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News of our American Studies community

Elaine Tyler May was appointed Regents Professor, the University’s highest academic honor, in June 2007. May is an internationally renowned scholar of 20th-century United States history and American studies. In 2008 she published the revised third edition of Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States, a college-level textbook, with Peter Wood, Jacqueline Jones, Thomas Borstelmann, and Vicki Ruiz.


M. Bianet Castellanos was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty during the 2008–09 academic year and is completing work on an Office of International Programs grant to develop a comparative and hemispheric approach to indigenous studies by bringing together Native American, Chicano, and Latin American scholars to collaborate. She published “Adolescent Migration to Cancún: Reconfiguring Maya Households and Gender Relations in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula" in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (2007) and was a guest editor with Deborah Boehm of “Engendering Mexican Migration: Articulating Gender, Regions, Circuits" in a special issue of the journal Latin American Perspectives (January 2008).

Brenda Child published “Wilma’s Jingle Dress: Ojibwe Women and Healing in the Early Twentieth Century" in Reflections on American Indian History: Honoring the Past, Building a Future, edited by Albert L. Hurtado with an introduction by Wilma Mankiller (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008). Child also published “Ojibwe Education at St. John’s and St. Benedict’s Indian Industrial School" in A Portrait of This Place Called Collegeville, 1856–2006 (Saint John’s University Press, 2006).

Kale Bantigue Fajardo received the President’s Faculty Multicultural Research Award for a book/video project titled “Islands, Cities, and Salas: Trans-local Queer Filipino Imaginaries, Cultural Productions, and Activism" and has been awarded an Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship for spring 2009. Fajardo wrote “Transportation: Translating Filipino/Filipino American Tomboy Masculinities through Seafaring and Migration" in Gay and Lesbian Quarterly (April 2008).

Roderick Ferguson wrote “Administering Sexuality, or The Will to Institutionality" in Radical History Review (winter 2008). He wrote “Sissies at the Picnic: The Subjugated History of a Black Rural Queer" in Feminist Waves, Feminist Generations: Life Stories of Three Generations in the Academy, 1968–1998 (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) edited by Hokulani Aikau, Karla Erickson, and Jennifer Pierce.

The Board of Regents conferred tenure on Trica Keaton and promoted her to associate professor. She received an Office of International Programs 2008–09 grant and during May session 2008 taught a course, Black Paris: The African Diaspora in the City of Lights, in France.

Lary May wrote “Inventing American Cold War Culture: Global Hollywood and Transnational Memory" in European Cold War Cultures (Bergham Books, 2008).

Jennifer Pierce, M. J. Maynes, and Barbara Laslett wrote Telling Stories: The Use of Personal Narratives in the Social Sciences and in History (Cornell University Press, 2008). Pierce and Wendy Leo Moore wrote “Still Killing Mockingbirds: Race and Innocence in Hollywood’s Depiction of the White Messiah Lawyer," published in Qualitative Sociology Review (August 2007).

The Graduate School named Riv-Ellen Prell to the Fesler-Lampert Chair in Public Humanities for 2007–08. Prell received the honor for interdisciplinary work that goes beyond the academy and contributes to the public good, reaching wider audiences for humanities scholarship and strengthening the relationship between the University and multiple publics. Prell also edited and wrote the introduction to Women Remaking American Judaism (Wayne State Press, 2007).

Graduate Students

Lisa Arrastia published “Capitals Daisy Chain: Exposing the Chicago Corporate Coalition" in the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (May 2007).

Joseph Bauerkemper received the 2008–09 Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ryan Cartwright received a four-year Jacob K. Javits Fellowship.

Daniel LaChance received the Erickson Legal History Summer Fellowship. He wrote “Last Words, Last Meals, and Last Stands: Agency and Individuality in the Modern Execution Process" in Law and Social Inquiry (summer 2007).

Alex Mendoza, Cathryn Watson, and Karissa White are all Ford Predoctoral Diversity Fellows. These fellowships are three-year awards.

Ryan Murphy and Daniel LaChance were named Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for the 2008–2009 academic year.

Juliana Pegues received a 2007–08 Theater Mu and Jerome Foundation New Performance Program Grant for playwrights. Her play Q&A was produced by Theater Mu and premiered at Mixed Blood Theater in May 2008. She published “Miss Cylon: Romancing the Asian American Female in Battlestar Galactica" in the journal MELUS: The Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature.

Trecia Pottinger received the Social Science Research Council–Mellon Mays Predoctoral Grant and the Ford Dissertation Fellowship.

Scott Shoemaker received a two-year Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellowship at Macalester College in St. Paul.

Emily Smith was awarded the University of Minnesota Yudof Fellowship in Science, Policy, and Ethics for 2008–09.

In addition, many American studies graduate students are active scholars presenting their work at the American Studies Association, Association for Asian American Studies, Society for Disability Studies, Association of American Geographers, Law and Society Association, Mid-American American Studies Association, Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, Working Class Studies Association, Oral History Association, UCLA Queer Studies, Cultural Studies Association, American Society for Ethnohistory, Organization for American Historians, and Native and Indigenous Studies Conference, among many other organizations.


Congratulations to our recent Ph.D.’s: Matthew Becker, “The Edge of Darkness: Youth Culture since the 1960s" (adviser: Lary May); Jill Doerfler, “Fictions and Fractions: Reconciling Citizenship Regulations with Cultural Values among the White Earth Anishinaabeg" (adviser: Jean O’Brien-Kehoe); David Gray, “Visualizing a Classless America: Motivational Campaigns in the Industrial Workplace, 1920–1955" (adviser: Lary May); Robin Hemenway, “ ‘The Efforts of Their True Friends’: African Americans and Child Welfare in New York, 1836–1930" (adviser: Elaine Tyler May); John Kinder, “Encountering Injury: Modern War and the Problem of the Wounded Soldier" (adviser: Lary May); Deirdre Murphy, “The Look of a Citizen: Representations of Immigration in Gilded Age Painting and Popular Press Illustration" (advisers: David Roediger and David Noble).

Joshua Barkan (Ph.D. 2006) is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Georgia. Wendy Geniusz (Ph.D. 2006) currently teaches at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, in the Department of American and Multi-cultural Studies. Jill Doerfler (Ph.D. 2007) and Heidi Stark (Ph.D. 2008) are assistant professors at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in the Department of American Indian Studies. Jason Ruiz (Ph.D. 2008) is an assistant professor of American studies at Notre Dame.