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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

GEOG 8240 Spring 2012

GEOG 8240: Medical Geography: Critical Approaches to Health will be taught by Prof. Abigail Neely this spring on Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:30pm. Click here for a course description.

"Politics, New Media, and Inequality" talk

The Gender, Sexuality, Power, and Politics colloquium series is hosting a talk "Politics, New Media, and Inequality: From the Occupy Movement to the 2012 Elections" by Professor Cathy Cohen (University of Chicago) on Thursday, January 19th at 4pm in the Cowles Auditorium. Click here for an event flyer.

New library resources

Our librarian, Nancy Herther, has shared research resources and information on in-class presentations for your spring 2012 courses.

Doing research over break? Trying to get organized?
Here are ten ideas to help you do your research - or just get a break from your studies - from your University Libraries!
1.) Chat with a Librarian 24/7 even during break! If you have a quick question or need some basic help, just log on!
2.) Have a great article but want to see who else has cited it since it was published? Use a database like Web of Science/Knowledge or Google Scholar. Search for the title of the original article (in quotes in Google). Look for the "Cited by" link to see who has cited it recently. Click "Find it" to get to the full text. Tip: Be sure to connect to Google Scholar's full text from off campus.
3.) Try a new citation tool to collect, organize and create in-text citations in seconds...Zotero and Mendeley have lots of great features.
4.) Register for a Library workshop in January (on RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley, Formatting your Thesis/Dissertation and more)
5.) See our suggestions for Productivity Tools and Tools for Alerts and Feeds to help make your time more effective and your research more efficient!
6.) Try Google Books to search through the full text of millions of books [this is very different than a MNCAT search which only searches author, title and maybe table of contents]. If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given permission, you'll be able to see a preview of the book. If you see one you like, click "Get this book in print>Find in a Library" to see if we have it. Or request through Interlibrary Loan (full book or chapter). Also explore HathiTrust, which brings together the immense collections of 60+ partner institutions in digital form.
7.) Do you have or are you going to get an e-reader over the holidays? Explore our e-book collections and download to your device.
8.) Soon you will be able to log-in to Interlibrary Loan with your Internet ID? Get ready for the upcoming change.
9.) Discover how the Libraries can help you with your teaching including Course Reserves, the Library Course Page link in Moodle, an in-class librarian taught session (email me herther@umn.edu), and more.
10.) We have fabulous collections of world-class fiction, nonfiction and magazines that will take you away to new worlds - thousands of DVDs to both stimulate and enjoy! We have exhibits up in the Libraries now as well! This isn't called a "break" for nothing! Use our resources to enrich your life and get away from the stress of research for awhile!
Want to learn more, please send Nancy an email (herther@umn.edu). She can response via email or can set up a time to meet in January to talk about your research or questions in more detail.
Here are some options for what I can do for you Spring term (or anytime):
As you may know, instruction has been a major effort and priority for me. If you'd want, I could come to your classroom or do a session - hands-on or presentation - related to their specific assignments or needs.
Here are some examples of what I can do in these sessions:
* In-class presentations on how the Libraries can support their secondary research.
* Tours of significant collections/services.
* Demos of specific databases to be used by students in their projects.
* Tips on using the Web for research.
* Hands-on workshops on using databases or the Web.
We have both classroom (up to 50 students) and hands-on lab (limit of 25) facilities available in Wilson Library for instruction. Otherwise, I am available (with some technological assistance) to come to your classroom to speak with students.
For available guides, check out this site that lists many guides related to the discipline or to special topics and classes:
American Studies @ http://www.lib.umn.edu/libdata/page.phtml?page_id=2090
Often students need personal assistance with their research - finding information, refining their topics, etc. If you want, please feel free to include Nancy Herther's name and contact information for your students on the class syllabus, Moodle or web page. If students need help, I'm here to do whatever I can to assist them in their research.
Another new service of the Libraries is our link to some resources - albeit very general resources - to support classes throughout your department. The "Course Resources" tab on the libraries' home page allows students to get a quick, short list of databases and others tools to help them find the best information quickly.

PCard Receipts due

Please submit receipts for all December PCard purchases to Laura by Tuesday, January 3rd.

Click here for a blank coversheet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Annual Student Activites Report (SAR) Due by Wednesday, February 1, 2012; Annual Meeting with Adviser meeting between February 1 and February 22

The Graduate School requires an annual review of student progress for each graduate student. The department process for annual review includes a meeting with your adviser(s). Meetings should be scheduled between February 1 and February 22. Students are also required to submit a Student Activites Report (SAR) each calendar year. Please submit your SAR to Melanie (stein196@umn.edu) by Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

The graduate school requires an annual review of student progress for each graduate student. The department process for annual review includes a meeting with your adviser(s). Please make an appointment with your adviser(s) to discuss your academic progress toward the degree. Goals, problems, research interests, and timelines for
completion should be reviewed. Meetings should be scheduled between February 1 and February 22. After the meeting, your adviser will submit a brief written report to the DGS. We will be in contact with each adviser to remind them of the department process and deadlines.
Students are also required to submit a Student Activities Report (SAR) each calendar year. Cumulative information from collected SARs -- which includes information about research, teaching, publication, conference participation, honors, and service activities in the 2011 calendar year-- is important for the department, graduate school, and college in assessing the activities of the graduate program. Please submit your SAR (template attached below) to Melanie (stein196@umn.edu) by Wednesday, February 1, 2012. We encourage you to submit a copy of this report to your adviser at this time as well as advisers have noted that your SAR is a helpful guide to facilitate a broader discussion of your research and professional goals.
For more information on the annual review please check the Graduate Handbook , available at http://americanstudies.umn.edu/grad/handbook.html
SAR Template 2011.docx

CFP: EXTENDED DEALINE "Battleground States" at Bowling Green State University February 2012

Bowling Green State University's Cultural Studies Scholar's Organization is pleased to invite submissions for the seventh annual Battleground States Conference: "3R: Response, Re/Actions, and Revolt". Battleground States is an interdisciplinary conference fostering an open and productive environment for scholars, artists, and activists to present their work in an intellectually stimulating environment. The conference will be held February 23-26, 2012 at the Bowling Green State University Campus. Submission deadline EXTENDED TO: January 8th, 2012.

The Culture Club: Cultural Studies Scholar's Organization at Bowling
Green State University is pleased to announce the seventh annual
Battleground States Conference. Battleground States is an
interdisciplinary conference fostering an open and productive
enviroment for scholars, artists, and activists to present their work
in an intellectually stimulating environment. The title for this year
's conference is 3R: Response, Re/Actions, and Revolt. This is a call
to scholars, activists, students, educators, artists or anyone seeking
responses and solutions to the current state of society.
The conference will be held on Thursday February 23rd- Sunday February
26th at the Bowling Green State University campus.

Abstracts of 300 words should be sent to battlegroundstates@gmail.com and must be
submitted no later than December 15th, 2011. Submissions should include media
equipment requests and any special presentation requests. Panel, performance, and
artistic display proposals are welcome and should include a 300-word abstract and
contact information for all participants.
Please see Battleground States CFP 2012 .pdf or visit our website for information about The Culture Club and Battleground States: www.battlegroundstates.org
All other enquiries should be directed to Elisabeth Woronzoff, Culture Club President,

CFP: Fueling Culture: Energy, History, Politics

Submissions are invited for the collection "Fueling Culture: Energy, History, Politics". This collection of scholarly essays, brief reflections, and info blurbs will focus on intersections between energy, history, and a range of cultural formations including literature, film, art, digital media, and popular culture. Abstract deadline: March 15, 2012.

Resource depletion and anxiety arenot new, nor is the paralyzing knowledge that a particular form of energy isharmful or unsustainable. How has ourrelation to energy changed over time? What differences do specific energysources make to human values and politics ? How have changing energy resourcestransformed culture?
This collection of scholarlyessays, brief reflections, and info blurbs will focus on intersections betweenenergy, history, and a range of cultural formations, including literature,film, art, digital media, and popular culture. We will include essays thattouch on a wide range of energy resources (dung, wood/charcoal, coal, tallow,plant oils, whale oil, kerosene, petroleum, natural gas, nuclear, biofuels,solar, wind, wave, steam, and human energy). We also plan to include essays onenergy resources like electricity (which circulates as a secondary form ofenergy generated by wood, coal, etc). We are also curious about dams asprojects of decolonization and modernization.
We hope for broad geographic scopein this collection, with attention to place-specific concerns and the spatialrelations entailed in different forms of energy use, including what FernandoCoronil has called the "international division of nature." If the shiftfrom wood to coal allowed for massive increases in energy consumption with lessland/woodlots devoted to energy production, as Timothy Mitchell argues, whatother shifts in scale are important for thinking about the history of energyformations? As Laurie Shannon argues in a PMLA essay on tallow, theshift from energy produced within the household to modes of energy sourcedelsewhere suggests that questions of scale are central for thinking about energy.Ken Hiltner's argument that pollution increases with the changing spatialconcentration of urban London suggests the urgency of contemplating energy inrelation to scale in earlier periods. Is it possible that all forms of energyare "dirty" when scaled up to meet demand?
The question of periodization iscrucial to this project. How do we periodize cultural production aroundmaterial resources that have been unread or elided by critics? How do questionsof energy become legible in moments of crisis? What is the role of energyscarcity and profligacy? The role of an "energy unconscious" delieatesone mode of analysis, as does the simultaneity of different modes of energyresources. Thus periodization is not a simple matter. Consider DipeshChakrabarty's attention to the coincidence of the age of Enlightenment and theAnthropocene, Mitchell's comparison of wood, coal, oil and the forms of socialand political organization they entail, and Michael Pollan's account of theshift from the sun and fossil fuels in the industrialization of food.
In addition to periodization, we'reinterested in essays that explore methodology: protocols of reading that areattuned to questions of energy (or its absence) within a given text. How do weread for energy in relation to the sociology and materiality of literaryproduction and distribution? How do we identify cultural forms that areparticularly attuned to these questions? How does energy put pressure onliterary and cultural forms? Does genre look different when we think about energy?
We hope to gather writing that ismultiply interdisciplinary, drawing on insights from political economy,political ecology, environmental history, eco-criticism, postcolonial andglobalization studies, materialisms old and new, including thing theory andactor network theory.

March15, 2012 for abstracts
December1, 2012 for essays
Length: 6000 words

(As indicated above, in additionto research essays we are interested in including shorter pieces related to anyof the issues explored in this collection).
Send Copies to:
Imre Szeman imre@ualberta.ca
Jennifer Wenzel jawenzel@umich.edu
Patsy Yaeger pyaeger@umich.edu

TH 8120 Spring 2012

TH8120 Performance Theory, Performance Studies will be taught spring 2012 by Professor Margaret Werry on Fridays from 9:05am to 12:05pm.

Course Description
This course explores the ways in which performance has been taken up as an object of study, a method of research, and a theoretical paradigm in a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts.
For nearly two decades, the terms "performance" and "performativity" have been at the centre of significant theoretical innovation in fields from art and literary criticism to cultural geography and economic anthropology. Taking the "performative turn," scholars suggest, privileges process and poeisis over structure, citation and invention over representation, and the study of human action in its experiential, embodied, and social thickness over the thinner medium of discourse. Performance theories have provided the basis for methodological advances in practice-based research and critical ethnography, and made a range of new objects of study accessible to traditionally text-based disciplines. At the same time, the disciplinary field that goes by the name of Performance Studies has established its own theoretical canon and branched out from its from early concerns (with ritual, play, oral performance, performance art) to embrace a range of new problems (cultural memory, affect, spatial practice, virtual technology and testimony, to name a few).
This course surveys some of the key literature in and influences on Performance Studies. It also tracks recent interdisciplinary conversations in which performance has become a mobilizing term. In what ways does an attention to performance change the questions that specific disciplines ask and the ways that they attempt to answer them? When scholars in various disciplines "profess performance", what exactly are they claiming, and what are the stakes of such a move? What theoretical and methodological tools are at the disposal of scholars who wish to study performance, or to study performatively?

1 year LGBT Studies postdoc teaching fellowship

Carleton College Women's and Gender Studies Program is actively accepting applications for their one-year LGBT Studies postdoctoral teaching fellowship to begin September 1, 2012. Appointment involves half-time teaching, half-time research, and residency for the year. Review of applications has begun, and will continue until position is filled. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CANCELLED: Dec 19th "The Work of American Studies" DGS Workshop

Because we only received a small number of RSVPs, "The Work of American Studies" session scheduled for Monday, December 19th on the theme "Applying for Fellowships and Grants" has been cancelled.

Fall Grades Due & Incomplete Grades

FALL 2011 FACULTY & INSTRUCTORS: Grades must be submitted by 11:59pm on Thursday, December 29th.

Please note: if you submit an incomplete for an undergraduate student, you must also submit a copy of the "Completion of Incomplete Work" agreement form (available at the link below). Fill out this agreement with the student and be sure to keep a copy for yourself, provide the student with a copy, and submit a copy to Laura for filing with the Department. If you have any problems with access or other questions, please contact Laura at domin047@umn.edu.
Completion of Incomplete Work: http://www.class.umn.edu/forms/completionofincompletework.pdf
To enter final grades: http://onestop.umn.edu/faculty/grades/final/index.html
Web site for additional information: http://advisingtools.class.umn.edu/cgep/gradingpolicies.html

Grad Instructors & TAs with Scott Hall Offices

If you are not teaching or TAing in spring 2012, please remove all personal items from your office and return your key to the department office by Friday, December 23rd. Any unclaimed items will be removed.

AFRO 5910 spring 2011

AFRO 5910 "Feast or Famine: The Politics of Food in Literary & Cultural Contexts" will be taught spring 2011 by Prof. Njeri Githire on Wednesdays from 10:10am to 12:20pm. Click here for a course flyer.

BTHX 5000/JOUR 5990 spring 2011

BTHX 5000/JOUR 5990 "Fear and Loathing in Bioethics" will be taught spring 2011 by Professor Carl Elliot on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:30pm. Click here for a course description.

CFP: "Media and the Arab Spring" at the University College Dublin

The Clinton Institute for American Studies at The University College Dublin invites papers for the conference "Media and the Arab Spring" to be held April 14-15, 2012. This conference will bring together media practitioners, writers, commentators and scholars to investigate the role of different forms of media in shaping certain events and perceptions of them. Submission deadline: February 1, 2012. Click here for more info.

CFP: SW/TX Popular & American Culture Assoc Conference

The Southwest Texas Popular and American Culture Association invites submissions for the 33rd Annual Conference to be held February 8-11, 2012. The conference theme "Celebrating 'Foods & Culture(s) in a Global Context'" honors the cultures of New Mexico whose celebration of food transcends national boundaries. Submission deadline: December 15, 2011. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RSVP for "The Work of American Studies" session on December 19th

RSVP required by Monday, December 12th: "The Work of American Studies" session scheduled for Monday, December 19th from 3:30 - 5:00pm in the Scott Hall Commons will feature the theme "Applying for Fellowships and Grants". Scheduled speakers include Alison Skoberg of the Graduate School Fellowship Office, who will discuss strategies for identifying internal and external fellowships; Prof. Brenda Child, who will discuss the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program; and PhD candidate Ben Wiggins, who will speak about crafting a successful Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship application.

Alison Skoberg of the Graduate School Fellowship Office will discuss strategies for identifying internal and external fellowships. Professor Brenda Child will discuss the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program. PhD candidate Ben Wiggins, who will speak about crafting a successful Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship application. Panelists will also answer questions from attendees.
Given that graduate student attendance at previous workshops this semester has been sparse, we ask that you RSVP to amstdy@umn.edu by Monday, December 12 if you plan to attend. Panelists and staff invest considerable work in planning for these sessions, so we will cancel if there is insufficient interest.

Library Books and Videos

All faculty and students: Please return any books and videos you have checked out from the department library. Return items to the task box in the main department office by Thursday, December 22nd.

HCA Spring Academy Call for Applications

The Heidelberg Center for American Studies invites applications for the ninth Spring Academy, which will take place March 26-30, 2012 in Heidelberg, Germany. Applications that range broadly across the arts, humanities, and social sciences and pursue an interdisciplinary approach are encouraged. Application deadline: December 15, 2012. Click here for more info.

GLBT Studies & Campus Life "Beyond Marriage: Broadening LGBTQ Social Movements" discussion

The Schochet Endowment for GLBT Studies & Campus Life is please to present the second colloquium series of the Fall term, "Beyond Marriage: Broadening of LGBTQ Social Movements", on Thursday, December 8th from 4 to 5:30pm in room 140 Nolte Center. The discussion will be facilitated by Myrl Beam, and among the panelists are Jesus Estrada-Perez and Eli Vitulli.

This discussion will seek to broaden how we define terms such as home, family, LGBTQ issues, and relationships, while paying especially close attention to the ways in which social movements claiming marriage as their central tenet do so at the expense of our most marginalized LGBTQ communities.

Political Theory Colloquium 12/16/2011 "Crisis and (Im)Mortality"

The Political Theory Colloquium is proud to present Professor A. Kiarina Kordela of the Department of German Studies at Macalaster College at 1:30pm on December 16 in Social Sciences 1314. Professor Kordela will present her paper "Crisis and (Im)Mortality" as part of the continuing series "Capital and Crisis".

Paper abstract:
In this paper I attempt to reconceptualize bios (life and the body) and theories of biopolitics by reading Marx's analysis of political economy as a basis for an ontological theory and a theory of temporality, and by drawing on Spinozian monism and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. My conclusion regarding biopolitics is that its object is the administration not of the biological body but of the relation of humans in secular capitalist modernity to the metaphysics that are operative in this historical era, and especially potentiality and infinity, as categories that enable the secular (illusions of the) immortality of the body. On the basis of this new theory of biopolitics, I then engage in dialogue with Richard Dienst's recent book The Bonds of Debt (2011), to examine the biopolitical function of both surplus-value and debt (the two modes of capital in periods of prosperity and economic crisis, respectively), as an attempt to reconfigure the possibilities of a Left politics in the era of global capital.

Call for abstracts for "Transforming Lives" volume

Submissions are invited for the special edition volume "Transforming Lives: Hmong Women, Gender and Power". As the first edited volume focusing on Hmong women, this project demands an innovative interdisciplinary approach in which we borrow from different theoretical frameworks to generate a materially rich and conceptually rigorous dialogue. Abstract deadline: January 31, 2012. Click here for more info.

CFP: Conference on Pop Culture at Bowling Green

The Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University invites papers for the First Annual Ray Brown Conference on Popular Culture to be held March 31st-April 1st, 2012. The conference hopes to address this question: what is popular culture in the 21st century and how must we study it? Submission deadline: February 3, 2012. Click here for more info.

Vitulli Passed Prelims

Eli Vitulli has passed his preliminary portfolio and oral exams and now holds ABD status.