Race, gender and pop culture to be considered at Fairfield University's second annual American Studies conference


Image: Kelley CenterRacial identity, teen heroines and zombies are just some of the varied topics on the program for the second annual Celebrating American Studies Conference at Fairfield University on Saturday, March 8 at Alumni House on campus. The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and includes lunch. Registration is required.

The day's keynote speaker is Carla L. Peterson, Ph.D., professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, who will deliver "Black Cosmopolitanism and the Re-Shaping of African American Local and National Identities (1830-1910)."

Throughout the rest of the day, students, faculty, alumni and community members are invited to share and celebrate American Studies scholarship within and across disciplines. Panels will be composed of undergraduate and graduate students, alumni and faculty.

"This conference showcases the dynamism of student scholarship in American Studies and attests to the robustness of the graduate and undergraduate programs at Fairfield University," said Peter Bayers, Ph.D., co-director of the American Studies Program.

This year's panel titles are: "Zombies! Knock-Outs! and the Fourth Estate: Fixations in Popular Culture;" "Crafting Racial and Ethnic Identity in American Media;" "Imagined Gender Ideals: ‘Hysterical' Patients, Choice Moms, and Teen Heroines;" and "The Material Origins of American Plays, Punk Rock, and Chemistry Departments."

"Last year's American Studies conference was a watershed event in the history of American Studies at Fairfield U.," said Martha LoMonaco, Ph.D., professor of theatre and co-director of the American Studies Program. "It allowed us to bring together graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, the general public interested in AS topics, and a major American Studies scholar, who spoke about race and racism in America under the Obama presidency, to share research, writing, and topics of mutual interest. It was a grand day for us all, supplemented by good food and drink and lots of time to chat informally about the papers presented."

The event is free, but registration is required. To register, visit www.fairfield.edu/asconference. For more information, contact Dr. LoMonaco at mlomonaco@fairfield.edu or Dr. Bayers at pbayers@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 14, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 174