Detailed information about the course
American Studies: Looking Backwards and Forward
Prof. Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet
Dr Joanne Chassot, UNIL
Prof. Cynthia Wu, SUNY Buffalo
Prof. Tomasz Basiuk, University of Warsaw
American Studies is a field that has been quickly changing in recent years -becoming more transnational, more transatlantic, more multilingual and comparativist- to the extent that one can wonder how longer it will continue to make sense to talk about a field of 'American Studies.' In more practical terms, doctoral students can ask themselves if it will make sense for them to position or market themselves as 'Americanists' or if they should be looking for new categories and labels. At the same time, many younger scholars working in American Studies have little sense of the history of the field, as it emerged in the interwar years and took on a specific focus and shape during the Cold War -especially European American Studies- and how it has been evolving since the 1980s when it became more overtly politicized with the advent of the New American Studies (with scholars such as Donald Pease and John Carlos Rowe). This CUSO workshop aims to help students understand the history of their field and to invite them to reflect on their relationship to it, both ideologically, scientifically, and practically speaking, as they define their CV and online profiles and search for jobs. Two invited speakers will give talks on the earlier eras and future prospects of the field that all doctoral students working on American literature must position themselves in relation to. Students will participate in two workshops and two seminars. One workshop will invite them to reflect informally on their own academic relationship to the discipline of American Studies. Another workshop will allow them to present their research to the invited speakers and receive feedback. Finally there will be a seminar with each of the speakers around his or her own work in the field of American Studies or American Cultural Studies.
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