American Studies
American Studies

Division Street USA

Fri, September 18, 2009
Division Street USA

Keynote Address

Thursday, September 24 at 7 pm, GEA 105

This year, Dr. Eric Lott will serve as our keynote speaker. Dr. Lott is professor of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Virginia, and the author of the books Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (1993), The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual (2006), and Tangled Up in Blue: The Cultural Contradictions of American Racism (forthcoming).  His essays have appeared in journals including New Literary History, Representations, Minnesota Review, and Criticism, among others.

Further information on Dr. Lott and his work is available via his profile at the UVA web site.

Conference Panels

Friday, September 25 from 9 am-5:30 pm, Texas Union

The American Studies Graduate Student Committee at the University of Texas has organized annual graduate student conferences since 1992. Over time, the conference has grown from a small departmental event to one that draws graduate students from across the United States. The conference provides an important opportunity for graduate students in an array of disciplines to present their work in a collegial environment. In addition to more conventional academic works, we have historically included presentations from graduate students doing work in an array of formats, including creative writing and documentary film.

Barack Obama's campaign and subsequent election as President of the United States have triggered a renewed rhetoric of national "unity" that has not been common political currency since the era of civil rights expansion.  However, the nightly news broadcasts have highlighted some of the visible fissures in this rhetoric, from California's passage of Proposition 8 outlawing same-sex marriage, to Attorney General Eric Holder's comments regarding the status of African Americans in a "post-racial" America, and from the criticisms of President Obama himself regarding the freshly minted Council on Women and Girls in light of the dropoff in male high school graduation and college attendance rates, especially among working class men all ethnicities, to the continued tension regarding immigration and citizenship.  Although this conference encourages submissions dealing with all manner of subjects, this theme of unity and division in American culture is one under which a great deal of scholarly work can be mobilized, utilizing multiple disciplinary approaches and covering any historical period.  Consequently, we encourage proposals that explore the myriad conflicts and contradictions in America's past and present.  We also encourage proposals that not only explore the the explicitly political realm, but also the geographic, cultural, social, and economic conditions that have defined the American experience, from "Main Street" to "Division Street."

Sponsored by: Department of American Studies, College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies, Department of Radio Television Film, Center for Asian American Studies, Department of History, American Literary Group

Conference Website


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