Saint Louis University

Blixen Lecture Series

The Mary and John Blixen Lecture Series

Largely due to a generous gift from SLU alumni Mary Blixen (Ph.D., American Studies, 2000) and John Blixen, the American Studies Department will offer a series of lectures by leading scholars in the field

(Columbia University)

Scrapbook Internationalism: Black Radicalism and the Archives of Hubert Harrison

This lecture focuses on the work of Hubert Harrison, the legendary black internationalist editor, street speaker, and writer who was one of the most prominent radical intellectuals active in Harlem in the 1920's. Harrison was also a bibliophile and scrapbook-maker, and the lecture will consider ways to read Harrison's visually stunning scrapbooks. What is the relationship between this seemingly "private" artisinal activity (clipping and pasting newspaper articles and other ephemera) and Harrison's committed activism in the public sphere? What would it mean to consider Harrison's compulsive archiving as central to his political radicalism?

Brent Hayes Edwards is a Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. His books include The Practice of Diaspora (2003), which was awarded the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, the Gilber Chinard Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies, and runner-up for the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association. With Robert O'Meally and Farah Griffin, he coedited Uptown Coversation: The New Jazz Studies (2004). His translation of Michel Leiris's Phantom Africa, for which he was awarded a PEN Translation Fund Grant, will be published in early 2016. His current projects include the monograph Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination (forthcoming from Harvard University Press); and a book project on "loft jazz" in downtown Manhattan in the 1970's.

Washington University)

The Globalization of American EvangelicalismMcAlister flyer

Prof. McAlister's talk draws on research for her book-in-progress on U.S. Christian evangelicals, popular culture, and international affairs, tentatively titled Our God in the World: The Global Visions of American Evangelicals.

Prof. McAlister is chair of the department of American Studies, and Associate Professor of American Studies, International Affairs, and Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. She is the author of Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and U.S. Interests in the Middle East since 1945 (2001, rev. ed. 2005), and the coeditor, with R. Marie Griffith, of Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States (2008). She has published in numerous academic journals, including the Journal of American History and the American Quarterly, and has contributed to many international media outlets, including the Washington Post, The Nation, PBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, and national television stations in Germany, Austria, and Iran.

(University of Michigan)

Toward an American Indian Abstract: What an Unknown Artist Might Tell Us About Celebrity, the 1930s, Anthropology, Culture, Politics and a Few Other Things Besides

Deloria flyerBetween 1928 and the mid-1940s, Dakota Sioux artist Mary Sully produced a compelling body of work at the interface of modernist aesthetics, industrial design, and Sioux visual tradition. In a combination of close readings and rich contextualizations, Professor Deloria explores her wide-ranging vernacular intellect and makes a case for her place in the canon of 1930s art.

Philip J. Deloria is the Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Michigan. His published works include Playing Indian (for which he was awarded the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award) and Indians in Unexpected Places (for which he was awarded the John C. Ewers Prize for Ethnohistorical Writing by the Western History Association). Professor Deloria served as President of the American Studies Association (2008–2009) and on the National Council of the Organization of American Historians (2007–2010). Professor Deloria has been the recipient of fellowships from the Institute of Humanities at the University of Michigan  and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has been a guest lecturer at institutions throughout the United States including Yale University, Harvard University, and the Smithsonian Institution, and has been an invited lecturer at conferences in Japan, Taiwan, Greece, and Finland.   

(Boston College)

Hollywood on the Charles: A Provincial Backwater Goes Global 

Boston has become a significantRotella flyer location in global popular culture, with the result that details of accent, comportment, cultural style, etc. that were until recently used by only a relative handful of locals in order to microscopically calibrate class and ethnic affiliation have suddenly begun to circulate all around the world. This has happened mostly thanks to The Departed, The Fighter, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and many other movies like them. The boom in Boston movies, thanks to Massachusetts's film tax credit and a self-consciously globalized age's hunger for what feels like the local, affords us a chance to think about what happens when a previously ignored region takes cultural center stage.

Carlo Rotella is Director of American Studies and Professor of English at Boston College. His books include Cut Time, Good with Their Hands, October Cities, and, coming in fall 2012, Playing in Time: Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories. He has held Guggenheim, Howard, and Du Bois fellowships and U.S. Speaker and Specialist Grants from the State Department to lecture in China and Bosnia. He has received the Whiting Writers Award, the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award, and The American Scholar's prizes for Best Essay and Best Work by a Younger Writer. He is an editor of the "Chicago Visions and Revisions" series at the University of Chicago Press. He writes for the New York Times Magazine and the Washington Post Magazine, he writes a regular op-ed column for the Boston Globe, he's a commentator for WGBH FM, and his work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Critical Inquiry, American Quarterly, The American Scholar, Raritan, Transition, Harper's, DoubleTake, Boston, Slate, The Believer, TriQuarterly, and The Best American Essays.

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