the most meaningful of the many conversations enabled at the meeting were those between colleagues from different parts of the world, between Puerto Rican scholars and activists and their colleagues from the US, between scholars in the humanities and in the social sciences, and between early Americanists and their colleagues who work on later periods. The program committee worked especially hard to raise the profile of early America in the conference and to invigorate the conversations across the temporal spectrum from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first.
The committee likewise assembled a slate of extracurricular exhibits, screenings, and events meant to augment and anchor the anti-imperialist spirit of the conference agenda and to provide routes into San Juan and its history quite distinct from those laid out by the normal circuitry of tourism. These included tours of the Hacienda La Esperanza Nature Reserve, one of the largest sugar plantations in Puerto Rico in the latter half of the nineteenth century; historical tours of Viejo San Juan, led by Edwin Quiles Rodríguez, author of San Juan Tras la Fachada: Una Mirada Desde Sus Espacios Ocultos (1580-1900); and a tour of the ENLACE Caño Martín Peña Project, whose residents seek to overcome poverty and attain social and environmental justice. Special events also included a reading by Puerto Rican poet and writer Giannina Braschi, whose work explores themes of US-Caribbean relations, the politics of empire and independence, and the migrant’s experience of marginality and liberation; and installations by two artists-in-residence: Nao Bustamante presented her multimedia project, Personal Protection, which activates the tactile and tactical histories of women in wa; and Adál Maldonado presented his multi-media project, Blueprints for a Nation: Construction of an Imaginary State, weaving diverse perspectives on the Puerto Rican Diaspora, the significance of creative expression in fostering new political imaginations, and the subversive tropicalization of new environments. All of these events were heavily attended and enthusiastically received.
Finally, an in-house Anti-Imperialist Film Festival provided continuous screenings of important documentary films. These included Roberto Clemente, followed by a discussion with director Bernardo Ruiz; Aquel Rebaño Azul [The Blue Herd], a historical account of police brutality in Puerto Rico, sponsored by Puerto Rico’s Civil Rights Commission; Más de 800 Razones, on the 2010-2011 University of Puerto Rico student strikes; and a number of films provided by the feminist collective, Women Make Movies. The festival culminated in a screening and director’s discussion of John Sayle’s Amigo, on a Philippine baryo in the crossfire of empire and resistance, and a ragtag but lethal detachment of U.S. soldiers who find themselves halfway around the world walking point for their country’s new imperialist policy in 1899.
The strength, vitality, and rich programming regarding Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, the Caribbean, and the Americas created a larger space from which to theorize, reflect upon, and produce knowledge that advances our understanding of the consequences of empire. The inclusion of local scholars from the Island, the participation of former Puerto Rican political prisoners, and the performances of Bustamante and Maldonado were particularly important. ASA members came away from San Juan having taken serious stock of the voluminous and electrifying interdisciplinary work that has recently been produced on empire, but also with a new, deeper charge to expand on conversations that cross disciplines, national boundaries, and period-specific specializations. Most agreed that this was an energizing and important set of meetings.
Published in News on March 15, 2013 by ASASTAFF.
Introduction. By Simon J. Bronner (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg)
1. Being an American. By Isabelle Culpepper (The Lovett School, Atlanta, GA)
2. Learning American Studies: An Education Anyone Can Use. By Molly Fay (La Salle University, Philadelphia)
3. Learning What It Means to Be an American. By Brant Ellsworth (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg)
Although teaching is a component of learning, there is much more discussion on instructional pedagogy than on how students, particularly those in integrated and interdisciplinary studies such as American Studies with goals of “connected learning,” process and apply knowledge. In the theory behind connected learning is a counter-disciplinary premise that presented with problems, students should be taught to find patterns across subjects. In other words, they thematize knowledge and find correspondences in an assortment of evidence to arrive at conclusions, or rather, interpretations taken from different vantages. For American Studies there is also an implication of relevance to contemporary issues apparent in references within learning objectives and goals of many courses to interpret American culture and society, both past and present. The EAS Forum previous to this one (no. 3) was devoted to “Teaching American Studies” and with its professorial contributors, it contained suggestions from the instructor’s side of the classroom that such a thematic or cognitive style constituted a distinction of American Studies pedagogy. But if professors or curators encode knowledge in this style, do their audiences decode it as the teachers intend? The question remains as to how and what people learn, or perceive they have gained, when presented with an “American Studies approach,” whether in the lecture hall, exhibition, seminar, essay, or public program. Another aspect of this inquiry are the institutional settings in which learning occurs and the difference across the life course. In the three essays here, representatives speak to these questions from their seats in high school, undergraduate, and graduate school classrooms. My hope is that this inquiry can be expanded to other venues as American Studies scholars contemplate not only what they know but how they know.
Published on June 6, 2013 by John F Stephens.
I met Bob Berkhofer in September 1983. He was then at the height of his distinguished career, just five years past the publication of his path-breaking book, The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present. I was a new and profoundly ill-at-ease graduate student, who had been assigned as one of six teaching assistants for his US history survey course. A few days before classes were to begin we gathered in his office for an organizational meeting, Professor Berkhofer on one side of the table, me on the other, more than a little intimidated.
We were probably there an hour or so. What I remember, though, was a single moment. In his lectures he’d be presenting a particular interpretation, Berkhofer said. But it was his interpretation, not ours. And we should feel completely free - in fact encouraged - to tell our discussion sections that we disagreed with it. It was such an empowering thing for a grad student in my position to hear: that a scholar of Robert Berkhofer’s standing valued our analyses of the American past; that he thought they ought to stand alongside his; that he welcomed us into the classroom, into the discipline as equals. It was also a reflection of his commitment to understanding the practice of history - and his willingness to put that commitment to the test
Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., professor emeritus of history at the University of Michigan and the University of California-Santa Cruz and past president of the American Studies Association, died in Davis, California on June 25, 2012. He was eighty years old.
Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., president of the American Studies Association, 1980-1981
Berkhofer was born in Teaneck, New Jersey on November 20, 1931. He earned his BA from the State University of New York, Albany in 1953, his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1960. He began his academic career at Ohio State University in the autumn of 1959. In 1960 he joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota, where he taught until 1969. He spent the next four years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then eighteen years, from 1973 to 1991, at the University of Michigan, before moving to University of California-Santa Cruz, from which he retired in 1997. He excelled at each institution, receiving the University of Minnesota’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Faculty Recognition Award, and UC-Santa Cruz’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. He also received a number of major external prizes, among them a National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellowship and a Guggenheim.
Berkhofer’s imposing scholarship focused on cultural history and historical theory. He wrote two highly-regarded studies of whites’ interaction with and conceptions of Native Americans: Salvation and the Savage: An Analysis of Protestant Missions and American Indian Response, 1787-1962 (University Press of Kentucky, 1965) and The White Man’s Indian (Alfred Knopf, 1978), the latter a “spare, controlled yet deeply affecting book,” as Leo Marx said in his New York Times review. Alongside that work Berkhofer set three penetrating explorations of philosophical and methodological issues: A Behavioral Approach to Historical Analysis (Free Press, 1969), Beyond the Great Story: History as Text and Discourse (Harvard University Press, 1995), and Fashioning History: Current Practices and Principles (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
As he worked through his ideas on the nature of historical understanding, Berkhofer moved across the intellectual landscape, exploring the promise of high modernism - he was a founding member of the Social Science History Association - and the post-modern challenge, winding his way through cliometrics and the linguistic turn, art and film, monographs and museum labels. But he insisted that his thinking revolved around a central core. “... all my books have stressed the constructed nature of history,” he wrote in 1998. “Whether such consciousness stemmed from class background, interdisciplinary interest, physical disability, or another ascribable reason, I know that such awareness existed long before my professors warned me as a graduate student that studying Native Americans would diminish or even eliminate my chances of teaching ‘regular’ history in college.” It was that same awareness that led him to believe that the undergraduates in his survey course would be well served by having their professor contradicted: our own small version of the Great Story disrupted, the narrative strained and maybe even broken. Theory put into practice, principles made real: an act of intellectual courage and of abiding generosity.
Bob Berkhofer was predeceased by his wife, Genevieve Zito, who died in 2007. He is survived by his son, Robert F. Berkhofer III and daughter-in-law Sally Hadden, both distinguished historians in their own right; his brother Donald; and a number of nieces.
Department of History
Published on June 22, 2013 by John F Stephens.
The American Studies Association publishes an online registry of American Studies and American Ethnic Studies doctoral dissertation abstracts. American Studies and American Ethnic Studies graduate programs and their recent Ph.D.s may submit entries. These abstracts are added to the ASA website on a continuing basis. This list is now comprised of abstracts of doctoral dissertations written in the United States since 1986. Click here to access the abstracts, sorted by author’s last name, or click here to submit your abstract using our online form.
Each year, the ASA conducts a survey of recent Ph.D. recipients’ immediate employment and career plans. Doctoral degree recipients are invited to participate in the survey as well as submit abstracts of their dissertations. This survey has been recorded since 1996-1997, and encompasses sources of funding received, time taken to completion, short-term and long-term employment and career plans. For past survey reports, please visit the following web page, or click here to submit your survey response using our online form.
Published on July 10, 2013 by John F Stephens.
The Nominating Committee is preparing a ballot for the 2014 annual ASA elections. Members of the American Studies Association are invited to submit recommendations for elected positions. Letters suggesting or recommending a candidate should relate the member’s experience to the association’s work and his or her vitae. All candidates must be current members of the American Studies Association.
The following positions will appear on the 2014 election ballot: president-elect, councilor (4 positions), K-12 member of council (1 position), international member of council (1 position), student councilor (1 position), and nominating committee member (2 positions).
Please submit your recommendations no later than September 1, 2013, to the Nominating Committee:
The final slate must provide representation of the diversity of the Association’s membership. Those nominated must be current members of ASA in order to serve. All persons elected serve three-year terms and will take office on July 1, 2014.
Nominations may also be made by petitions carrying in each case the signatures of at least twenty-five members of the association in good standing and indicating in each case the particular vacancy for which the nomination is intended. The Chair of the Nominating Committee must receive nominations by petition no later than October 1st. The Chair shall ascertain that all candidates nominated by the committee or by petition have consented to stand for election.
Published on August 25, 2013 by John F Stephens.
The American Studies Association is pleased to announce the scholars participating in its Distinguished Speaker’s Bureau. Speaking on a wide range of topics, the Distinguished Speakers’ Bureau brings leading scholars to your institution.
Speakers listed here are willing to give at least one lecture in the academic year on behalf of the ASA. Speakers donate their time to the ASA in order to participate. Host institutions pay a $1,000 speaker’s fee directly to the ASA, in addition to the speaker’s travel and lodging expenses.
All speakers’ fees are deposited into the ASA’s Community Partnership Fund. The Community Partnership Fund supports a competitive grants program open to members of the American Studies Association. The Fund encourages projects developed in collaboration with community-based organizations, school districts, public libraries, local historical societies, community museums, and other non-profit entities.
Published on October 1, 2013 by John F Stephens.
How should I prepare for graduate work in American Studies?
An undergraduate degree in American Studies is probably the best preparation for graduate study since it builds the foundation for the interdisciplinary research and analysis required to complete a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. But many undergraduates don’t have the opportunity to major in American Studies and others discover an interdisciplinary approach only later in their undergraduate studies. Students who major in more traditional disciplines—literature, history, the social sciences, even the natural sciences—often have the opportunity to take courses outside their major as electives which can improve their interdisciplinary range and strengthen their application to American Studies graduate programs. Students who come to American Studies from the social or natural sciences, or from a humanities field with a non-Americanist focus, can bring fresh perspectives and useful skills. These students find it useful to gain a background in U.S. history on their own (or as a part-time student in a graduate program where they can take one course) before starting graduate-level work in American Studies.
What is the best American Studies graduate program for me?
You should weigh factors such as faculty, professional goals, quality of program, funding opportunities, and geography in choosing where to apply. Applicants should first research American Studies programs to determine which programs have faculty who work specifically in the areas of research that most interest them. In the course of this research, an applicant should try to contact faculty members who share his/her research interests to find out if they currently advise graduate students and to ask more specific questions about their department. Applicants need to find programs that best suit their intellectual interests and this is best determined through direct communication with faculty. While it is crucial to enter a program where you have identified a mentor with whom to work, you shouldn’t plan your entire course of graduate study around one faculty member, as faculty do not always stay at one university throughout their career. Therefore, students should find a program in which there are several faculty members with whom they could potentially study. If applicants are geographically restricted in where they can apply, they will need to determine which programs in their area have faculty available to mentor their work, communicating with faculty to see how flexible they can be in advising students outside their specific research areas. Many department websites have lists of current students and their research interests. Contacting students who are currently enrolled, or recent graduates, is an excellent way to gauge the suitability of the program for your individual interests. Faculty and departmental representatives will be able to provide you with contact information.
Applicants should also consider which programs best suit their professional goals. For example, some American Studies programs are strong in placing their graduate students in jobs in public history or archival work, while other programs are known for helping students find tenure-track teaching jobs and/or others focus on an activist, engaged scholarship. Some programs have special strength in African American studies, whereas others have a concentration of specialists on the Asia-Pacific region and so forth.
The amount and types of funding available for graduate students has a major impact on the time to completion of the degree as well as to the range of teaching and research experiences one will gain while in graduate school. It is important to find out what kind of funding (e.g. teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships, tuition waivers) are available in the program of one’s interest. We think teaching experience is important preparation for all graduate students, no matter their career plans, but too much teaching takes time away from research and writing.
Most graduate programs designate one faculty member to advise graduate students and/or speak with prospective students. You can find this person’s contact information on the website or by phoning or emailing the department office. You should be in touch with this faculty member as well to insure that your interests can be served by the program, to receive suggestions on your application, and to understand the available financial aid and how to apply for it.
Do I need a Masters degree in American Studies before applying to a doctoral program?
Many applicants apply to doctoral study directly from undergraduate work—especially if they have already earned a B.A. degree in American Studies. Nevertheless, if a student applies without much previous background in interdisciplinary study, it can be useful to start with a Master’s program to explore the field of American Studies before making the commitment to doctoral study. Earning an M.A. in American Studies may also be useful to enhance one’s application for, and acceptance into, doctoral programs.
What makes an effective personal statement?
Applicants should describe the academic and other relevant backgrounds that have prepared them for graduate-level work in American Studies. A strong personal statement in an American Studies application offers a concise description of the applicants’ research interests and goals with a particular emphasis on why the interdisciplinary approach of American Studies is the most effective way to pursue those interests and goals. In addition, applicants should make a clear case for why the particular program they are applying to best suits their goals. You should avoid digressions into personal biography, unless there is an appropriate intellectual reason to do so. For instance, a formative experience might be a helpful introduction to your interests, but anecdotal material must have a clear purpose such as helping explain one’s intellectual development. Applicants to doctoral programs need not have a dissertation topic drafted for a personal statement, but they should be able to lucidly describe their general interests and specific fields/subfields, theoretical frameworks, methodologies, scholars, or books that have influenced their intellectual development and interest in American Studies.
What kind of writing sample should I submit?
An effective writing sample for American Studies would be a research paper (15-20 pages in length) that had both a clear argument and provided evidence of the applicant’s ability to do primary and secondary research. Papers that incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to research would also be helpful, but are not required. Depending on the work you have done, and want to do, a shorter piece of writing aimed at a more general audience might also be appropriate.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
Recommendations from faculty with whom you have taken a class and who know you personally are most helpful. In general, letters from employers or friends are not as effective because they often don’t adequately assess an applicant’s abilities as a researcher or writer.
How important are the GRE scores?
Many programs require applicants to submit their GRE scores and how the scores are weighed in the overall application varies from program to program. Higher scores are certainly better than lower scores; however, in general American Studies programs do not see the GRE scores as the most important factor in the application package. The personal statement, writing sample, recommendation letters, and previous academic records read together can go a long way in making up for lower GRE scores.
For international students, many programs see TOEFL scores as a replacement for GRE scores. Good TOEFL scores not only increase the chances of admission but the language ability they measure is also necessary for actually doing graduate work in American Studies.
What kind of jobs do graduate students in American Studies get after graduation?
Graduate students in American Studies can go into a variety of fields, but most are interested in teaching jobs or museum work. They can also be competitive for jobs at historical societies, archives, state and federal humanities and cultural resource agencies as well as community cultural development organizations.
Published on October 18, 2013 by John F Stephens.
The American Studies Association is proud to recognize the continuing high level of scholarship examining our American cultures. We ask all members of the Association to join in congratulating their fellow members honored at this year’s award ceremony, to be held on Friday, November 22, 2013, at the ASA convention.
The 2013 Constance Rourke Prize
Chair: Franny Nudelman, Carleton University
Rick Baldoz, Oberlin College
Kathleen Donegan, University of California, Berkeley
The Constance Rourke Prize has been awarded annually since 1987 for the best article published in American Quarterly. The winner of this year’s prize is Jana Lipman for her article ” ‘Give us a Ship’: The Vietnamese Repatriate Movement on Guam, 1975,” 64:1 (March 2012).
The 2013 Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize
Chair: Maria Cotera, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Theresa Runstedtler, American University
Gayle Wald, George Washington University
The Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize, established in 1974, has been awarded annually since 1987 by the Association for the best dissertation in American Studies.
The winner of this year’s prize is Maile Arvin (University of California, San Diego - Ethnic Studies) for “Pacifically Possessed: Scientific Production and Native Hawaiian Critique of the “Almost White” Polynesian Race.”
Finalist mention goes to Dara Orenstein (Yale University- American Studies) for her dissertation: “Offshore Onshore: A History of the Free Zone on US Soil.”
The 2013 Gene Wise - Warren Susman Prize
Chair: Magdalena Zaborowska, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Beth Piatote, University of California, Berkeley
Carlo Rotella, Boston College
The Gene Wise - Warren Susman Prize is awarded each year for the best paper to be presented by a graduate student at the annual meeting. The winning paper may deal with any aspect of American history, literature, or culture, but should reflect the breadth, the critical imagination, the intellectual boldness, and the cross-disciplinary perspective so strongly a part of the scholarship of both Gene Wise and Warren Susman.
The 2013 prizewinner is Rabia Belt (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), “What Does Citizenship Mean for People with Mental Disabilities?”
Finalist mention goes to: Chloe Taft (Yale University), “The Postindustrial Factory: Seeking Continuity in Casino Work at a Former Steel Plant.”
The 2013 Yasuo Sakakibara Prize
Chair: Catherine Ceniza Choy, University of California, Berkeley
Christina Klein, Boston College
Jean Pfaelzer, University of Delaware
The Yasuo Sakakibara Prize is awarded annually for the best paper to be presented by an international scholar at the annual meeting. The winning paper may deal with any aspect of American history, culture, or society.
The 2013 prizewinner is Ethan Blue, University of Western Australia, “The Deportation Special: Mobile Carceral Space and the Emergence of Mass Deportation.”
The 2013 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize
Chair: Edward Blum, San Diego State University
Adriane Lentz-Smith, Duke University
Jeffrey Melnick, University of Massachusetts, Boston
The Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize was established in 2002 and is awarded annually for the best-published first book in American Studies that highlights the intersections of race with gender, class, sexuality and/or nation.
The 2013 winner is Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century (New York University Press)
Finalist mention goes to:
Adria L Imada, Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the American Empire (Duke University Press)
Brigit Brander Rasmussen, Queequeg’s Coffin: Indigenous Literacies and Early American Literature (Oxford University Press)
Cynthia Wu, Chang and Eng Reconnected: The Original Siamese Twins in American Culture (Temple University Press)
The 2013 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize
Chair: Alex Weheliye, Northwestern University
Margot Canaday, Princeton University
Helen Jun, University of Illinois, Chicago
The John Hope Franklin Publication Prize was established in 1986 and has been awarded annually for the best book published in American Studies.
The 2013 prizewinner is Lisa Marie Cacho, Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected (New York University Press)
Finalist mention goes to:
Kornel S. Chang, Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands (University of California Press)
Mabel O. Wilson, Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (University of California Press)
The 2013 Angela Davis Prize
Chair: Mary Helen Washington, University of Maryland, College Park
Michelle Mitchell, New York University
David Roediger, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Sonia Saldivar-Hull, University of Texas, San Antonio
The Angela Davis Award for Public Scholarship recognizes scholars who have applied or used their scholarship for the “public good.” This includes work that explicitly aims to educate the lay public, influence policies, or in other ways seeks to address inequalities in imaginative, practical, and applicable forms.
The 2013 prizewinner is George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara.
The 2013 Mary C. Turpie Award
Chair: Eva Cherniavsky, University of Washington
Gary Holcomb, Ohio University
Lois Rudnick, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Annually, the American Studies Association gives the Mary C. Turpie Award, established in 1993, to a person who has demonstrated outstanding abilities and achievement in American Studies teaching, advising, and program development at the local or regional level.
The 2013 prizewinner is Joy Kasson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The 2013 Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize
Chair: Miles Orvell, Temple University
Irene Ramalho Santos, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Cecelia Tichi, Vanderbilt University
The Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize honors lifetime achievement in and contribution to the field of American Studies. Each year’s prize committee is instructed to consider afresh the meaning of a “lifetime contribution to American Studies.” The definitions of terms like “contribution” and even of “American Studies” remain open, healthily contested, and thus renewed.
The 2013 prizewinner is Alfred Hornung, University of Mainz, Germany.
Published on October 22, 2013 by John F Stephens.
Published on December 1, 2013 by John F Stephens.
One year ago, the Academic and Community Activism Caucus of the American Studies Association (ASA) asked the Executive Committee (EC) to consider a resolution to honor the call from Palestinian civil society to support the academic boycott of Israel. The EC forwarded the resolution to the National Council. Following the deliberative procedures detailed below, the Council unanimously decided to issue a revised version of the resolution, which we now recommend to members of the ASA. Please follow this link to read the resolution.
The Council voted for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions as an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action. It represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.
We believe that the ASA’s endorsement of a boycott is warranted given U.S. military and other support for Israel; Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights; and the support of such a resolution by many members of the ASA.
Our resolution understands boycott as limited to a refusal on the part of the Association in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions, or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.
The resolution does not apply to individual Israeli scholars engaged in ordinary forms of academic exchange, including conference presentations, public lectures at campuses, or collaboration on research and publication. The Council also recognizes that individual members will act according to their convictions on these complex matters.
The ASA is a large organization that represents divergent opinions. Anticipating strong and potentially divided feelings on this question, the Council unanimously decided to ask ASA members to endorse the resolution by a vote.
Background on the Resolution
The resolution is the culmination of a long history of discussion and debate in the ASA. In 2006, in response to Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, the ASA International Committee (IC), including a former ASA President, discussed the possibility of endorsing a boycott. In 2009, in the wake of Israel’s military assault on Gaza and in response to requests from ASA members, several bodies in the Association again took up the question of a boycott: the IC, the Program Committee for the 2009 convention, and the Executive Committee, which included the current ASA President. The consensus then was that members needed more opportunities to learn about and discuss the issues and so the Program Committee organized two featured panels: “Palestine in Crisis” and “Academic Freedom and the Right to Education: The Question of Palestine.” Scheduled in prime times on Friday and Saturday of the convention, the panels addressed the plight of Palestinian universities and academics and the profound pressures on teaching and research contexts in the U.S. and Palestine where education and intellectual freedom were under attack. The second panel focused in particular on the boycott movement.
In the wake of such discussions, the Academic and Community Activism Caucus (ACAC) met at the 2012 ASA convention to consider a resolution and gather signatures. This resolution was then submitted to the Executive Committee and, in December, posted on the Caucus’ page on the ASA web site. Information about the resolution was also included in the December 2012 ASA Newsletter distributed to all ASA members.
In March of 2013, the Program Committee for the 2013 ASA convention met and discussed ways to create opportunities at the meeting to discuss issues related to calls for boycott. The resulting program included 8 sessions on “Middle East American Studies,” with four focused specifically on United States/Israel/Palestine. At the same time the Ethnic Studies Committee organized two panels about settler colonialism that discussed the Israeli occupation of Palestine, while the ACAC organized a panel called “Boycott as a Non-Violent Strategy of Collective Dissent.”
In May 2013 the Executive Committee met and discussed the proposed resolution submitted by the ACAC at great length. It agreed that it would be in the best interest of the organization to solicit from the membership as many perspectives as possible on the proposed resolution to aid the National Council in its discussions and decision-making. With the past President and a prominent, senior member of the Association serving as moderators, it held an open session during the November National Convention at which the National Council was present to hear directly from the membership. Members were notified of the open discussion well in advance of the convention and it was highlighted as a featured event in both online and print versions of the program. Additionally, members who could not attend the session or the convention were encouraged to contact the EC directly via email, and many did so.
The Saturday November 23rd open discussion was attended by approximately 745 ASA members. Members distributed information about the boycott in advance, and the hall was filled with leaflets representing different views. The moderators carefully and clearly articulated the different actions that could be taken and the process for deliberation. To guarantee an orderly and fair discussion members who wished to speak put their name in a box from which speakers were randomly selected. Speakers were limited to 2 minutes, providing the opportunity to hear from forty-four different speakers during the time allotted for the special session. The discussion was passionate but respectful. Speakers included students, faculty, past Presidents, former members of the National Council, former and current members of the AQ editorial staff, American Studies department chairs, and an ASA member also representing the organization Jewish Voice for Peace. While different opinions were articulated, the overwhelming majority spoke in support of the ASA endorsing an academic boycott.
Remaining in session over the course of 8 days after the open session, Council members spoke and wrote from different perspectives, debated different possibilities, and critically yet generously engaged each other. The resulting resolution reflects, we think, the history and present state of conversations within the ASA, offering a principled position for the Association’s participation in the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions while respecting the unique conditions and diverse positions of our membership on this issue.
In the last several decades, the ASA has welcomed scholarship that critically analyzes the U.S. state, its role domestically and abroad, and that reaches out beyond U.S. borders. Our commitment to cutting-edge and transnational scholarship has been accompanied by the comparative study of borders, migration, and citizenship. The ASA also has a history of critical engagement with the field of Native American and Indigenous studies that has increasingly come to shape and influence the field and the Association, and the Council acknowledged the force of Israeli and U.S. settler colonialism throughout our deliberations. Finally, the resolution is in keeping with the ASA’s continuing commitment to ethical research and the right of scholars to dissent and to take public positions.
The Council believes that the resolution is of particular significance to scholars of American Studies. Together, we endorse it, and recommend that ASA members endorse it as well.
Please follow this link to cast your vote.
The ASA National Council
Jennifer Devere Brody, Stanford University
Ann Cvetkovich, University of Texas, Austin
Jeremy Dean. University of Texas, Austin
Lisa Duggan, New York University
Avery Gordon, University of California, Santa Barbara
Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University
E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University
J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University
Marisol LeBrón, New York University
Karen Leong, Arizona State University
Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis
Martin F. Manalansan IV, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Curtis Marez, University of California, San Diego
Roya Rastegar, Bryn Mawr College
Chandan Reddy, University of Washington, Seattle
Juana María Rodríguez, University of California, Berkeley
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, New York University
Nikhil Pal Singh, New York University
Due to a family emergency, Juri Abe, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan, was not present for the National Council meeting where the resolution was passed.
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Published on December 4, 2013 by ASASTAFF.
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