If you’re able to join us at Slattery’s (http://slatterysmidtownpub.com/) for a celebratory happy hour drink at 4p on Thursday, 10 May, we could thank you in person for your participation in the RevAmStudies initiative this year. And, realizing this message goes out all too late, we know you may not be able to take up this invitation, so we want to thank you all in this fashion as well.
We’ve had a remarkable year of collective hard thinking, infused with quite a bit of laughter and a great deal of generosity, to advance the work of thinking in and through American studies with an eye toward, as Eric Lott put it during his visit with us, deploying “revolution” as an intellectual strategy. Ten scholars representing vital lines of critical inquiry visited with us as part of this initiative in AY2011-12: Roderick Ferguson (U of Minnesota, American Studies); Priscilla Wald (Duke U, English, ASA President 2011-12); Leti Volpp (U of California Boalt College of Law; co-sponsored with the Mellon Committee on Globalization and Social Change); Anne McClintock (U Wisconsin, Madison, English); Jodi Melamed (Marquette U, English); Bruce Burgett (U Washington, Bothell, Interdisciplinary Studies); Glenn Hendler (Fordham U, English and American Studies); Nayan Shah (UC San Diego, History); Eric Lott (U Virginia, English); Chandan Reddy (U Washington, Seattle, English; co-sponsored with the Policed! seminar series of the Center for the Humanities). We also collaborated with the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis on the “Multiple Futures of Gender and Sexuality Studies” panel, and sponsored student participation in the Baltimore American Studies Association Meeting. We have, in short, had a lively year.
Throughout the year, we have been appreciatively struck by the ways that the discussions at the seminars often focused on methodology and professionalization, and they modeled the kind of critical generosity that, in our view, characterizes the best ways of inhabiting the academy. This is, we know, not only a function of the visitors, but is also very much an indication of the openness of all who participated, and we are grateful.
We remain also deeply grateful to GC President William Kelly, whose substantive and material commitment to this effort has been important in ways that cannot be overstated; to Sandy Robinson in the President’s office, for her enormous patience and exceptional effectiveness in helping us realize the initiative programming, and to the President’s office more broadly as well; to the Center for the Humanities, and especially its director, Aoibheann Sweeney, for her engaged support of this endeavor, and the Center’s Sam Starkweather, who has been instrumental in keeping us going; and very much to Christopher Eng and Cambridge Ridley Lynch, our student collaborators, for their colleagiality and good humor.
As we look ahead to next year, we are still getting our proverbial ducks in a row. Among the different events we hope to offer include a session focused on critical pedagogies; one organized around the 20th anniversary of the publication of Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic; events that push us to reflect critically on the temporal and spatial protocols by which American studies are framed; and in concert with the American Studies Certificate Program, a session devoted to grant-writing. Though much remains to be planned, we are exceptionally pleased to be able to announce that our kick-off lecture and seminar session is scheduled for FRIDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER, and will feature Professor J. JACK HALBERSTAM — details to be announced toward summer’s end. Please save the date!
As always, we’re happy to hear from you as to suggestions for programming, both in content and kind.
We hope to see you on Thursday, and in any event, offer our best wishes for a smooth end of year and a terrific summer.
Kandice & Duncan