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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Incoming Graduate Cohort

WE ARE PLEASED TO announce the incoming graduate cohort for 2014. We look forward to having Christine Bachman-Sanders, Jennifer Doane, Joseph Whitson, and Lei Zhang joining us in the fall. Below are the brief bios of the cohort.

Christine Bachman-Sanders received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Gender Studies from Middlebury College in 2009, and is currently finishing her Master of Arts degree in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her work examines transgressive possibilities that exist along the boundaries between queer and normative structures and texts. Her Masters thesis analyzes the juncture of American optimism, political uncertainty, and the threat of the subversive "Other" through an examination of Hollywood musical comedies made during the first decade of the Cold War. While she hopes to continue her work on sexuality and the Cold War in the American Studies program, she has recently become interested in the intersection between the "new woman," the bicycle, and the civilizing project of accessing a "wider world" through notions of progress at the turn of the 20th century, and the ways in which class, race, gender, and sexuality complicate and are complicated by the project of American empire building.
Jennifer Doane received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she studied English and Spanish. She received her Master of Arts in Asian American Studies from the University of California Los Angeles. Currently, Doane is in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and teaches an undergraduate course on Asian American History. Her research interests include intersections of race, gendered desire, family formation, the transnational adoption industry, and the nation state, specifically in apocalyptic or futuristic temporalities. She is interested in how these cultural forms have the potential to collapse racial hierarchies, hegemonic practices, and create alternative forms of kinship networks but often rearticulate our contemporary Western anxieties and imperialist projects.
Joseph Whitson graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 2012 with a degree in American History and Global Studies. He has worked in the field of public history and museum development with various organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, including the Minnesota Historical Society and Three Rivers Park District. He is interested in how new technologies can make public history accessible to a more diverse range of people, specifically how GIS and other advances in mapping can change and improve the way history is presented to the public.
Lei Zhang is currently an M.A. candidate of English language and literature at Renmin University of China in Beijing, P.R. China. His research interests include transnational American studies, transpacific studies, Chinese American literature and memory studies. In the fall of 2013, as a FASIC (Foundation for Australian studies in China) Fellow, he carried out his research on the impact of America's Asia policy on Australia's "Asian Century White Paper" at Deakin University in Melbourne. In the past few years, he was also funded to attend a few conferences and forums in South Korea, Poland, U.S. and Australia. For his dissertation, he is keen to look at the representations of Asian immigrants to US and Americans in Asia in literature, films and media within a framework of mutual reflections on both sides of the Pacific. Currently, He is working on his M.A. thesis, "Cultural Memory of the Sixties in Thomas Pynchon's California Trilogy."