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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 below 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.
To date, the following association leaders have volunteered their services to the ASA's Distinguished Speakers' Bureau.
Joanne M. Braxton is Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor of English and the Humanities at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg , Virginia. In addition to teaching for the William and Mary English Department, she also teaches for American Studies, Women's Studies and Black Studies. Widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies, Professor Braxton's writings also include the monograph Black Women Writing Autobiography: A Tradition Within a Tradition, Sometimes I Think of Maryland, a collection of poetry, and the play, Crossing A Deep River: A Ritual Drama in Three Movements, which has been shown at the National Black Theatre Festival and elsewhere. Braxton edited the The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the most complete volume of Dunbar's poetry ever published, as well as The Maya Angelou "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" Reader." She edits the Women Writers of Color Biography Series for the Praeger Publishing Group. Professor Braxton has traveled in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, and lectured in the United States, Cuba, Brazil, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. She has served as a senior Fulbright Professor, teaching American Studies, African American literature and non-fiction life writing at the University of Muenster, in Germany. She recently completed a digital video conference on Black women's writing to four European nations for the U.S. State Department.
Founded in 1967 Radical America, the journal for Students for Democratic Society, created the Oral History of the American Left archive at New York University, has taught Oral History, Social Movements and Jewish Identity in the Hollywood Film at Brown since 1995, lectured widely on popular culture subjects, most recently comic art.
Has written or edited 28 volumes, including the Choice award-winning C.L R. James's Caribbean (Duke) and The New Left Revisited (Temple); five books on film; the trilogy Jews and American Popular Culture (Praeger/Greenwood); visual and oral histories of Rhode Islanders; and several comic-art works including Wobblies: a Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World; and three works prepared for 2007 publication, SDS: AHistory, an adaptation of Howard Zinn's People's History and an art-comic biography of Emma Goldman. (Further art-comic works on the Beat Generation and Studs Terkel's works in the making.) He has written on popular culture and other subjects in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation, the Village Voice, and the UK Guardian. He is a Contributing Editor to TIKKUN and a columnist for the ecological journal, CNS.
Arlene Davila, Professor of Anthropology and of Social and Cultural Analysis, is a cultural anthropologist interested in urban and ethnic studies, the political economy of culture and media, and consumption studies. Her work focuses on Puerto Ricans in the eastern United States, and Latinos nationwide. She is currently working on a collection of essays on the production and circulation of contemporary representations of Latinidad examining the place of Latinos in the contemporary politics of race. She is author of Sponsored Identities: Cultural Politics in Puerto Rico (Temple University) and Latinos Inc: Marketing and the Making of a People, Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City (both with University of California Press).
President of the American Studies Association in 2008-2009, Philip J. Deloria (Ph.D. Yale 1994) is a professor in the Department of History and the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan. He came to Michigan in 2001, after six and one half years teaching at the University of Colorado. His 1998 book Playing Indian (Yale University Press) was the winner of a Gustavus Myers outstanding book award from the Gustavus Myers Program for the study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America. His latest work is Indians in Unexpected Places (Kansas, 2004), which examines the ideologies surrounding Indian people at the turn of the twentieth century—and the ways Native Americans challenged those ideologies through world travel, film and theater, sports, automobility, and musical performance. He is the author of numerous articles and essays, was a co-author of The Native Americans (Turner, 1993), and is presently at work on three other book-length projects.
Gina Dent (Ph.D., Columbia University, English & Comparative Literature) is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies and Director of the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the editor of Black Popular Culture ( New York: The New Press, 1998) and author of articles on race, feminism, popular culture, and visual art. Her forthcoming book Anchored to the Real: Black Literature in the Wake of Anthropology (Duke University Press) is a study of the consequences—both disabling and productive—of social science's role in translating black writers into American literature. Her two current book projects grow out of her work as an advocate for human rights and prison abolition—Prison as a Border, on prisons and popular culture, and Movement in Black and Red: The Life of Charlene Mitchell, an oral history and memoir. Her work is also focused on cultural transformation within the university, with special attention to the impact and interpretation of the language of diversity. In this capacity, she served as principal investigator for UC Santa Cruz's recent climate study. She lectures widely in the US and abroad on the topics of prisons and popular culture, African American and African Diaspora studies, and the politics of disciplinary histories and transformations.
Ann Fabian is Dean of Humanities and Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is former chair of the American Studies Department. Her books include Card Sharps, Dream Books and Bucket Shops, a study of American gambling, and The Unvarnished Truth: Person Narratives in Nineteenth-Century America. She has published several essays on the history of the book and the history of the American West. She is a member of the Council of the American Antiquarian Society and served a term on the council of the American Studies Association. Her work has received support from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the School of American Research, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for the Study of History at Princeton, and the American Antiquarian Society.
The president of the American Studies Association in 2009-2010, Kevin K. Gaines (Ph.D., American Civilization Department, Brown University) is Professor of History and Director, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2005-present. He is author of American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book by the American Library Association; Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics and Culture During the Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), which was awarded the 1997 John Hope Franklin Book Prize of the ASA; and co-editor with Janice Radway, Barry Shank, and Penny Von Eschen, The New American Studies (Blackwell, forthcoming, 2009). His work explores the contributions of African American intellectuals to U.S. and global struggles for equality, and the relationship between African American cultural production, activism, and creativity to political and social change. He has held fellowships at the National Humanities Center (1996-97) and was named a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Eligible 1998) and has lectured widely in the U.S. and overseas. He is President-Elect of the American Studies Association. Current research is on African Americans, the discourse of psychology, and the post World War II struggle for equality; post-civil rights paradoxes of "integration;" and a history of transnational black modernity during the twentieth century.
The president of the American Studies Association in 2010-2011, Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Geography in the Doctoral Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences, The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007), which was recognized by ASA with its Lora Romero First Book Award. Recent publications include: "In the Shadow of the Shadow State" (in Incite! Women of Color Against Violence, eds. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded, March 2007, South End Press), and "Forgotten Places and the Seeds of Grassroots Planning" (in Charles R. Hale, ed., Engaging Contradictions, forthcoming, University of California Press). She is a founding member of California Prison Moratorium Project and Critical Resistance, and past-president of the Central California Environmental Justice Network. Honors include a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship, The James Blaut Award for Critical Geography, the Ralph Santiago Abascal Award for Economic and Environmental Justice, and a USC-Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring Graduate Students.
Matthew Frye Jacobson is William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies and History at Yale, and has served as President of the American Studies Association in 2012-2013. He received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University in 1992, and is the author of What Have They Built You to Do?: The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America (with Gaspar Gonzalez, 2006); Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America (2005); Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917 (2000); Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (1998); and Special Sorrows: The Diasporic Imagination of Irish, Polish, and Jewish Immigrants in the United States (1995). He is currently at work on Odetta's Voice and other Weapons: The Civil Rights Era as Cultural History. He teaches courses on race in U.S. political culture 1790-present, including U.S. imperialism, immigration and migration, popular culture, and the juridical structures of U.S. citizenship.
The president of the American Studies Association in 2003-2004, Amy Kaplan is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She is author of The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture (Fall 2002, Harvard) and coeditor of Cultures of U.S. Imperialism. In addition to her work on imperialism and culture, she teaches courses on mourning and memory in American Literature, and comparative perspectives on Latin American and US culture. She has been the recipient of an NEH Fellowship and winner of the Forster prize for the best essay in American Literature.
President of the American Studies Association in 1994-1995 and General Editor of the groundbreaking Heath Anthology of American Literature, Lauter was one of the founders of The Feminist Press and its treasurer and an editor for fourteen years. He also held offices in the faculty and staff union at the State University of New York, the American Friends Service Committee, and the U.S. Servicemen's Fund. He worked in freedom schools in Mississippi during the mid-1960s. His recent books include From Walden Pond to Jurassic Park (Duke) and a collection with Ann Fitzgerald on Class, Culture, and Literature (Longmans). Other projects include a Blackwell companion to American literature, a volume entitled What is American, and the development of an anthology of American literature for students in Asia.
Eric Lott received his PhD from Columbia University and has taught American Studies at the University of Virginia since 1990. His book Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (Oxford UP, 1993) won the Modern Language Association First Book Prize and the Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians; it also afforded the title of Bob Dylan's album "Love and Theft" (2001). He is also the author of a study of liberal intellectuals in the 1990s titled The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual (Basic Books, 2006). His work-in-progress includes a study of white cultural constructions of blackness (White Like Me). He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Princeton University, among others, and his work has appeared in The Nation, The Village Voice, American Quarterly, American Literary History, and Representations.
Tara McPherson is Associate Professor of Gender and Critical Studies at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts where she teaches courses in race, gender, digital media, and popular culture. She is the author of the Award-winning Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Duke, 2003), editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected (MIT, 2008) and co-editor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (Duke 2003) and Interactive Frictions: Form and Politics in Digital Media (in process, UC Press). Her writing has appeared in numerous journal and edited anthologies, and she serves as founding editor of the innovative multimedia journal, Vectors and founding co-editor of the International Journal of Learning and Media (forthcoming from MIT Press). Co-organizer of the 1999 conference, Interactive Frictions, Tara is among the founding organizers of Race in Digital Space. She is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Archives, has served as an AFI juror, is a member of HASTAC, and is on the boards of several journals and of the Scholarly Communication Institute. Her research activities have been funded by the Rockefeller, Mellon, MacArthur, Ford and Annenberg Foundations.
Gary Okihiro, recently the ASA's delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies, served on the ASA's council and executive committee, 2003-2005. He is a professor of international and public affairs and director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. He is author of eight books, including his latest, Common Ground: Reimagining American History (2001), which won a Choice outstanding academic book award, and The Columbia Guide to Asian American History (2001), which won a special award for a reference work from the Association for Asian American Studies. He is now writing a book on Hawai'i and its relations with the U.S. He is the recipient of the ASA's lifetime achievement award, and is a past president of the Association for Asian American Studies.
Donald Pease is the Avalon Foundation Chair of the Humanities and the Chair of the Liberal Studies Program at Dartmouth College.His 1987 book Visionary Compacts: American Renaissance Writing in Cultural Context won the Mark Ingraham Prize for the best new book in the Humanities in 1987. Pease is the editor or co-editor of eight volumes including: The American Renaissance Reconsidered, Cultures of US Imperialism (with Amy Kaplan), Revisionist Interventions into the American Canon, Postnational Narratives and (with Robyn Wiegman) Futures of American Studies. Pease has directed two NEH Seminars for College Teachers and is presently the General Editor for the New Americanists book series at Duke University Press as well as the Founding Director of Futures of American Studies, a Summer Institute in American Studies held each summer at Dartmouth. The author of more than eighty essays, Pease is presently at work on American Studies after the New Americanists.
Rafael Pérez-Torres studies the intersection of contemporary U.S. culture with social configurations of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. He is particularly interested in the intersection between contemporary multicultural production and theories of postcoloniality and postmodernity. He is the author of Movements in Chicano Poetry: Against Myths, Against Margins (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Mestizaje: Critical Uses of Race in Chicano Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), and co-author of To Alcatraz, Death Row and Back: Memories of an East L.A. Outlaw (University of Texas Press, 2005). He also co-edited The Chicano Studies Reader: An Anthology of Aztlán 1970-2000 (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Publications, 2001). Other publications include "Chicano Ethnicity, Cultural Hybridity, the Mestizo Voice" (American Literature 70.1), "Refiguring Aztlán" (Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 22.2), "Between Presence and Absence: Beloved, Postmodernism, and Blackness" (A Casebook on Beloved edited by William Andrews and Nellie Y. McKay.. Oxford University Press, 1999), and "Nomads and Migrants - Negotiating a Multicultural Postmodernism" (Cultural Critique 26). He has served on the editorial boards of such journals as America Literary History, American Literature, Aztlán, and Contemporary Literature and regularly teaches courses on Chicano/a literature and culture, postmodernism and multiculturalism, and the novel and its theories.
Carla L. Peterson is Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, and affiliate faculty of the American Studies, African-American Studies, and Women's Studies Departments. In the American Studies Association, she was co-chair of the ASA 2003 Annual Meeting Program Committee, member of the John Hope Franklin Prize Committee in 1993-94, and served on the American Quarterly Board of Managing Editors and the Board of Advisory Editors. She is the author of "Doers of the Word": African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) and of numerous essays on nineteenth-century African American literature and culture. She is currently working on a book, tentatively titled Black Gotham: African American Family and Community in Nineteenth-Century New York, about nineteenth-century black New Yorkers as seen through the lens of family history. Peterson has been the recipient of fellowships from the Center of Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers, and the NEH. Beyond the academy, she is a current member of the Maryland Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and past member of the board of the Washington D.C. Humanities Council. She has participated in the TV documentaries, "Ticket to Freedom" and "Remembering Slavery." She has conducted numerous curriculum development workshops for public school teachers in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Internationally, she has served as a USIA academic specialist in American Studies at Quisqueya University, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and taught summer seminars in Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City.
Professor and Chair of English and Samuel Russell Chair in the Humanities at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches in the programs of American Studies, Critical Studies in Discourse and Society, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies as well as the Department of English. Her research, teaching and training are in the areas of American materialist feminist cultural studies. Her work considers the interlocking roles of cinema, photography, painting in and through literature and space in twentieth-century American social history. A feminist cultural historian, she has published widely on contemporary and modernist American women's art and literature. Her books explore hidden histories within working-class, pulp and popular cultures; they include Labor and Desire: Women's Revolutionary Fiction in Depression America (UNC, 1991), They Must Be Represented: The Politics of Documentary (Verso, 1994) and Black & White & Noir: America's Pulp Modernism (Columbia, 2002). She co-edited Writing Red: An Anthology of American Women Writers, 1930-1940 (Feminist Press, 1987) and has contributed articles and chapters on literary radicalism and film theory to many journals, anthologies and encyclopedia, such as, the recent Cambridge Companion to American Modernism, Encyclopedia of Documentary Film (Routledge), Modernism, Inc. (NYU). Her recent essays on art and culture have appeared in NY Arts, PAJ, Social Text, Legacy, Cineaste, Film International, Women's Studies Quarterly, T/Here among others, and have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Catalan and Chinese. Between 2003 and 2006, she was Project Director of VG/Voices from the Gaps, an award-winning international website on the Art and Writing of North American Women of Color comprised of student and professional writing. She has also co-curated gallery exhibits on women and pulp fiction and on women's sound installation art. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Mellon Fellowship, a Rockefeller Residency at Bellagio, Italy, a Senior Fellowship at the Oregon State Humanities Center and a Fulbright Professorship in Rome. She serves on the National Council of the American Studies Association and is currently a member of the Delegate Assembly, the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee and the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association, for which she previously was co-chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Professions.
President of the American Studies Association in 1998-99, Janice Radway is the author of Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature (1984) and A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste and Middle Class Desire (1997). She also served as Editor of American Quarterly jointly with Richard Beeman from 1983 to 1984 and then alone from 1984 to 1987. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies (declined) and has lectured widely throughout the U. S. and internationally. She is currently serving as co-editor with Carl Kaestle of volume 4 of the multi-volume work, History of the Book in America. She is beginning an ethnographic project on girls' self-generated cultural production that will deal with girls' zines, web pages, collages, decorated backpacks and other cultural products.
David Roediger is the Babcock Professor of History and of African American Studies at University of Illinois. He was born in southern Illinois in 1952 and educated in public schools in that state, with a B.S. in Ed from Northern Illinois University. He completed a doctorate in History at Northwestern in 1979. Roediger has taught labor and Southern history at Northwestern, University of Missouri and University of Minnesota. He has also worked as an editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers at Yale University. Currently the Babcock Chair of History at University of Illinois—Urbana/Champaign, he has written on U.S. movements for a shorter working day, on the history of radicalism and on the racial identities of white workers. His books include Our Own Time, The Wages of Whiteness, and Towards the Abolition of Whiteness, all from Verso, Colored White (California), History against Misery (Kerr)and Working Towards Whiteness (Basic). His edited books include an edition of Covington Hall's Labor Struggles in the Deep South (Kerr), and another of W.E.B. Du Bois's John Brown (Random House) as well as Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White (Schocken).
President of the American Studies Association in 2007-2008, Ruiz is the author or editor of eleven books, including the influential monograph From out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America. She is Professor of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at UC Irvine. Recipients of NEH and Ford Foundation Grants, she and Virginia Sanchez Korrol have recently co-edited the three-volume reference work, Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. She is immediate past president of the Organization of American Historians and the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.
President of the American Studies Association in 2002-2003; past president of the Association for Asian American Studies, 1999-2000; Professor and Chair of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington. Teaches and researches in Asian/Pacific American literature and interdisciplinary American Studies. Books: Asian American Literature of Hawaii: An Annotated Bibliography; And the View from the Shore: Literary Traditions of Hawai'i; A Resource Guide to Asian American Literature (with Sau-ling Cynthia Wong). With Marie Hara and Arnold T. Hiura, a co-founder of Talk Story, Inc.: The Hawaii Ethnic Resources Center, the organization that produced the Talk Story writers' conferences that launched the Local literary movement in Hawai'i beginning in 1976. Taught (English, American Studies, ethnic studies) at the University of Hawaii (1970s), Washington State University (1981-90), and the University of Michigan (1990-98), prior to working at the University of Washington.
Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar, is the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). His most recent book is the edited (with Carolyn de la Pena) collection, Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COM, Salon.com, openDemocracy.net, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Nation. After five years as a professional journalist, Vaidhyanathan earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, and now is an associate professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of Virginia and a fellow at both the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book.