Feb. 23 | Paying Attention 24/7: Columbo, neoliberalism, and the role of film-philosophy in Television Studies by Professor David Martin-Jones

Thursday, February 23, from 12 – 1:30pm, via Zoom Zoom Link: bit.ly/3Ydb2nb Organized and Moderated by Professor Minoo Moallem Why was Columbo such a good detective? Because he paid attention – to his work – 24/7. The real question, though, is why was Columbo – a show ostensibly about a shabby workaholic – so popular over so many decades (69 episodes from 1968 to 2003)? This paper will explore the latter question, focusing in particular on the memorable performance of Peter Falk as the absentminded but incisive sleuth. Falk’s distinctive […]

Mar 9 | Visual Documentation and the State by Professor Feng-Mei Heberer

Visual Documentation and the State by Professor Feng-Mei Heberer Thursday, March 9th, 12 – 1:30pm via Zoom Zoom Link: bit.ly/3kSdLE3 This talk revisits visual documentation and the documentary form in its intimate connection with state surveillance and the U.S. immigration and border police state specifically. Building on the work of self-ascribed “undocumented documentary filmmaker” Miko Revereza, I discuss the ways that visual documents such as the photograph have been wielded on behalf of U.S. immigration law and policy to control border crossings, and continue to serve as identificatory evidence in the […]

NEWS FOR STUDENTS: New Fellowship – Farmlink FIELD Project

From American Studies graduate Claire Rider: I’m reaching out because I want to share what I’ve been working on: an immersive fellowship in the food industry. I work full-time at The Farmlink Project now, and have been focused on increasing our social impact in the food space. For the past couple months, I’ve been working to leverage our relationships with food banks, farmers, and logistic organizations to create opportunities for students to get hands-on interaction with food system stakeholders. I’ve developed a fellowship program with a 10 week introductory curriculum and a 10 […]

New book by David Henkin: The Week – A History of the Unnatural Rhythms That Made Us Who We Are

An investigation into the evolution of the seven-day week and how our attachment to its rhythms influences how we live. “[Henkin] scours American literature, diaries, periodicals, menus and other ephemera from as far back as the seventeenth century to unearth fascinating evidence of the stickiness of the seven-day cycle.”—Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Wall Street Journal We take the seven-day week for granted, rarely asking what anchors it or what it does to us. Yet weeks are not dictated by the natural order. They are, in fact, an artificial construction of the modern […]

New book by Beth Piatote: The Beadworkers – Stories

In her debut short story collection, Beth Piatote (American Studies, English, and Comparative Literature) explores Native American life in the modern world. The stories find unifying themes in the strength of kinship, the pulse of longing, and the language of return: a woman teaches her niece to make a pair of beaded earrings while ruminating on a fractured relationship; in 1890, two young men at college — one French and the other Lakota — each contemplates a death in the family; a Nez Perce-Cayuse family is torn apart as they […]

New book by Andrew Shanken: The Everyday Life of Memorials

Analyzing their relationship to the pulses of daily life, professor of Architecture and Director of American Studies, Andrew M. Shanken investigates the fixture of memorials within modern cities in his latest book “The Everyday Life of Memorials.” Memorials are typically understood as sacred sites, for mourning or commemoration. They also figure as political places where groups of citizens battle over the meaning of events. Most of the time, however, memorials take their rest as ordinary objects, part of the street furniture of urban life. They only “turn on” for special days, such […]