Greetings from Franklin & Marshall’s American Studies Department! As I write the campus is abuzz with the usual activity of the new academic year. Looking back at the past year I recall occasions to celebrate student and faculty accomplishments. After 13 years of stellar service to our department, we were sad to say "farewell" to our colleague Greg Kaliss, who is headed to York College.
The descriptions of our many departmental activities in this newsletter show why American Studies remains a dynamic component of the liberal arts curriculum even when some people dismiss—incorrectly-- the humanities and social sciences as a cultural luxury that does not help students find jobs in our technologically advanced global economy.
One annual North Fund-supported lecture highlights the relevancy of American Studies on campus and beyond. This past February, Professor Cristina Perez organized a North Fund visit by A. Naomi Paik (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago), the author of Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary: Understanding U.S. Immigration for the 21st Century (2020, University of California Press) and the award-winning, Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps Since World War II (2016, UNC Press). Students discussed with Paik her project, "Sanctuary for All," that calls for the most capacious conception of sanctuary, one that brings together migrant and environmental justice.
This line from a recent “White Paper” published by the American Studies Association on the nature and significance of our discipline captures best our objectives in designing courses, speakers’ series, internships, and Hackman Scholar opportunities: “The work of American Studies takes place on campuses and in communities, in many different realms of scholarship and civic life, inside and outside the juridical and geographic boundaries of the nation state.”
Your support is essential in furthering the work of American Studies at F&M. Please contact me with questions and suggestions about the Department. We look forward to a productive 2022-23 academic year.
Chair and Professor of American Studies