The following is a registry of completed doctoral dissertations in American Studies and American Ethnic Studies as reported by Ph.D. degree-granting programs in the United States.  This list is based on requests to American Studies and American Ethnic Studies programs for lists of doctoral dissertations completed between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.  The request was sent to forty-one different universities, some with multiple Ph.D. degree-granting departments in the relevant fields.

The following programs either did not respond, or had no completed dissertations to report: University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Baylor University; Bowling Green State University; Brown University; University at Buffalo (SUNY); California State University, Sacramento; University of California, Berkeley; Emory University; Florida State University; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Michigan State University; Montana State University; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Pennsylvania State University; Rutgers University; Temple University; University of Utah; Washington State University; Washington University in St. Louis; and University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

The report contains entries whose titles suggest the broad range of topics and diverse methodologies that American Studies scholars are exploring.  A complete alphabetical listing of American Studies Dissertation Abstracts from 1986-2010 and past surveys are available from the online ASA Archive at (click on resources).


Anthony Buccitelli. “Southie is My Hometown: The Translocal and Transnational Production of Space and the Folklore of Ethnic Neighborhoods”

Kerri Greenidge. “Bulwark of the Nation: The Northern Black Press, Political Radicalism, and Northern Civil Rights, 1859-1919”

Gillian Mason. “Censorship, Obscenity, and American Culture: 1970-1986”

Ruth Ann Murray. “Through their Stomachs: Serving Up Shaker to the World’s People”

Colin Root. “Living on the Level: The Significance of Horizontality in Shaping Cold-War America”

Francine Weiss. “Visual Verses: Edward Weston’s Photographs for Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1941-1942”

BROWN UNIVERSITY (2) [updated, 1/2013]

Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska. “Bicentennial Memory: Postmodernity, Media, and Historical Subjectivity in the United States, 1966-1980”

Aiko Takeuchi-Demirci. “Conceiving National Bodies: The Trans-Pacific Politics of Birth Control and Eugenics, 1920s-1950s”


Kristian Jensen. “The Birth of Literary Ethnography: Struggles with Anthropology in Antebellum America”

John Mac Kilgore. “The Revival of Revolt: Enthusiasm and Event in US Literature from the American Revolution to the Civil War”

Sarah Juliet Lauro. “The Modern Zombie: Living Death in the Technological Age”


Ayako Sahara. “Globalized Humanitarianism: US Imperial Formation in Asia and the Pacific through the Indochinese Refugee Problem”

Ma Vang. “Displaced Histories: Refugee Critique and the Politics of Hmong American Remembering”


Sari Altschuler. “National Physiology: Literature, Medicine, and the Invention of the American Body 1789-1860”

Talia Argondezzi. “The Transnational Body in American Literature”

Louis E. Bury. “Exercises in Criticism: The Theory and Practice of Literary Constraint”

Jessica Wells Cantiello. “The American Teacher Memoir: From Confessions to the Inspirational True Story”

Lauren Klein. “Matters of Taste: Eating, Aesthetics, and American Identity, 1720-1865”

Kevin Wayne Lambert. “Witness to the Mad City Asylums: Composing the Self in Early Cold War Madhouse Literature”

Justin Rogers-Cooper. “Embodied Politics: Crowds in Late Nineteenth Century American Fiction”

Joylette E. Williams. “Rememory: Memoir and Testimony on Women’s Human Rights in the Global South”

Valeri Whitmer. “The Sounds of War: Radio, the Aural Experience and National Consensus in World War II”


Ramzi Fawaz. “Heroic Measures: Comic Book Superheroes and the Cultural Politics of Popular Fantasy in Postwar America”

Eid Ahmed Mohamed. “Who Defines Me: Orientalism Revisited and Occidentalism Redefined in Post 9/11 Era”

John O’Keefe. “From Legal Rights to Citizens’ Rights and Alien Penalties: Migrant Influence”

Brian Santana. “Slavery and Suffering: William Lloyd Garrison and American Abolitionism in Memory and Literature”

Kimberley Yates. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised? Black Nationalist Comedians Shape Mainstream Culture Through Television, 1975-2005”


Peter Geller. “Making Blackness, Making Policy”

Cameron Van Patterson. “A Black Presence Disclosed In Absence: The Politics of Difference in Contemporary Art”


David Doolin. “Irish-America and the Fenian Invasion of Canada”


Siobhan Carter-David. “Fashioning Essence Women and Ebony Men: Sartorial Instruction and the New Politics of Racial Uplift in Print, 1970-1993”

Steven Davis. “Weird Modernism: The Technologies of Affect and the Body in Pulp Fiction”

Keith Eberly. “‘A Second Life’: FDR’s Liberal Dream in American Memory”

Lydia Garver. “The German American Consumer: Ethnicity, Opportunity, and Community”

Kellie Hogue. “‘We Are All Related’: Kinship, Identity, and Pilgrimage in the Kateri Movement”

Amanda Keeler. “Sugar-Coat the Educational Pill: The Educational Promise of Emergent Film, Radio and Television”

Kate Lemay. “Forgotten Memorials: The American Cemeteries in France from World War II”

David Naze. “Kansas City, Congress, and Cooperstown: Re-Remembering the Cultural Legacy of Jackie Robinson”

Shira Segal. “Home Movies and Home Birth: The Avant-garde Childbirth Film and Preganancy in New Media”


Eric D. Johnson. “Crossover Narratives: Race, Genre, and Authenticity in 20th Century American Popular Music”

Cinda Nofziger. “Vacation Views: Tourist Photography in the American West, 1945-1980”

Charles F. Williams. “Eros in America: Freud and the Counter-Culture”

Steven Williams. “Smudging the Book: The Role of Cultural Authority in Tribal Historical Narratives and Revitalization at Rocky Boy”


Jo Zanice Bond. “Race, Place, and Family: Narratives of the Civil Rights Movement in Brownsville, Tennessee, and the Nation”

Hong Cai. “The ‘Dear Diane’ Letters and the Encounter of Chinese Young Women in Contemporary America”

Sang Jo Kim. “Gendered Migration: Korean Diaspora in Kansas and Korean Military Brides”

Megan Williams. “Performing Lena: Representation, and the Postwar Autobiographical Performances of Lena Horne”


Ruth Orstein Bergman. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Goes Upscale: Redevelopment as Neighborhood Cleansing”

Robert Keith Chester. “World War II and U.S. Cinema: Race, Nation, and Remembrance in Postwar Film, 1945-1978”

Robert L. Hernandez. “Archival Body/Archival Space: Queer Remains of the Chicano Art Movement, Los Angeles, 1969-2009”

Henrike Lehnguth. “Into the Dark Chamber of Terror: ‘The War on Terror’ in Visual Culture”

Justin Thomas Maher. “The Capital of Diversity: Difference, Development, and Placemaking in Washington, D.C.”

Christine Marie Muller. “The World is Old and New Again: Cultural Trauma and September 11, 2001”

Jason Anthony Nichols. “‘You Ain’t Messin’ Wit’ My Dougie’: Black Masculinities in Post-Millennium Hi-Hop Song and Dance”

Manouchka Poinson. “Creating Spaces of Home: Haitian Women’s Journey of Migration, ‘Lakay!’”

Melissa Kim Reddy. “Browngirl Narratives: Exploring Coming of Age in the Golden Era of Hip Hop (1986-1996)”

Marcia Bebianno Simoes. “The Social Construction of Activism: Immigrant Latina Domestic Workers’ Cultural Traditions throughout their Life Courses”

Amelia Selene Wong. “Museums, Social Media, and the Fog of Community”


Puspa Damai. “Welcoming Strangers: Hospitality in American Literature and Culture”

Tayana Hardin. “Rituals of Return in African American Women’s Twentieth Century Literature and Performance”

Sharon Lee. “The (Geo) Politics of Beauty: Race, Transnationalism, and Neoliberalism in South Korean Beauty Culture”

John Low. “Chicago’s First Urban Indians - the Potawatomi”

Lisa Suhair Majaj. “Transformative Acts: Arab American Writing/Writing Arab America”

Stephanie Nohelani Teves. “We’re all Hawaiians Now:  Kanaka Maoli Performance and the Politics of Aloha”

Kiara Vigil. “Stories in Red and Write:  Indian Intellectuals and the American Imagination, 1880-1930”


Melanie Armstrong. “Bio+Terror: Security, Science, Simulation”

Theresa J. Córdova. “Recordando Nuestra Gente: Ritual Memorialization Along the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro”

Pamela Gravagne. “The Becoming of Age: How Discourses of Aging and Old Age in Contemporary Popular Film Both Reinforce and Reimagine the Narrative of Aging as Decline”


James Ball III. “Theatre of State: the Performative Production of International Community”

Jennifer L. Joy. “Spasm: Choreographic encounters with the visual”

Sarah Kozinn. “The Television Ate the Courtroom: the Pedagogy and Performativity of Judge TV”

Debra Levine. “Demonstrating ACT UP: The Ethics, Politics and Performances of Affinity”

Michelle Lindenblatt. “Animal/Event: Performance, Activism, and Animal Rights”

Megan V. Nicely. “Choreography from the Outside: Dance Experiments in Thinking, Perception, and Language after 1960”

Shante Smalls. “Heretics of Hip Hop: Performing Gender, Race and Sexuality in New York City, 1975-2005”

Cristal Truscott. “Black Performance UnChurched: Representations of Muslims in Early African American Theatre and Performance Traditions”

Jeanne Vaccaro. “handmade: the everyday feelings and textures of transgender embodiment”


Philathia R. Bolton. “Making Dead and Barren: Black Women Writers on the Civil Rights Movement & the Problem of the American Dream”

Mark R. Bousquet. “Driftin’: Round the World in a Blubber Hunter’: Nineteenth Century American Whaling Narratives”

Jamie E. Hickner. “History Will One Day Have Its Say”: Patrice Lumumba and the Black Freedom Movement”

Heidi R. Lewis. “‘She still missed her daddy sometimes’: Black Women’s Post-Civil Rights Father-Daughter Narratives”

Kathleen S. Mullins. “‘Let Women Build Houses’: American Middle-Income, Single-Family Housing in the 1950s and the 1956 Women’s Congress on Housing”

Charles Park. “Between a Myth and a Dream: The Model Minority Myth, the American Dream, and Asian Americans in Consumer Culture”

Erik C. Wade. “Constituting Whiteness: The National Horse Thief Detective Association and Racial Mores in Indiana, 1850-1930”


Robert Hawkins. “Natural Born Ease Man?: Work, Masculinity, and the Itinerant Black Musician”

Joshua Roiland. “Engaging the Public: Toward a Political Theory of Literary Journalism”

Jody Sowell. “Divided Discourse: The Kerner Report & Stories of Separate and Unequal”

Jamie Schmidt Wagman. “Our Pill, Ourselves: American Anxieties Surrounding Oral Contraception, 1956-2000”


Anh Thang Dao. “Writing Exile: Vietnamese Literature in the Diaspora”

Jesus Hernandez. “Bastard Diasporas: Illegitimacy, Exile, and U.S. Cuban Cultural Politics”

Nisha Kunte. “Moving Parts: Reconfiguring Corporeal Difference and the Human through Organ Transplant Narratives”

Viet Le. “Return Engagement: Contemporary Art’s Traumas of Modernity and History in Diasporic Sà i Gòn and Phnom Penh”

Sharon Luk. “The Life of Paper: A Poetics”

Micaela A. Smith. “Conditions of Belonging: Life, Historical Preservation and Tourism Development in the Making of Pelourinho-Maciel, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, 1965-1985”

Anthony Sparks. “Image Breakers, Image Makers: Producing Race, America, and Television, 1999-2009”


Gavin Benke. “Electronic Bits and Ten Gallon Hats: ENRON, American Culture and the Postindustrial Political Economy”

Andrew Busch. “Entrepreneurial City: Race, the Environment, and Growth in Austin, Texas, 1945-2011”

John Cline. “Permanent Underground: Radical Sounds and Social Formations in 20th Century American Musicking”

Chiyuma Elliott. “Blackness and Rural Modernity in the 1920’s”

Christina Garcia Lopez. “Social Violence, Social Healing: The Merging of the Political and the Spiritual in Chicano/a Literary Production”

Daniel Gerling. “American Wasteland: A Social and Cultural History of Excrement, 1860-1920”

Craig Hillis. “The Austin Music Scene in the 1970s: Songs and Songwriter”

Carly Kocurek. “Masculinity at the Video Game Arcade: 1972-1983”

Stephanie Kolberg. “Spaces of Indulgence: Desire, Disgust and the Aesthetics of Mass Appeal”

Kwangjin Lee. “A Study on Jack London’s The Call of the Wild: An Application of Organizational Behavior Theories”

Sasha Vliet. Swerve: “A Memoir of Identity in Three American High Schools”

Allison Wright. “Gender, Power, and Performance: Representations of Cheerleaders in American Culture”


Derrick R. Spires. “Black Theories of Citizenship in the Early United States, 1793-1860”


Erika Abad. “Is There Potential for Eden on Division Street: Anti-Colonial Discourse, Migration and the God of Nationalism”

Stephen Bischoff. “Expressions of Resistance: Intersections of Filipino American Identity, Hip Hop Culture, and Social Justice”


Erin Delvin. “Justice is a Perpetual Struggle: Public Memory and the Little Rock School Desegregation Crisis”

Margaret Freeman. “To Seek the Good, the True, and the Beautiful: White Greek-Letter Sororities in the U.S. South and the Shaping of American Ladyhood, 1915-1975”

Wendy Gonaver. “The Peculiar Institution: Gender, Race and Religion in the Making of Modern Psychiatry, 1842-1932”

Ryan McDonald. “Reengineering Global Higher Education: American Polytechnics, Transnationalization, and Cultural Configuration”


Francesca Ammon. “Culture of Clearance: Waging War on the Landscape in Postwar America”

Kathleen Belew. “Mercenaries Paramilitarism and the Racist Right from Vietnam to Oklahoma City”

Ryan Brasseaux. “Ensemble on est capable: Memory Cultural Politics and the Rise of l’Amerique francaise”

Aaron Carico. “The Free Plantation: Slavery’s Institution in America 1865 - 1910”

Laura Grappo. “Home & Other Myths: A Lexicon of Queer of Inhabitation”

Perin Gurel. “Wild Westernization: Gender Sexuality and the United States in Turkey”

Sara Hudson. “Crossing Stories: Circulating Citizenships in an Americas du Golfe”

Amanda Izzo. “The Commandment of Love: Liberal Christianity and Global Activism in the Young Women’s Christian Association of the USA and the Maryknoll Sisters 1907 - 1980”

Deborah March. “Reframing Blackness: The Photograph and African American Literary Modernism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”

April Merleaux. “Sugar and Civilization: Race Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness in the United States 1898 - 1939”

Ana Minian. “Undocumented Lives: A History of Mexico-U.S. Migration from 1965 to 1986”

Nicholas Parrillo. “Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in America Government 1780 - 1940”

Miriam Posner. “Depth Perception: Narrative and the Body in American Medical Filmmaking”

Tuire Valkekari. “Passages to (Be)Longing: Contemporary Black Novels of Diaspora and Dislocation”