Saint Louis University

Archive only. For news from 2011 to present, see the Department's Facebook page, linked from the American Studies home page.

News and Achievements for:


To add your own news to this list, send an email to the department.



Greg Stock (B.A., 2008) accepted a job offer from the Education Department at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco ( As Museum Educator, he will be responsible for producing the Friday Nights at the de Young, college programming, and academic symposia. 

Lauren Bozesky (B.A., 2010) is attending Southeast Missouri State University, where she plays soccer on scholarship and is working on her master's degree in Higher Education.

Rebecca Gorley (B.A., 2010) applied for, and was awarded, the College Hill Community Grant through a women's giving circle/non-profit called Women on Mission St. Louis. The amount was $52,000, it and will fund community work in the College Hill neighborhood for up to two years. Taking a comprehensive approach to addressing and reducing the prevalence of substance abuse in College Hill, Rebecca will work with residents, organizations and stakeholders developing reciprocal and collaborative partnerships to provide education, outreach, health screens and linkages to care.  She says, "Understanding political, cultural, economic and historical structures and their intersections plays a large role in my ability to facilitate effective and sustainable change that is informed and maintained by the community."

Hannah Koesterer (B.A., 2010) was accepted to Northwestern University School of Law and will begin her program in August 2011.  Hannah also won the SLU American Studies Department's Outstanding Senior Award in 2010.

Kate Reifsteck (B.A., 2008) is an analyst in the real estate department of the Grand Center.



Congratulations to Ph.D. Jackie Kirouac-Fram, who has received a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship.


2011 SLU American Studies Ph.D. graduate Robert Hawkins is the winner of the 2011 Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize of the American Studies Association. Rob is now a tenure-track assistant professor of history at Bradley University. The director of Rob's dissertation, "Natural Born Ease Man?: Work, Masculinity, and the Itinerant Black Musician," was Jonathan Smith, who is now in African American Studies here at Saint Louis University. SLU American Studies faculty member Susanne Wiedemann & ASTD Department Chair Matthew Mancini were the other members of the committee.

Congratulations to Becky Odom, who was accepted to the Third International Summer Academy 2011 on "Transatlantic American Studies: Democratic Cultures, Past and Present," organized by the Bavarian American Academy in Munich. The event will take place May 14 to 28 in Munich and Nuremberg.

The Department of History at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois has appointed Rob Hawkins a tenure-track assistant professor. Rob is on schedule to receive his PhD from the Department of American Studies in May; his committee members are Jonathan Smith (chair), Susanne Wiedemann, and Matthew Mancini.

Ph.D. student Jackie Kirouac-Fram's article, "'The Most Disturbing Aspects': Apprehending Public Reaction to Photographs of the 9/11 Jumpers" has been accepted for publication by the Radical History Review as part of their special "Historicizing 9/11" issue in August 2011.

Check out the debut of Turkish and Other Delights, the column on contemporary art in Turkey for the Art21 blog written by Elizabeth Wolfson, who earned her MA in American Studies in 2010. Elizabeth is currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Turkey. This column will run on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month through June, potentially to be continued on a less regular basis after Elizabeth's return to the U.S.

Ph.D. student Adam Kloppe's Master's Thesis, completed in the SLU American Studies Department, entitled "The Faculty of the World's University: The Congress of Arts and Science and the Universe of the 1904 World's Fair," has emerged from a university-wide competitive process to be put forward as Saint Louis University's nomination for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Thesis Award.  Now the thesis goes to a national competition.

Ph.D. student Nanette Boileau exhibited a collection of paintings, collectively entitled, "Heard But Not Said", at the Bruno David Gallery on Washington Boulevard in March and April of 2010.

Ph.D. student Brandy Boyd gave a conference paper at the 26th Annual International Country Music Conference, entitled "Waylon Jennings and the Rise of the Country Music Outlaw Movement".  At the Midwest Popular Culture/American Culture Conference in Detroit, Brandy presented a paper entitled, "An Historical Analysis of Slaves' Sorrow Songs and Appalachian Women's Music, 1880-1920".

Ph.D. student Michelle Cordone and her husband John Cordone co-authored a paper entitled, "Who is the Doctor?: The Meta-narrative of Doctor Who," which will be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in the forthcoming anthology Ruminations, Peregrinations, and Regenerations: A Critical Approach to Dr. Who.

Dr. Angie Dietz (2008), digital assets coordinator for the Missouri History Museum, appeared on the NPR program, "St. Louis On the Air" to discuss her role as the coordinator of the Skinker-Debaliviere History Project. You can hear the entire show here.  

Ph.D. student Brian Greening has an article forthcoming in the journal Invisible Culture, entitled "Spectacular Disaster: The Louisiana Superdome and Subsumed Blackness in Post-Katrina New Orleans".  

Ph.D. candidate Robert Hawkins's article "Natural Born Ease Man?: Masculinity, Vagrancy Law, and Furry Lewis's 'Kassie Jones' " was accepted by Callaloo. In 2009 and 2010, he presented papers at the Labor and Working-class History Association conference in Chicago, at the Space Between Society conference in South Bend, and at the ASA national meeting. Rob also received a SLU Brennan Fellowship, which funded research trips to the Newberry Library, Chicago History Museum, and New York City Municipal Archives. 

Master's Graduate Guangzhi Huang is now a Ph.D. student in the American Studies Department at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).

Ph.D. student Trevin Jones is an assistant professor of English at Saint Louis Community College - Meramec, where he has presented at their annual Diversity Speaker Series, lectured for the honors college on slave narratives and captivity, presented "Sharing Your Scholarship" at a faculty forum, and lectured on prison writing and African American masculinity. 

Ph.D. student Jackie Kirouac-Fram's article "To Serve the Community Best': Reconsidering Black Politics in the Struggle to Save Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, 1976-1984" was accepted by the Journal of Urban History. Jackie also presented her paper, "Picturing the Community: The McRee Town Neighborhood in Saint Louis, Missouri" at the American Studies Association (ASA) annual meeting in November, 2009. In the spring of 2010, she presented a paper at the Popular Culture Association national conference entitled "'Yellow Rolling Cell Blocks': Apprehending the Bus in the Montgomery Bus Boycott". Lastly, Jackie has an article forthcoming in the Journal of Radical History's "Historicizing 9/11" special issue.

 Dr. Suzanne Lee began teaching as a full-time faculty member at Missouri College in Brentwood.  She teaches a wide range of topics, including Career Success, Intro to Psychology, U.S. History, E-Comp, and Moral Philosophy.

Ph.D. student Michael McCollum had a book review accepted to the African American Review. He reviewed Hip Hop Underground: The Integrity and Ethics of Radical Identification by Anthony Kwame Harrison.

Ph.D. student Emmett McKenna presented at the Postcolonial Actualities: Past and Present conference at UT Austin with a paper entitled, "Postcolonial Harlem: The Postcolonial Identities of Afro-Caribbean Radicals".

Ph.D. student Eva Navarijo participated in the 2008 Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute (TASI) at the University of Minnesota on "Immigrants in Europe and North America: Representations of Self and Other".

Ph.D. candidate Clara Nunez-Regueiro's article, "¿La casa dividida?: Dinámica de los procesos de construcción de identidades nacionales en Estados Unidos," was published by the journal, Andes: Antropologia e Historia in 2008.

Ph.D. student Rebecca Preiss Odom received an Elizabeth Perkins Fellowship at the Museums of Old York in York, Maine, where she spent twelve weeks during the summer of 2009 providing interpretation for the museum and conducting research for future projects. She also participated in the German Historical Institute's Bosch Archival Seminar for Young Historians, a two-week seminar for German & U.S. scholars involving fully funded travel, seminars, and archival exploration across the U.S.

Ph.D. student Lou Robinson received the Playwright of the Year Award from the Missouri Association of Playwrights (MAP) for Secret Ways in 2000. MAP co-produced the winning play with Maryville University that year. Two 10-minute plays, Stoned and The Bench, won first place and first runner-up, respectively, in the E. Desmond Lee Playwriting competition in 2007. This summer, First Run Theatre produced The Bench, and a second play, The Water's Edge, as part of its Festival of Short Plays.

Ph.D. student Josh Roiland published an article entitled, "Getting Away From It All: The Literary Journalism of David Foster Wallace and Nietzsche's Concept of Oblivion", in Literary Journalism Studies.  Josh presented a paper at the Popular Culture Association national conference in Saint Louis, entitled, "War Stories: Reading Narrative in John Sack's 'M'".  Josh also presented papers at the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies conference in London and the NonFictioNow conference in Iowa City. Josh was a SAGES Teaching Fellow at Case Western Reserve, where he teaches on the history of literary journalism in America.

 Ph.D. candidate Jamie Schmidt Wagman presented at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in 2009, where she was on a panel entitled, "Feminist Memory: Archiving the Politics of Memory". Her article, "Women Reformers Respond during the Depression: Battling St. Louis's Disease and Immorality" was published in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Urban History. At the Popular Culture Association national conference in 2010 she presented a paper entitled, "The Population Bomb is Not Everyone's Baby: Uncovering Women's Voices in the United States' Population Control Movement Narrative".  In the 2009-10 academic year, Jamie received a Mary Lily Research Grant to visit the Sallie Bingham Center at Duke University, and a Clarke Chambers Travel Fellowship to visit the Social Welfare History Archive at the University of Minnesota. For the 2010-11 academic year, Jamie received a Travel-to-Collections grant from Smith College's Sophia Smith Collection.

Dr. Betsy Schroeder (Ph.D., 2008) received a contract from the University of Illinois Press for her book manuscript on the Chicago Black Renaissance, 1932-1945. The book began as a SLU American Studies dissertation under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Smith. Additionally, Betsy was appointed Visiting Professor of History at the College of William and Mary for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years.

 Ph.D. student Laura Shields is the 2010 recipient of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies Britches Scholar of the Year in recognition of her work as Associate Editor for the Journal for Critical Animal Studies. Founded in 2010, ICAS recognizes one graduate student who is working theoretically and practically on advancing animal rights activism and/or animal studies and research.  Laura also published a film review in the 2010 Journal for Critical Animal Studies.

 Ph.D. candidate Jody Sowell appeared on the NPR show, "St. Louis On the Air" on August 11, 2009 to discuss the "Zoo Memory Project" and the upcoming St. Louis Zoo Centennial exhibit at the Missouri History Museum, for which he is the curator. You can hear the entire program here.

Dr. Burton St. John has co-edited the volume, Public Journalism 2.0: The Promise and Reality of a Citizen-Engaged Press (Routledge 2010).

Ph.D. student Amanda Stiebel's co-edited anthology Are We Feeling Better Yet?: Women Speak About Healthcare in America was released by PenUltimate Press on December 1, 2008.

Master's student Elizabeth Wolfson's article, "Matching Bodies, Matching Souls: (Re)constructing Gender in Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe's Horses Photograph, was published in the online journal, Shift. See the article.  After completing her Master's Degree in 2010, Elizabeth is currently a Fulbright teacher in Turkey.

Dr. Ying Ye (Ph.D., 2007) was appointed full professor of American Studies in the English Department at Sichuan University. 



Dr. Benjamin Looker (faculty):

(2009-2010 academic year): Ben presented papers at the Popular Culture Association (PCA) national conference and at a symposium in Michigan on "Creative Adaptation".  He also had an article accepted to The Journal of Social History.

Dr. Matthew Mancini (faculty):

(2009-2010 academic year): Dr. Mancini published an article in the Journal of American Studies, out of Cambridge, entitled "From Oblivion to Apotheosis: The Ironic Journey of Alexis de Tocqueville".  Dr. Mancini gave the inaugural lecture at the ne Tocqueville Program at Indiana University in Bloomington, entitled "What's Wrong With Tocqueville Studies, and What Can Be Done About It". 

Dr. Cindy Ott (faculty):

(2009-2010 academic year): Dr. Ott wrote a review essay entitled "The Human Drama of Weather", to be published in the December 2010 issue of Reviews in American History.  Cindy has an article entitled "Cindy Ott's Object Analysis of the Giant Pumpkin" forthcoming in Environmental History.  Also, Dr. Ott had an article accepted by the journal Public Historian, based on her visual critique of Ken Burns' new documentary "The National Parks"; she presented this paper at the 2010 Organization of American Historians (OAH) annual meeting.

In 2009, Cindy was invited by the Organization of American Historians and the National Park Service to be a consultant for a new park interpretation plan at Joshua Tree National Park in California. Her duties involved a three-day visit to the park, meetings with park staff, and the composition of a 15-20 page recommendation for park interpretation, and the presentation of her ideas at a public meeting held at the park.

Dr. Jonathan Smith (faculty):

Dr. Susanne Wiedemann (faculty):

(2009-2010 academic year): Dr. Wiedemann presented a paper entitled "Connecting National Ruptures: U.S., West German, and East German Cultural Diplomacy in Lebanon, 1955-1970", at the Third International Conference at the American University of Beirut's Center for American Studies and Research.  She presented a paper entitled "The Photographs of Afghanistan and Iran" at the ASA annual meeting.  Susanne presented a paper entitled "Encoding Obama, Decoding Germany: The Many German Faces of Barack Obama" at the Fourth World Congress of the International American Studies Association in Beijing.  Dr. Wiedemann delivered the closing symposium remarks at the International Forum for U.S. Studies in Urbana-Champaign.  Also, with a team of graduate students, she organized the Second SLU Visual Culture Graduate Student Conference, with the theme "Urban Cuts: Appropriation and Resistance in the American City".

(2008-09 academic year): Susanne participated in the 2009 NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, "German Exile Culture in California," at Stanford University.