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Events Archive

A Conversation with
Ruth Ozeki and Chang-rae Lee
Moderated by Anne Cheng and Sarah Chihaya
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
@ 4:30 PM
50 McCosh Hall (Entry #5)

See here for more information

Sarah Chihaya, Chang-rae Lee, Anne Cheng, Ruth Ozeki, and Jacquelyn Alexander (of J. Alexander Fund for Japanese American Studies)

AMS Graduate Student Salon with Sean Beienburg, Justene Hill, and Emily Prifogle

Friday, April 24

210 Dickinson Hall

12:00-2:00 (lunch will be served)

Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic Book
Princeton University Conference
April 9 and 10, 2015

For more information

Brian Jones

Keys to the Schoolhouse: Black Teachers, Privatization, and the Future of Teachers Unions

April 8
4:30 pm
Friend Center 006

Sponsored by the Program in Teacher Preparation

March 30
4:30 pm
010 East Pyne

Lisa Lowe
Professor of English and American Studies
Tufts University

The Intimacies of Four Continents

Lisa Lowe is Professor of English and American Studies at Tufts University. Prior to joining Tufts in 2012, she taught at Yale University, and at the University of California, San Diego.  She began as a scholar of comparative literature, and much of her work focuses on the literatures of encounter that emerge from histories of colonialism, immigration, and globalization, including French and British postcolonial literatures and Asian American literatures. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Fulbright Foundations, the ACLS, the UC President’s Office, the University of Toronto, and the University of London.  She is author of Critical Terrains: On French and British Orientalisms (Cornell, 1991) and Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Duke, 1996), and coeditor of The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital (Duke, 1997). Her most recent book, The Intimacies of Four Continents, will be published by Duke University Press in 2015.
This lecture explores the connections between Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas in the early nineteenth-century, and observes that liberal ideas of emancipation, free labor, free trade, and representative government are deeply implicated in settler colonialism, slavery, trade and empire. Reading literature, colonial archives, and political philosophy, it connects the liberal narrative of freedom overcoming slavery to the expansion of Anglo-American empire, observing that the abstract promise of freedom often obscures its implication in the colonial conditions of trades in goods, ideas, and peoples. 

The Princeton University
Constitution Day Lecture

Representative Rush Holt
Search and Seizure in the Snowden Era

September 16, 2014
4:30 p.m.
50 McCosh Hall

Presented by
the Program in American Studies
the Program in Law and Public Affairs and
the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions
Supported by the Office of the Provost

For video of the lecture, please click here.

Representative Rush Holt

Guests at reception

Guests at reception

Friday, April 18, 2014
210 Dickinson Hall

Graduate Salon with
Jennifer Jones and Jane Manners

Critical Encounters Lecture Series

Lewd Chinese Women
Chy Lung v. Freeman, 1876

A historical reenactment moderated by
the Honorable Judge Denny Chin

featured Princeton student readers
directed by R.N. Sandberg

Lewis Library, Room 120
April 3, 2014
4:30 p.m.

To see video of the event, please click here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
4:30 pm
McCormick 106
Carolyn Chen
Associate Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies
Northwestern University
The Extraordinary Religiosity of Second-Generation Asian American Muslims and Evangelical Christians

Carolyn Chen studies religion, race and ethnicity, and immigration. Her book, Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience (Princeton University Press, 2008) examines how religious conversion to evangelical Christianity and Buddhism restructures self and community among Taiwanese immigrants. She has edited a volume written with Russell Jeung, Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion among the Latino and Asian American Second Generation (New York University Press, 2012). She is currently working on a project that examines spirituality and alternative health in the United States.

Tracy and Larry at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum taken by Douglas Biklen

Wretches and Jabberers

Tuesday March 31, 2015  at 4:30pm at McCormick Hall 101

Oscar® winner and twice Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker, Gerardine Wurzburg, will screen her compelling feature documentary Wretches & Jabberers. Wurzburg is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies. Wurzburg's inspiring documentary chronicles the world travels of disability rights advocates, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, in a bold quest to change attitudes about the intelligence and abilities of people with autism.

In the film, Tracy and Larry take to the road to promote awareness of the hidden intelligence in those who face speech and communication challenges, connecting with others like them across the globe who struggle to find a means of expression. Tracy, Larry and their support team, Harvey Lavoy and Pascal Cheng, visit Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland, giving interviews and presentations and learning about the lives of people with autism in these countries. Viewers share in their eye-opening experiences as the men negotiate the terrain of travel, culture and new friendships on what they aptly named The World Intelligence Magnified Tour.

All four men will engage in a conversation with the audience following the screening.

Cosponsored by the Program in Teacher Preparation
Supported by the generous gift of Philip F. Anschutz and family
free and open to the public


The 2015 American Studies Graduate Student Conference

March 27 - 28, 2015
Princeton University
Roy Scranton, English Department
Olivier Burtin, History Department


Title: Lightning in a Panel:The American Superhero and the Invention of a Modern Mythology

Join us for a conversation with veteran comics writers Dennis O'Neil, Paul Levitz, Louise and Walter Simonson, and Larry Hama, as they speak on the origins of superhero stories and the proliferation of this genre into film and television. The writers’ contributions have inspired today’s prominent superhero narratives, including the Batman, G.I. Joe, X-Men and Thor films, and the Arrow TV series. Their works explore the dual role of such stories as both modernity myths and historical narratives for a multicultural, technological society. Co-sponsored by the Princeton Writing Program, the Department of English, the Program in American Studies, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Program in Media + Modernity, and the Council of the Humanities.

Date & Time:
 Friday, March 27, 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Location:  Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall
More Info:

March 26, 2015
7:00 pm
James M. Stewart ’32 Theater, 185 Nassau St.
The Overnighters
A screening and discussion with director Jesse Moss
Filmmaker Jesse Moss brings his award-winning documentary The Overnighters to Princeton. In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up looking for work, lured by the oil boom’s promise of plentiful jobs and big paychecks. Once there, however, they face the reality of slim prospects and nowhere to sleep. The town lacks the infrastructure to house the newcomers, even those who do find gainful employment. At Concordia Lutheran Church, Pastor Jay Reinke converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, opening his doors to the “Overnighters” (as he calls them) for a night, a week, or longer. They sleep on the floor, in the pews, and in their cars in the church parking lot. Many who take shelter with Reinke are living on society’s fringes and have checkered pasts, and their presence starts affecting the dynamics of the small community. Reinke’s congregants grow critical and the City Commission threatens to shut the program down, forcing the pastor to make a decision that leads to consequences he never imagined.
The Overnighters dramatizes enduring American themes: the promise and limits of reinvention, redemption, and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the instinct to protect one’s own.
Jesse Moss is a San Francisco-based filmmaker. His previous documentaries include Full Battle Rattle, about the US Army’s fake Iraq in the Mohave Desert; Speedo: A Demolition Derby Love Story, about the career and troubled family life of one of the country’s top demolition derby drivers; and Con Man, which examines the life of James Arthur Hogue, a serial imposter who faked his way into Princeton University. Moss is a lecturer in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University.
Co-sponsored with the Center for the Study of Religion, the Council of the Humanities, the Department of Sociology, the Lewis Center for the Arts, the Princeton Environmental Film Festival, and the University Center for Human Values.



A Program in Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Wednesday March 25, 2015 4:30 p.m.
Whig Hall Senate Chamber

Co-sponsored with Whig Clio, and the Princeton-Trenton Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA 
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and discriminatory legislation through 1904 set quotas, with grueling immigration interviews and hurdles. This set the stage for a dark era lasting till World War II that restricted Chinese Americans and saw police raids and violent incidents, with Congress issuing an apology in 2012. To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a panel will explore the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and lessons for reducing discrimination and easing immigrant integration today. Joining us are two of the foremost scholarly experts on Chinese American Exclusion:

Jack Tchen , Director of the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, and co-founding director of the Museum of the Chinese in America.

Beth Lew-Williams , Professor of History at Princeton, currently teaches Asian American History and is writing The Chinese Must Go! under contract with Harvard University Press.

Chair & Discussant: Stanley N. Katz is Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, a legal historian, and former president of the Organization of American Historians.

Professors Tchen and Lew-Williams have been advisers to the current
exhibition at the New York Historical Society, which runs through April 19, 2015.

See poster


March 7-8
Jones 202
Conference on Race and Religion in American History

Where Do We Go From Here?: Fans, Fanfiction and the Media, Publishing, and Entertainment Industries
Wednesday, March 25 - 7: 00 PM to 8: 30 PM
Robertson Hall 100, Dodds Auditorium
Emily Nussbaum, Elizabeth Minkel, Jamie Broadnax, Heidi Tandy, Anne Jamison
Emily Nussbaum, Television critic for The New Yorker
Elizabeth Minkel, Fandom/digital culture columnist at The New Statesman and The Millions
Jamie Broadnax, Creator of the groundbreaking website and podcast Black Girl Nerds
Heidi Tandy, Intellectual Property Attorney and long time fangirl
Anne Jamison, Associate Professor of English, University of Utah, and author of Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking over the World (2013)

Lapidus Family fund Lecture in American Jewish Studies

March 23, 2015
4:30 p.m.
219 Aaron Burr Hall

Golda Meir: American roots, Zionist life
Professor Pnina Lahav, Boston University School of Law

Born in abject poverty in Kiev, Czarist Russia, Golda ended her formidable life as Prime Minister of Israel. This lecture explores the American tissue of her identity.
In 1906, Golda and her family immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There she attended public school, learned English and steeped herself in the progressive culture of the period. By the time she arrived in Palestine in 1922, she was a married woman, an aspiring politician gifted at making connections with her audience, and a passionate follower of Socialist Zionism. Amidst pervasive gender-based discrimination she spent most of her time in the company of men and rose to the top of the Israeli political leadership. In 1969, her party elected her as Prime Minister of Israel, a role that brought her to the White House and secured her a powerful voice on the world stage. The 1973 Yom Kippur War, which occurred on her watch, precipitously ended her career. She died heartbroken, five years later.
The lecture addresses the American fingerprints on Golda’s identity and the impact that major legal developments in the United States during and after World War I had on her emotional and political development. It also covers some crucial milestones for her—her difficult family life, her success at codifying fair labor standards for Israel, and the challenges of navigating Israeli politics between the Six Day and Yom Kippur Wars.
Pnina Lahav is a Professor of Law at Boston University. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Yale Law School and Boston University. She earned several prestigious fellowships including a Rockefeller Fellowship, a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, CA and a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She also served as a Religion Fellow at Boston University’s School of Theology. Professor Lahav has published numerous articles on constitutional law, freedom of expression and women’s rights. Most recently she has been working on the issue of women’s prayers in Judaism and Islam. She is the author of the acclaimed biography Judgment in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon Agranat and the Zionist Century (University of California Press, 1997) and the editor of several other volumes. Presently she is working on a biography of Golda Meir through the gender lens.
cosponsored by the Program in Judaic Studies, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Program in Law and Public Affairs
free and open to the public

American Confinement:
Race, Visuality, and History in the Quotidan

A Roundtable Discussion Featuring:
Arielle Azoulay, Brown University
Joshua Takano Chambers- Letson, Northwestern University
Linda Gordon, New York University
Eric L. Muller, University of North Carolina, School of Law
Gary Okihiro, Columbia University

Whitman College Black Box Theater
03/11/15 at 4:30 pm

Reception to Follow

Co-Sponsored by the Center for African American Studies, Whitman College, and the Program in American Studies.

Tiya Miles in Conversation wtih Martha Sandweiss

Thursday, March 6
4:30 pm
Robertson Hall, Woodrow Wilson School, Bowl 001


Graduate Salon with Jessica Cooper and Beth Stroud
Friday, February 28
210 Dickinson Hall

Thursday (February 26) at 5:00PM in Betts AuditoriumStudents for Prison Education and Reform, cosponsored by the Program in American Studies and Program in Latino Studies, will be screening the Ken Burns' documentary, The Central Park Fivefollowed by a panel that includes Raymond Santana, one of the wrongfully convicted men featured in the documentary. Since his release, Mr. Santana has become involved in juvenile justice reform (as he was only a child when convicted), particularly advocating for an increase at the age at which juveniles are tried as adults in New York. 
The panel will also feature Craig Levine, the senior counsel for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and a key figure in juvenile justice reform in New Jersey. Five Mualimm-ak, founder of the Incarcerated Nation Corporation, will also be speaking on the panel. The panelists will discuss the ways that we can make the justice system more humane and effective system for kids, and prevent injustices similar to those that occurred in the case of the Central Park Five. 
A poster is attached to this email.  Further information on the Central Park Five & False Confessions can be found here

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
4:30 pm
Claire Kim

Associate Professor of Asian American Studies and Political Science, University of California, Irvine
Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species, and Nature in a Multicultural Age

Claire Jean Kim received her B.A. in Government from Harvard College and her Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. She is an Associate Professor at University of California, Irvine, where she teaches classes on race, multiculturalism, and animal studies. Her first book, Bitter Fruit: The Politics of Black-Korean Conflict in New York City  (Yale University Press, 2000) won two awards from the American Political Science Association: the Ralph Bunche Award for the Best Book on Ethnic and Cultural Pluralism and the Best Book Award from the Organized Section on Race and Ethnicity.  Her second book, Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species and Nature in a Multicultural Age (Cambridge University Press, 2014), examines the intersection of race, species and nature in impassioned disputes over how immigrants of color, racialized minorities, and Native people in the U.S. use animals in their cultural traditions. Dr. Kim has also written numerous journal articles and book chapters.  She is an Associate Editor of American Quarterly and the co-guest editor with Carla Freccero of a special issue of American Quarterly entitled, Species/Race/Sex (September 2013). She is the recipient of a grant from the University of California Center for New Racial Studies, and she has been a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. 

February 12
7:30 p.m.
106 McCormick Hall
Final Work Showcase
for students in AMS 317, Social Media: History, Poetics, and Practice
Hosted by Judy Malloy
AMS 317 Social Media: History, Poetics, and Practice explored the history, poetics, and practice of social media, with a focus on online cultural community and digital writing. At the core of the class were creative projects and oral presentations in which students explored historical and contemporary social media platforms, including issues such as gender and diversity, social media identity, and the role of social media in contemporary lives. 

For the Social Media: History, Poetics, and Practice Showcase, AMS317 students will present their final projects. See student project summaries here.
See student project documentation here.
Social Media: History, Poetics, and Practice was taught by Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies, Judy Malloy, who has been working in social media and electronic literature for 27 years. Her pioneering Hypertext, Uncle Roger, created on Art Com Electronic Network in 1986, was recently exhibited and documented at MLA14, and she is currently editing a book on Social Media History and Poetics.

Program in American Studie
February 10, 2015
4:30 pm
McCormick Hall 106

Shalini Shankar
Associate Professor and Interim Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Anthropology
Director, Asian American Studies Program
Northwestern University
Assembling Race: Ethnographies of Language and Media Production Among Asian Americans
This talk investigates modalities through which racial and ethnic meanings are produced for mass-mediated circulation in a so-called post-racial society and studies the subjective consequences for Asian Americans. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with advertising agencies and at spelling bees, Shankar employs the concept of assemblage to consider how race and ethnicity are vetted and constructed for media consumption through visual, linguistic, and material semiotics.
Shalini Shankar is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist whose interests include race, ethnicity, language, semiotics, capitalism, media and youth. Shankar received her BA from Wesleyan University (CT) and her MA and Ph.D. from New York University. She has conducted ethnographic research with South Asian American communities and with Asian American advertising executives in New York and California. Her books include Advertising Diversity: Ad Agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers (Duke University Press, April 2015) and Desi Land: Teen Culture, Class, and Success in Silicon Valley (Duke University Press, 2008), as well as a co-edited volume Language and Materiality: Theoretical and Ethnographic Explorations (Oxford University Press, under review). Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, The Spencer Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and other sources. She has published numerous journal articles in Anthropology, Asian American Studies, and other fields. She is currently conducting fieldwork for her project, “The Business of Spelling: Branded Bees, Neoliberal Socialization, and Language Commodification,” in New York, New Jersey, and other sites, focusing on spelling bees, spellers, families, and media producers.

Cosponsored with the Department of Anthropology, the Council of the Humanities, and the Program in American Studies

Informal presentations of the work of students in
AMS 358 / HUM 358
Electronic Literature: Lineage, Theory and Contemporary Practice
Tuesday, February 3
Princeton Center for Digital Humanities
-N-10 Green Hall
See here for more info

February 4, 2015
4:30 pm
McCormick Hall 106

Mel Yuen-Ching Chen
Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies
Director, Center for the Study of Sexual Culture
University of California, Berkeley
The Disability in Racial Dystopias
This talk brings under the framework of "racial dystopia" the racialization of environment through and with the invocation of disability, focusing on selected literary works as well as my archival research on drug laws that involve racial enmeshments and the control of human encounters with inhuman substances. I ask about the constitution of logics that inform such diverse attributions as post-Asian, post-American, post-human and post-race.
Mel Y. Chen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and is the author of Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke, 2012, winner of the Alan Bray Memorial Award, MLA) as well as articles in diverse publications such as Amerasia, Discourse, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, GLQ, and Women in Performance. With Jasbir K. Puar, Chen is coeditor of the new Duke book series entitled Anima. Chen serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies.

Cosponsored with the Department of English, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Program in American Studies, and the Council of the Humanities

February 2, 2015
4:30 pm
McCormick Hall 106

Martin F. Manalansan IV
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies
Conrad Professorial Scholar in the Humanities
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Queer Metrics: Towards An Anthropology of Small Things

We live in an age of metrics. Value, personhood, and survival are appraised, calculated and evaluated according to imposed sets of official measures and standards. Using an ethnography of a single household of queer undocumented immigrants in New York City, this presentation explores a queer anti-metric stance and process as alternatives to the world gone mad on regulated appraisals and assessments by a focus on the pivotal force of mess and the vitality of small things.

Martin F. Manalansan IV is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies and a Conrad Professorial Humanities Scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is an affiliate faculty in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Global Studies Program and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory. He is the author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (Duke University Press, 2003; Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2006) which was awarded the Ruth Benedict Prize in 2003. He is editor/co-editor of three anthologies namely, Cultural Compass: Ethnographic Explorations of Asian America (Temple University Press, 2000) and Queer Globalizations: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism (New York University Press, 2002), Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (New York University Press, 2013) as well as a special issue of International Migration Review on gender and migration. Presently, he is Social Science Review Editor of GLQ: a journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies.

Cosponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Council of the Humanities

Graduate Student Salon
Friday, February 7
102 Jones Hall
Richard Anderson, Henry Cowles, and Sara Marcus


Thursday, February 6, 2014
12:00 noon
211 Dickinson Hall

Catherine Bliss
Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, San Francisco
Race Decoded: New Paradigms and Problems of the 21st Century

Catherine Bliss’s research explores the sociology of race, gender and sexuality in medicine, though she is especially interested in scientific controversies in genetics. Bliss’s book Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice (Stanford University Press 2012) examines how genomics became today’s newest science of race. Her latest book project examines convergences in social and genetic science in the postgenomic age.

Book Party
Studies in Postwar America Political Development

by Professor Naomi Murakawa

Thursday, January 15, 2015
Prospect House

The Photographer as Sociologist/The Historian as Photographer

Sunday, November 16, 2014
4:30 p.m.
"Dorothea Lange:  Grab a Hunk of Lightning" 
film screening of PBS American Masters series documentary followed by discussion with the filmmaker, Dyanna Taylor, Anschutz Distinguished Fellow Richard Steven Street and Professor Linda Gordon of NYU

Monday, November 17
4:30 p.m.
"Photographer's Double/Searching for Cover:  The Historian as Photographer/the Photographer as Historian"
Richard Steven Street will explore the challenge of crossing disciplines to carry on, extend, and amplify the work of Dorothea Lange.  Followed by discussion with Dr. Street, Ms. Taylor, and Professor Martha Sandweiss

of participants

both events in 101 McCormick Hall

cosponsored by the Program in Visual Arts, the Department of History, the Department of Sociology, The Department of Art and Archaeology, and the Princeton Art Museum

supported by a generous gift of Philip F. Anschutz and family

free and open to the public

For video of the talk please click here

Thursday, December 5, 2013
4:30 pm
McCormick 106

Taeku Lee
Professor of Political Science and Law
Chair, Department of Political Science
University of California, Berkeley

Taeku Lee’s expertise is in racial and ethnic politics, public opinion and survey research methods, and political behavior and social movements. He is author of Mobilizing Public Opinion, which was awarded the J. David Greenstone Award for the Best Book on Politics and History and the V.O. Key Award for the Best Book on Southern Politics. More recently, Lee has co-authored Race, Immigration, and (Non)Partisanship in America and is co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Racial and Ethnic Politics in the United States and co-editing a publication for the World Bank titled Voice with Teeth: Public Opinion and Accountability. Lee is also co-PI of the 2008 National Asian American Survey, the first-ever large scale survey of the civic life, political engagement, and race relations of Asians in the United States. He is currently writing a book for the Russell Sage Foundation based on this survey as well as a collection of essays tentatively titled Race, Identity, Power, Method. He has served in advisory and consultative capacities for community-based organizations, think tanks, and a Fortune 500 company. He was born in South Korea, grew up in Malaysia, New York City, and suburban Detroit, and is a proud graduate of K-12 public schools. 


Divided and United:
Civil War Music Today

Randall Poster

December 4
4:30 p.m.
106 McCormick Hall

See poster
NPR interview

Social Media History and Poetics

Anschutz Symposium Fall 2013

December 2, 2013
4:30 pm
222 Bowen Hall

Social Media History and Poetics
Hosted by Judy Malloy


For video of the symposium, click here.

The Princeton American Indian Studies Working Group & the Modern America Workshop presented:
Andrew Graybill
Associate Professor of History
Director, William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University
The Red and the White:
A Family Saga of the American West
A history centered around the mixed-race Clarke family in Montana (Piegan and white), and the causes and legacies of the 1870 Marias Massacre.
Monday, November 25
4:30 p.m.
Dickinson 211

Monday, November 25, 2013
4:30 pm
Robertson Hall, Bowl 2

Mel Chen

Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Mel Chen’s teaching and research interests include queer and gender theory, animal studies, critical race theory, disability studies, and critical linguistics. In the fall of 2009, Mel convened “Species Spectacles,” a U.C. Humanities Research Institute Residential Research Group focused on animality, sexuality, and race. Mel’s short film Local Grown Corn (2007) explores interweavings of immigration, childhood, illness and friendship; it has played in both Asian and queer film festivals. Mel’s book Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, was released in July 2012 with Duke University Press in the Perverse Modernities series.


American Indian Studies Working Group Conference
Translation in American Indian Studies

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Bobst Center

Keynote speaker was Phillip Round
University of Iowa, Department of English


Lewis Center for the Arts presented "Fiddler at 50"
Anniversary symposium examining the beloved musical, Fiddler on the Roof, at Princeton
 What: "Fiddler at 50," a symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of the musical Fiddler on the Roof including lectures, discussions and a screening of the 1971 film version 
Who: Fiddler lyricist Sheldon Harnick, director John Doyle, actor Joanna Merlin, and scholars Alisa Solomon, Jeremy Dauber and Jenna Weissman Joselit, organized by Princeton professors Jill Dolan and Stacy Wolf
When: Thursday, November 14 screening at 7:00 p.m. followed by discussion; Friday, November 15 lectures and discussions 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. followed by reception
Where: James M. Stewart '32 Theater, Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau St.
The Lewis Center for the Arts encompasses Princeton University's academic programs in creative writing, dance, theater, and visual arts, as well as the interdisciplinary Princeton Atelier. The Center represents a major initiative of the University to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton. Over 100 diverse public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings and lectures are offered each year, most of them free or at a nominal ticket price. For more information about the Lewis Center for the Arts visit
Photo caption:   Marc Chagall's 1913 cubist painting, "The Fiddler," inspiration for the title of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.  
Photo credit:   "The Fiddler" is in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Asian American Studies Today and Tomorrow

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
4:30 pm
McCormick 106
Karthick Ramakrishnan
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of California, Riverside
Director, National Asian American Survey and
Bolting Blue: What Explains the Dramatic Change in Asian American Voting Patterns

Karthick Ramakrishnan is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside. He has published several books and articles on civic participation, immigration policy, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States. Relevant to Asian American studies, Ramakrishnan was author of Democracy in Immigrant America (2005), which compared variation in political participation across racial groups and immigrant generations in the United States, and is co-author of Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities (2011). Ramakrishnan directs the National Asian American Survey and, and is a partner on the Asian Australian/American Voter Research Project (AAVRP). He received his Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 2002.


Monday, November 11, 2013
4:30 pm
Robertson Hall, Bowl 2
Henry Yu
Associate Professor, Department of History
University of British Columbia
The Cantonese Pacific: Migration, Historiography, and Unsettling Settler Societies

Henry Yu was born in Vancouver, B.C., and grew up in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. He received his BA in Honours History from UBC and an MA and PhD in History from Princeton University. After teaching History and Asian American Studies at UCLA for a decade, Yu returned to UBC to help build new programs focused on the trans-Pacific connections between North America, Asia, and the Pacific. Between 2010-2012, he was the Project Lead for the $1.175 million “Chinese Canadian Stories” project ( involving UBC, SFU, and a wide spectrum of over twenty-nine community organizations across Canada. He was also the Co-Chair of the City of Vancouver’s project, “Dialogues between First Nations, Urban Aboriginal, and Immigrant Communities. Currently, he is working on a trio of book projects that each aim to provide new perspectives on global history and migration history.

The Ethics and Politics of Ethnography
A new yearlong series organized by students in the Religion, Anthropology, and Sociology departments to spark interdisciplinary conversation about ethnography and to promote areas of ethnography that interdisciplinary cooperation will further develop. The series will include both faculty presentations and graduate student works in progress.
Joanne Golann, Princeton Grad Student, Sociology
Work in Progress on Charter Schools
Wednesday, November 13 at 4:30pm
in the Religion Department Lounge, 1879 Hall, Room 140.*

The Ethics and Politics of Ethnography
A new yearlong series organized by students in the Religion, Anthropology, and Sociology departments to spark interdisciplinary conversation about ethnography and to promote areas of ethnography that interdisciplinary cooperation will further develop. The series will include both faculty presentations and graduate student works in progress.
The second event was:
Paul Willis,
"Ethnography, Contradiction, and Representation"
Monday, October 14 at 4:30pm
in the Religion Department, 1879 Hall, Room 137.*  


American Political History Seminar Series  

Timothy Stewart-Winter
Rutgers University, Newark  

“Domestic Agendas: The Rise of Urban Gay Politics in Post-Civil Rights America”

Commentator: Margot Canaday, Department of History

October, 3, 2013
Room 211 Dickinson Hall
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Organized by Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer

Sponsored by the Department of History, Woodrow Wilson School of International Studies and the Program in American Studies

For a copy of the paper please visit the website:

Asian American Studies Today and Tomorrow

Monday, September 30, 2013
4:30 pm
McCormick 106
Mae Ngai
Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and
Professor of History, Columbia University
Chinese Goldminers and the Chinese Question in Pacific World Settler Colonies, 1848-1908

Mae M. Ngai is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism. She is author of the award winning Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004) and The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America (2010). Ngai has written on immigration history and policy for The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and The Boston Review. Before becoming a historian she was a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education. She is now working on Yellow and Gold: The Chinese Mining Diaspora, 1848-1908, a study of Chinese gold miners and racial politics in nineteenth-century California, The Australian colony of Victoria, and the South African Transvaal.

Two Roads from 1787: Elective Dictatorship or Deadlock?

Ryan poster

Constitution Day Lecture

Alan Ryan
Two Roads From 1787:
Elective Dictatorship or Deadlock?

September 18
4:30 p.m.
Dodds Auditorium
Robertson Hall

Peter Brooks and George Kateb

Berman poster

Paul Berman
Anschutz Distinguished Fellow

Nathaniel Hawthorne and American Exceptionalism

Thursday, April 18
April 18
4:30 p.m.
219 Aaron Burr Hall

Sunday, April 7, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Lapidus Family Fund Conference in American Jewish Studies
American Jewish Culture:  'Fresh Vitality in Every Direction'
Bowen Hall 222 on the Princeton University Campus

7:30 p.m.
Keynote by Francine Prose, author of My American Life

"American Jewish storytelling: King David, Grace Paley, Philip Roth and me"


Jonathan Freedman, Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies, University of Michigan
Eric Goldstein, History and Jewish Studies; Editor of American Jewish History, Emory University
Jonathan Karp, American Jewish Historical Society
Josh Lambert, Academic Director, The Yiddish Book Center
Tony Michels, Department of History, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Alana Newhouse, Editor-in-Chief, Tablet Magazine
Rachel Rubenstein, American Literature and Jewish Studies, Hampshire College
Jeffrey Shandler, Jewish Studies, Rutgers University

Conference organizer: 
Professor Esther Schor, Associate Chair, Department of English; Chair, Committee on American Jewish Studies

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m
April 4, 2013
Darren Dochuk, Washington University-St. Louis
“’Go, Sell Thy Oil’: Petro-Politics and the New Evangelicalism in Early Cold War America”
Comment: Robert Wuthnow, Sociology

Two Spirits

A Film Screening

A highly praised film, Two Spirits interweaves the tragic story of a mother’s loss of her son with a revealing look at a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female and when many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders.
Sponsored by the American Indian Working Group, Fields Center, LGBT Center, Program in American Studies, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Rockefeller College

Location: Rockefeller College, Theater

Date/Time: 04/05/13 at 7:00 pm - 04/05/13 at 8:30 pm

Sexuality, Immigration, and the Racial State: Towards an Effective Queer Politic
A Talk by Chandan Reddy

Tuesday, Mar 26, 12:00 p.m.– 1:00 p.m.
Women's Center Conference Room (Frist Campus Center, Room 243)

In this talk, American Studies scholar Chandan Reddy reviews the many different moments during which the state regulation of homosexuality and immigration have intersected with one another since the middle of the 20th century. Charting these intersections can allow policy makers, advocates, and LGBTQ of color activists to see and pursue a distinct trajectory of anti-state politics within the current "Immigrant Rights" movement. Lunch provided.
Sponsored by the Center for Human Values, Department of English, LGBT Center, Program in American Studies, and Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies

Grad Salon
George Laufenberg
Grant Wythoff

Friday, March 15
127 East Pyne

Princeton American Indian Studies Working Group

Marge Bruchac
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology

Consorting With Savages: Indigenous Informants & American Anthropologists

March 13, 2013
4:30 PM
219 Burr Hall

A Conversation with Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas

The Cuban Argument with Itself
A playwright’s journey: working hard to get off the island and then working hard to get back to the island and then off again…
March 12, 2013
4:30 p.m.
Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture
Cosponsored by the Program in Theater and
the Program in Latino Studies

The Public History Initiative presents
“Memory and Meaning: Building a Vision for a Museum at Ground Zero” 
A public lecture by Alice Greenwald
Director, National September 11th Memorial and Museum
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Princeton Public Library, Community Room
The event is co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library, the Historical Society of Princeton, and the Program in American Studies.

Franklin Odo
The Asian American Experience in the Nation's Service
Public Service and Public History in America

Tuesday, March 5
4:30 p.m.
Whig Hall Senate Chamber

Sponsored by Asian American Student Association and The American Whig-Cliosophic Society

FFR LGBTQ Spring Lecture
Building an Irresistible Revolution: A Conversation with Urvashi Vaid

Tuesday, Mar 5, 7:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m.
Robertson Hall, Dodds Auditorium

Urvashi Vaid is a community organizer, scholar, writer, and attorney who has been a leader in the LGBTQA movement for nearly three decades. The former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, founder of their policy institute, and current Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at Columbia Law School will talk about her new book, Irresistible Revolution, as well as the history, present state, and future opportunities for the LGBTQA Movement.
Sponsored by the Fund for Reunion/Princeton BTGALA, the LGBT Center, Program in American Studies, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Program in Law and Public Affairs, and Woodrow Wilson School

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
February 7, 2013

Fredrik Logevall
, Cornell University

“The Uses of Alarmism: Threat Inflation and American Foreign Policy since 1945”

Comments: Gary Bass, Politics, and Thomas J. Christensen, WWS
See here for more information

Graduate Salon with Beth Stroud and Ronny Regev 
Friday, February 8
127 East Pyne

Monday, February 11, 12:00-1:20, 210 Dickinson Hall
Andrew Jewett, Associate Professor of History and Social Studies, Harvard University
The Columbia Naturalists and the Birth of Religious Studies in America
Cosponsored by the Department of Religion and the Princeton Environmental Institute

Urban Studies Research Methods Workshop  - tentative schedule
Friday, February 15th, 2013 1-3:30 p.m., at Carl Field Center, Princeton University
Princeton’s Urban Studies Program announces its first annual workshop in research methods.   The presentations will survey for undergraduates a range of methods and resources useful to them in their independent research. While the Workshop is especially suited towards JP projects and students at any stage looking ahead to their thesis, it is also appropriate for seniors filling in last-minute research, such as finding illustrations, or fleshing out historical context.  Spots will be available to graduate students. Beginning in 2013-4, the Workshop will be held the week after fall break. Please RSVP to by February 12th.
Welcome:  Alison Isenberg, Co-Director, Urban Studies Program
Presentations will be 10 minutes; each of the three segments will conclude with brief questions.
1:00-1:40  The City’s Built Environment
Visual Evidence:   Hannah Bennett, Architecture Library
Mining the Archive of the Built Environment:   Christine Boyer, School of Architecture
Geographic Data and Maps: Wangyal Shawa, Map and Geospatial Information Center, Lewis Library
1:40-2:30  Urban Institutions and their Records
Historical city newspapers, databases & primary sources:  Elizabeth Bennett, Firestone Library
Political and Economic Data:   Bobray Bordelon, Firestone Library
Mining the Local Archive:  Alison Isenberg, Department of History
Mudd Special Collections: Christie Lutz, Archivist
2:30  Inhabiting the City
Ethnographic studies, interviews:   Mitchell Duneier, Department of Sociology
Literature:   Bill Gleason, Department of English
Quantitative Data and Statistics:   Doug Massey, Department of Sociology
Culture: Daphne Brooks, Department of English, and Center for African-American Studies
3:30 Workshop concludes, Christine Boyer, Co-Director, Urban Studies Program 

Monday, February 25, 12:00-1:20, 210 Dickinson Hall
Daniel Rodgers, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History
John Winthrop's "As a City Upon a Hill": Toward the Biography of a Text

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m
February 27, 2013

Evan Thomas
Lecturer in The Council of the Humanities. Ferris Professor of Journalism

 "Writing History for the General Public: A Conversation with Evan Thomas"


Thursday, February 28, 2013 
Black Militancy and White Violence: The Collapse of Authority During the Late '60s and Early '70s
Alan C. Petigny, Associate Professor of History, University of Florida
Author of The Permissive Society: America, 1941-1965 (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
James Madison Program Annual Black History Month Event
4:30 p.m., Lewis Library 120

Screening of “The Outs”

Discussion with Adam Goldman (one of Out Magazine's Out100 in 2012)! 

The co-creator, writer, and star, Mr. Goldman screened portions of his webseries “The Outs” over dinner. 

Sponsored by the Queer Graduate Caucus, with support from the LGBT Center, Program in American Studies, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Program in Visual Arts

December 4
6:00 p.m.
Whig Oakes Lounge


Anschutz Lecture

David Binder

Adventures in the Theater
a conversation with Karen Fricker

Wednesday, November 28
4:30 p.m.
106 McCormick
Theater critic Karen Fricker interviewed Broadway producer David Binder (the Tony Award winning productions of 33 Variations with Jane Fonda, Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald) about his experiences producing on Broadway and off.

Karen Fricker is a theatre critic and academic. Currently the Eakin Visiting Scholar in Canadian Studies at McGill University in Montreal, from January she will be an assistant professor in Dramatic Arts at Brock University in Ontario. Originally from Los Angeles, she earned a PhD from the School of Drama, Trinity College, Dublin, and has taught at the University of London. She is the founding editor of Irish Theatre Magazine and has written and broadcast for the Guardian, Variety, the Irish Times, The New York Times, the BBC, and the CBC, amongst other outlets.

Possessive Collectivism: Ownership and the Politics of Credit Access in Late-Twentieth Century America
Greta Krippner, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan

Monday, October 15
12:15 - 1:30
Marvin Bressler Conference Room (165 Wallace Hall)

Culture and Inequality Workshop
Sponsored by Department of Sociology


Josh Garrett-Davis — Ghost Dances: Proving up on the Great Plains

Book reading and signing
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 at 5:30PM — Labyrinth Books Princeton
A gifted young writer takes a singular journey back to his native Midwestern American Plains. Growing up in South Dakota, Josh Garrett-Davis always knew he would leave. But as a young adult, he kept going back—in dreams and reality and by way of books. With this beautifully written narrative about a seemingly empty but actually rich and complex place, he has reclaimed his childhood, his unusual family—and the Great Plains. Please join us for a reading with the author.
Among the subjects and people who bring his Plains to life are the destruction and resurgence of the American bison; his great-great-grandparents’ 20-year sojourn in Nebraska as homesteaders; Native American “Ghost Dancers,” who attempted to ward off destruction by supernatural means before the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee; the political allegory to be found in The Wizard of Oz; and current attempts by ecologists to “rewild” the Plains. Ghost Dances is a fluid combination of memoir and history and reportage that reminds us that our roots matter—and might even be inspiring and fascinating.

Josh Garrett-Davis is currently a PhD student in American history at Princeton. He was raised in South Dakota.

The Life and Times of Chang & Eng
The New Play by Philip Kan Gotanda
Thursday, October 4, 2012
4:30pm @ 106 McCormick
Critical Encounters is proud to present a Princeton student reading of master playwright Philip Kan Gotanda's newest play, about the original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, whose early lives were spent as a touring "freak" exhibition. Charismatic and canny, they bought out their contract and toured themselves around the world, advising the king of Siam and carousing with English aristocracy before settling down on a Southern plantation, marrying sisters and fathering 21 children between them. Gotanda's new work promises to take the audience on a journey as fantastic as Chang & Eng's own.

Constitution Day Lecture

The Belief in Things Unseen:
Frederick Douglass and the Constitutional Imagination

September 13, 2012
4:30 p.m.
Dodds Auditorium
Robertson Hall

Imani Perry
Professor of African American  Studies

Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Professor of Politics
Nell Painter, Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita

For more information on the presenters, see here.

For web media, see here.

See here for large version of poster

An Inaugural Black Queer Sexuality Studies
Graduate Student Conference

October 20, 2012
Dodds Auditorium (Woodrow Wilson School)

Princeton University's first annual Black Queer Sexuality Studies Conference was held on October 20, 2012. The conference created a public forum for dialogue on innovative research across the many disciplines and fields that interrogate sites of blackness and queerness and the intersections between the two. We invited graduate students from within and outside of Princeton University to present original work in a multi-panel, one-day conference. Professor Kara Keeling (USC) served as our keynote speaker.

The inaugural theme, "Intersections," aimed to illumine the interdisciplinary work characteristic of black queer sexuality studies. In the seminal anthology, Black Queer Studies, E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson introduced the field and the volume with a host of claims about how to embrace the intersectionality at its core: "[work in the field should] endorse the double cross of affirming the inclusivity mobilized under the sign of 'queer' while claiming the racial, historical and cultural specificity attached to the marker black." Johnson and Henderson sought to open up space for academic inquiry that married the methodologies and activist impulses of black studies and queer studies in order to finally animate the study of a number of traditional disciplines. Honoring the crucial work of pioneering scholars of black queer studies, our conference seeked to foster dialogue between emerging scholars whose work engages both black and queer studies.

Co-sponsored by The Center for African American Studies, The Program in American Studies, The Graduate School of Princeton University, The Department of History, The Davis Center for Historical Studies, The University Center for Human Values, and the Lewis Center for the Arts.


Jeffersonian Democracy: From Theory to Practice
Princeton University
May 17-19, 2012

John Carlos
May 2, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Dodds Auditorium

See large version of poster

2012 Americanist Research Symposium

"Aesthetics Abound"

Thursday, April 26
Jones Hall, Room 100
5:00 p.m.

Friday, April 27
Chancellor Green 105

See poster

The Program in American Studies
and the Program in Judaic Studies
The Lapidus Family Fund Lecture in American Jewish Studies

Mr. Wyrick's Tablets: America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments

Jenna Weissman Joselit
Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of History
Director of the Program in Judaic Studies
The George Washington University

March 29, 2012
4:30 p.m.
East Pyne 010


The Program in American Studies and the Department of History present

Richard White
Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University and the author of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowships, and a Mellon Distinguished Professor Award.

The Transcontinental Railroads and the Construction of American Space

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
4:30 p.m.
211 Dickinson Hall

free and open to the public

Celebrated the publication of

by Professor Hendrik Hartog


by Professor Paul Starr
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Prospect House

Reception at 4:30 p.m.
Readings at 5:00 p.m.

Copies of the books are available at Labyrinth Bookstore

Rivers R Us:
Reviving Rivers, Reinventing Cities

Jenny Price
Anschutz Distinguished Fellow
in American Studies
Janette Kim
Urban Landscape Lab, Columbia University GSAPP

Wednesday, December 7
5:00 p.m.
10 Guyot Hall

See here for more information 

Sponsored by American Studies Program,
the Office of Sustainability,
and the Princeton Environmental Institute

See here for video of lecture

The Art of Sustainability

Subhankar Banerjee
, photographer and activist, founder, ClimateStoryTellers
   Director's Visitor, Institute for Advanced Study
Fritz Haeg, artist, designer, gardener-Edible Estates, Animal Estates
   Princeton Atelier (Spring 2012), Lewis Center for the Arts
Jenny Price, co-founder, Los Angeles Urban Rangers art collective
   Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies

Moderator: Joe Scanlan, Director of Visual Arts, Lewis Center for the Arts 

 Monday, December 5
4:30 p.m.
James M. Stewart '32 Theater at the Lewis Center for the Arts

Free and open to the public
See here for more information

Sponsored by the Program in American Studies, the Office of Sustainability, the Program in Visual Arts, the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, the Princeton Atelier, and the Princeton Environmental Institute

See here for video


Matthew Frye Jacobson
Yale University

Tuesday, November 29
4:30 p.m.
101 McCormick Hall

Presented by the Program in American Studies and the Center for African American Studies

Free and open to the public
More information

To view the lecture, please click here.

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McKay Jenkins
What's Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World
With Richard Preston

Monday Nov. 14
4:30-6:00 PM
10 Guyot Hall

McKay Jenkins *96, Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English and Director of Journalism, University of Delaware, will discuss his bestselling new book on the growing presence of synthetic chemicals in our bodies and environment: What's Gotten Into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World (Random House, 2011). Joining him as interlocutor will be Richard Preston *83, bestselling author of The Hot Zone. In addition to their discussion of environmental toxins, Jenkins and Preston will reflect on the process and challenge of nonfiction science and environmental writing.

Here's a link to Jenkins's author page:
Here's a link to Preston's author page:
Link to a May 2011 review of the book in the PAW:

Sponsored by Program in American Studies and Princeton Environmental Institute

To view the lecture, please click here

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Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas Symposium

November 11th - 12th, 2011
McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Conference Organizers:
Stephanie Kirk, Washington University
 Sarah Rivett, Princeton University

See here for more information

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David Blight
Class of 1954 Professor of American History
Yale University
(see here for bio)

Robert Penn Warren and James Baldwin: Remembering the Civil War in the Civil Rights Era

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
4:30 p.m.
101 McCormick Hall

Free and open to the public

Book  available for purchase at Labyrinth Bookstores

David Blight Lecture

Constitution Day Lecture

Thursday, September 22, 2011
4:30 p.m.
Friend Center 101

Labor and the Constitution: What Rights Do Americans Have in the Workplace?

Paul Frymer, Associate Professor of Politics
Respondents: Henry S. Farber, Hughes-Rogers Professorof Economics
James Pope, Professor of Law and Sidney Reitman Scholar, Rutgers School of Law

See here for flyer and bios

Free and open to the public

Click below to see a video of the conference.

Constitution Day Lecture Video

Anschutz Lecture

Pictographic Mobility and Rural Electrification in the United States

Michael J. Golec
Anschutz Distinguished Fellow
4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30
101 McCormick Hall
See here for poster

The Lapidus Family Fund Lecture in American Jewish Studies

Filming the Judeo-Christian Synthesis:  Biblical Epics and Cold War Culture
Julian Levinson
Samuel Shetzer Professor of American Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of English, The University of Michigan
Wednesday, February 23
4:30 p.m.
East Pyne 010

Being There: Photography as Habitation in Photo-Texts by Wright Morris
Alan Trachtenberg
Neil Gray Jr. Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies
Yale University
Tuesday, February 8, 4:30 pm
McCormick 106
Sponsored by the Department of Art and Archaeology and the Program in American Studies

Book Party to honor 

Dan Rodgers and Anne Cheng
Thursday, February 3
4:30 p.m.
Prospect House Library 
Age of Fracture by Daniel T. Rodgers offers a powerful reinterpretation of the ways in which the decades surrounding the 1980s changed America. Through a contagion of visions and metaphors, on both the intellectual right and the intellectual left, earlier notions of history and society that stressed solidity, collective institutions, and social circumstances gave way to a more individualized human nature that emphasized choice, agency, performance, and desire. On a broad canvas that includes Michel Foucault, Ronald Reagan, Judith Butler, Charles Murray, Jeffrey Sachs, and many more, Rodgers explains how structures of power came to seem less important than market choice and fluid selves. Cutting across the social and political arenas of late-twentieth-century life and thought, from economic theory and the culture wars to disputes over poverty, color-blindness, and sisterhood, Rodgers reveals how our categories of social reality have been fractured and destabilized. As we survey the intellectual wreckage of this war of ideas, we better understand the emergence of our present age of uncertainty.
Second Skin by Anne Anlin Cheng
What does a black burlesque star have to do with some of the most enduring and passionate ideas in modern aesthetic theory?  The spectacular Josephine Baker emerges from this story as a principal figure in the drama behind the making of Euro-American modernism.  Instead of seeing her nude performances as a Primitivist given, Cheng argues that Baker’s famous skin was central to the debates about and desire for “pure surface” that crystallized at the convergence of modern art, architecture, machinery, and philosophy.  Taking the reader across the Atlantic—through real stages and imagined houses; banana plantations and ocean liners; metallic bodies and radiant cities—this study tracks the ardent and protean conversation between the making of a modernist style and the staging of a new black visuality.  In this account, Baker and the modernists known to have adored and objectified her shared a common dream: the fantasy of remaking and wearing the skin of the other.
Copies of the books are available for sale at Labyrinth Books

a conversation with 
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
East Pyne 111

Terrence Rafferty was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, and received a BA in modern literature, philosophy, and creative writing from Cornell University in 1973.  He attended Brown University for one year, in the MFA program in Creative Writing, then returned to Cornell for postgraduate studies in Comparative Literature; he received an MA in 1977, and taught as a lecturer in the department in 1978-79.  Growing bored with his dissertation, he moved to New York and worked for Doubleday and Co. for five years, primarily editing genre fiction: mysteries, westerns, science fiction, fantasy, and horror.  He began to write reviews and essays about books, films, and television in the early 80s, which appeared in such publications as Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, The Atlantic, Vogue, Newsday, The Village Voice, The Boston Phoenix, The Nation, and The New Yorker.  In the mid-80s he wrote a fiction column for The Nation, and later became its film critic.  He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in film studies in 1987.  In 1988 he was hired as a staff writer by The New Yorker, reviewing books and films; most of his better than 200 pieces for the magazine appeared in the “Current Cinema” column.  Rafferty left The New Yorker in 1997 to become Critic-at-Large for GQ magazine, where he wrote a monthly column on the arts for the next six years; he was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2002.  Since 2003, he has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, usually appearing in the Arts & Leisure section and the Book Review (to which he also contributes an occasional column on horror).  He currently also contributes book reviews to Slate and writes booklet essays for the Criterion Collection, and is the East Coast correspondent for DGA Quarterly, the journal of the Directors Guild of America.
     In 1996 Rafferty was the McGraw Fellow in Writing at Princeton, teaching a seminar on critical writing in the Council of the Humanities; he offered a similar course in the Writing Program the following year.  He has also taught at Columbia, and has lectured or presented films at many institutions, including Yale, Cornell, Ohio State, Wesleyan, UC Berkeley, Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis), High Art Museum (Atlanta), the American Museum of the Moving Image (Queens, NY), and the Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY).  A selection of his writings on film, The Thing Happens, was published by Grove/Atlantic in 1993; individual essays and reviews have appeared in several anthologies and textbooks, including The Princeton Anthology of Writing, Cinema Nation, Best American Movie Writing 1999, Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures, five anthologies compiled by the National Society of Film Critics, and the Norton Critical Edition of E.M. Forster's Howards End.

Terrence Rafferty was the Fall 2010 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in the Program in American Studies and taught a course called “The Fear of God:  American Horror from Jonathan Edwards to Cloverfield.”


Anschutz Lecture

Terrence Rafferty
The Fear of God:
Some Thoughts on American Horror
Tuesday, November 30
5:00 p.m.
101 McCormick
Click here for more information on Anshutz Fellowship and Terrence Rafferty

Rafferty Lecture

The Princeton Modern America Workshop Presents:
The History of Oil in America: Before and After the Gulf Spill 
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
211 Dickinson Hall, Princeton University 
See here for more information

University Constitution Day Program

The Constitution in a Time of War:
The Trial of Minoru Yasui

 A Reenactment Featuring Princeton Students and a Conversation with

 The Honorable Denny Chin
United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit

 September 16, 2010, 4:30 p.m. 10 McCosh Hall

A presentation of the Critical Encounters Series

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Program in American Studies, the Center for African American Studies, the Department of English, the Program in Law and Public Affairs, and the James Madison Program

Constitution Day Video

Click here for bibliography and source documents
This two-part program began with a dramatic re-enactment (featuring student readers) of the trial of Minoru Yasui, who was convicted in federal court in Portland, Oregon, in 1942 of defying military orders that eventually resulted in the internment of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans, the majority of whom were U.S. citizens.   Portions of the trial, including the direct and cross-examinations of Minoru Yasui, were presented, drawn from the actual trial transcripts.   The program continued with a discussion of issues raised by the Yasui case that still resonate today:   What does it mean to be a United States citizen?   Does the administration of justice bend under the weight of national crisis?   To what extent must civil rights and civil liberties give way to the needs of national security?   May individual liberty be restricted in the name of preserving liberty for all?

JUDGE DENNY CHIN is a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He was sworn in on April 26, 2010.

Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1975 and received his law degree from Fordham Law School in 1978.  After clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Werker, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, he was associated with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell from 1980 to 1982.  He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1982 until 1986, when he and two of his colleagues from the U.S. Attorney's Office started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin.  In 1990, he joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.

From September 13, 1994, through April 23, 2010, Judge Chin served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  He presided over both civil and criminal cases, including cases involving Megan's Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken's use of the phrase "Fair and Balanced" in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, the Google Books settlement, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program.  He also presided over the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin and the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff.

Judge Chin has taught writing at Fordham Law School since 1986.  While in private practice, he provided extensive pro bono representation to the Asian American Legal  Defense and Education Fund.  He served as President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York from January 1992 through January 1994.  He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including Hartley House, Care for the Homeless, the Clinton Housing Associaiton, the Prospect Park Environmental Center, and the Fordham Law School Alumni Association.

Judge Chin was born in Hong Kong.  He was the first Asian American appointed a United States District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit.  He is the only active federal appellate judge of Asian American descent in the country.

Judge Chin is married to Kathy Hirata Chin, also a member of the Princeton Class of 1975.  They have two sons, including Paul, a member of the Princeton Class of 2006.

"Hebrew" Immigrants and Their "Jewish" Advocates: Jews, Law, and Identity Politics in the Progressive Era

The 2009-2010 Lapidus Lecture was delivered on 

Tuesday May 4, 2010, 4:30 p.m. East Pyne 010
Professor William E. Forbath
Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law at the University of Texas at Austin
William Forbath holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law and is Associate Dean for Research at the School of Law and is also Professor of History at UT, Austin.  He teaches constitutional law and legal and  constitutional history.  He is the author of Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement and about seventy articles on legal and constitutional history and theory.  He has two books in progress: Courting the State: Law and the Making of the Modern American State and Social and Economic Rights in the  American Grain.  He is on the boards of several scholarly journals and public interest organizations.

Conference: "Too Cute: American Style and the New Asian Cool"

Wednesday and Thursday, March 3 - 4, 2010
Prospect House, Princeton University
Keynote Address by Eric Nakamura in McCormick 101, 4:30 p.m. on March 3rd
Artist's Presentation by Yoshitomo Nara in McCormick 101, 4:30 p.m. on March 4th

Conference Organizer: Anne Anlin Cheng, Associate Chair, Department of English

Conference Schedule

Uncreative Writing: Unoriginal Genius in the Age of the Internet

Kenneth Goldsmith, Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies
Monday, February 15, 2010, 5 p.m.
James M. Stewart '32 Theater, 185 Nassau Street

With the rise of the web, writing has met its photography. Writing has encountered a situation similar to what happened to painting upon the invention of photography, a technology so much better at doing what the art form had been trying to do, that in order to survive, the field had to alter its course radically. If photography was striving for sharp focus, painting was forced to go soft, hence Impressionism. Faced with an unprecedented amount of digital available text, writing needs to redefine itself in order to adapt to the new environment of textual abundance.

How can writing respond? Due to changes brought on by technology and the internet, our notion of literary genius -- a romantic isolated figure -- is outdated. An updated notion of genius centers around one's mastery of information and its dissemination. Today the contemporary writer must "move information," signifying both the act of pushing language around as well as the act of being emotionally moved by that process. Today's writer resembles more a programmer than a tortured genius, brilliantly conceptualizing, constructing, executing and maintaining a writing machine.

Kenneth Goldsmith Bio:
Kenneth Goldsmith's writing has been called "some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry" by Publishers Weekly. Goldsmith is the author of ten books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb (, and the editor of I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, which was the basis for an opera, Trans-Warhol, that premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. An hour-long documentary on his work, Sucking on Words premiered at the British Library in 2007. Kenneth Goldsmith is the host of a weekly radio show on New York City's WFMU. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania, where he is a senior editor of PennSound, an online poetry archive. Goldsmith  received the Qwartz Electronic Music Award in Paris in 2009.  A book of critical essays, Uncreative Writing, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press, as is an anthology from Northwestern University Press co-edited with Craig Dworkin, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing.

Goldsmith is the 2009-2010 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies and is teaching Uncreative Writing in the Spring 2010 semester.

More about Goldsmith can be found at:

University Constitution Day Lecture: How Small Emergencies Undermine Big Constitutional Principles

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Monday, September 21, 4:30 p.m.
Friend Center, Room 101

Kim Lane Scheppele
, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and University Center for Human Values and  George W. Crawford Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School

With Comments By:
Deborah Pearlstein,
Associate Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School and Visiting Faculty Fellow, University of Pennsylvania Law School

George Kateb, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Emeritus

The lecture is presented by the Program in American Studies, the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, the Program in Law and Public Affairs, and the Office of the Provost.

Emergency declarations - even the small emergency declarations - have the effect of temporarily changing the balance of constitutional power in order to meet a pressing need.  But if emergencies happen often enough and cavalierly enough, the exception becomes the rule.  This system of emergency action is now part and parcel of what the Constitution has come to mean - that Congress can set up a system of stand-by presidential authority to act without going back to the Congress for explicit permission in the event the president feels that something extraordinary should be done.  Those of us who care about the Constitution's promise of normal non-emergency government may wonder about the wisdom of statutes and court decisions that have permitted ever-increasing powers to be wielded by an ever-more-powerful President.  We have become complacent about emergency government.  When confronted with a new situation - whether transnational terrorism after September 11 or unprecedented crowds in Washington DC for a presidential inauguration - we should first try to adapt our normal legal procedures to handle the new situations rather than creating the shortcuts and workarounds of emergency powers.

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University Constitution Day Lecture 2009: George Kateb, Hendrik Hartog, Kim Lane Scheppele, and Deborah Pearlstein (from left to right)

Margot Canaday Book Reading: The Straight State

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Join Us for a Book Reading from

The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America

Thursday, October 8, 2009, 4:30 p.m.
Prospect House

5:00 p.m. Reading by Margot Canaday

RSVP to or 609-258-4710

The book is available at Labyrinth Books on Nassau Street.

Reflections on Liberty and the American Revolution, from the Collection of Sid Lapidus

Alec Dun
Parween Ebrahim
Jesse George-Nichol
Dael Norwood
Barbara Oberg
Caitlin Tully
Sean Wilentz

Thursday January 7, 4:30 p.m.
McCosh 60

Reception to Follow in the American Studies Library, McCosh 43
For more information about the Collection and Library Exhibit, click here.

Public Lecture

Pauline Epistle or Telling the Man? White Talk, Black Talk, and the Slap of Translation in Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

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Jonathan Rieder, Professor of Sociology, Barnard College, Columbia University
Monday, January 18, 2010, 4:30 p.m.
McCormick 101
Cosponsored with the Center for African American Studies

Jonathan Rieder is professor of Sociology at Barnard College, Columbia University where he teaches courses on contemporary American culture and politics, the sociology of culture, and American pluralism and race relations.  He also directs the Barnard Program on Civic Engagement.  He previously taught at Yale and Swarthmore.

His widely reviewed, recent book, The Word of the Lord is Upon Me: The Righteous Performance of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Harvard University Press, 2008), was hailed as "absolutely brilliant" by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "the best anatomy of King's verbal imagination yet," (Scott Saul, The Nation), and "arguably the most creative book about King to date" (Michael Long, Christian Century).  His article "I'm Going to be a Negro Tonight: Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack Obama and Postracial Paradoxes" appeared in the summer 2009 issue of The Michigan Review.  His "Too Black or Not Black Enough?: Final Thoughts on Beer Summits and Postracial Paradoxes," recently appeared in The Huffington Post.

Rieder is currently writing a book about the transformation of rhythm and blues into soul music.  The editor of The Fractious Nation: Unity and Division in the Contemporary United States (University of California Press), he is the author of Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against Liberalism.  As a former contributing editor at The New Republic he wrote a series of cover stories on racial conflict in New York City.  From 1995 to 2001 he was founding co-editor of CommonQuest: The Magazine of Black-Jewish Relations.  He has been awarded fellowships by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the National Humanities Center.

Radio Free Dixie Southern Rock Symposium

May 8 - 9, 2009

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The fortieth anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band's founding presents a great opportunity to reexamine the influence and impact of perhaps the most internationally famous, southern music group of our times -- alongside a wide range of artists, scholars, politicians, spiritual figures, and critics that have emerged from the New South during the late twentieth/early twenty-first century.  This symposium presents a mostly southern-bred roster of renowned and emerging artists and scholars who will both look back on and freshly address the significance of the vanguart art of the Allman Brothers and the generation of southern postmodernists inspired by them.

This is an unprecedented socio-cultural moment in the New South - also known during the past 15 years or so as the Dirty South or 'Dirty Dirty' -- and American history.  This symposium underscores the contributions and achievements Americans of southern descent have consistently made to our civilization - as well as taking an unflinching look at the region's darker legacies.  The symposium provides a unique forum to interrogate, engage and explore how one defines "the Myth of the South."  The symposium will highlight important cultural production of multiracial Americans in the Deep South post-1964.

Bob Gruen

Rock and Roll Photography: A Journey Through the Rock & Roll World from 1970 to the Present

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Monday, April 20, 2009, 4:30 p.m.
McCormick 101

Bob Gruen is one of the most well-known and respected photographers in rock and roll.  From Muddy Waters to the Rolling Stones; Elvis to Madonna; Bob Dylan to Bob Marley; John Lennon to Johnny Rotten, he has captured the music scene for over forty years in photographs that have gained worldwide recognition.  Bob has worked with major rock acts such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Elton John, Aerosmith, Kiss & Alice Cooper and emerging punk and new wave bands including the New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, Clash,  Ramones, Patti Smith Group and Blondie. As chief photographer for Rock Scene Magazine in the ‘70s, Bob specialized in candid, behind the scenes photo features. This seminal body of work reflects a profound commitment and long-standing personal friendship with the artists. His wealth of personal experiences and uncanny memory provide the most illuminating and comprehensive histories of rock youth culture.

Caring Labor in International Perspective Panel Discussion

March 24, 2009, 4:30 p.m.

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With an aging population and with more women, the traditional caregivers, employed in wage work, the problems of adult and child care loom as an increasingly worrisome concern. Who has provided the care in the past? How has that care been secured and paid for? Who will now provide care for children, the elderly, and the ill? Who will pay for it? Who should pay for it? Most care is still managed by family members and friends. Increasingly, however, a higher proportion of personal care has become commercialized. Presenting evidence from the United States and France, the panel will explore some of the complex and compelling moral, social, and legal controversies involved in the new economics of care.


 Inaugural Americanist Research Symposium

March 5, 2009

Keynote Conversation

“The Work of Art & Story in an Age of Biotechnology”

Priscilla Wald & Alys Weinbaum
4:30 p.m. Betts Auditorium

*Related articles by Wald and Weinbaum*

March 6, 2009

Graduate Panel: Public Figures
(9 a.m.-12 p.m.) Location TBD

Graduate Panel: (Trans)National Publics
(1:00-4:00 p.m.) Location TBD

Closing Roundtable

“Public Matters in American Literary & Cultural Studies”
Daphne Brooks, Anne A. Cheng, Bill Gleason & Marie Griffith
(4:30 p.m.) 010 East Pyne

Sponsored by:
The Americanist Colloquium, The Depart ment of English, The Center for African American Studies, The Program in the Study of Women & Gender,
The Program in American Studies, the Graduate Action Committee,
The University Center for Human Values & the Center for the Study of Religion 

Book Reading: Passing Strange

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 with Marni Sandweiss

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The secret double life of the man who mapped the American West and the woman he loved
     Clarence King is a hero of nineteenth-century western history: brilliant scientist and witty conversationalist, bestselling author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War. Secretary of State John Hay called King  “the best and brightest of his generation.” But King hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent family in Newport: for thirteen years he lived a double life—as the celebrated white explorer, geologist, and writer Clarence King and as a black Pullman porter and steelworker named James Todd. The fair, blue-eyed son of a wealthy China trader passed across the color line, revealing his secret to his black common-law wife, Ada King, only on his deathbed.
     The noted historian of the American West Martha Sandweiss is the first writer to uncover the life that King tried so hard to conceal from the public eye. She reveals the complexity of a man who, while publicly espousing a personal dream of a uniquely American “race,” an amalgam of white and black, hid his love for his wife, Ada, and their five biracial children. Passing Strange tells the dramatic tale of a family built along the fault lines of celebrity, class, and race—from the 1888 wedding of the “Todds” to the 1964 death of Ada King, one of the last surviving Americans born into slavery.
Martha A. Sandweiss is a professor of history at Princeton University. She began her career as a museum curator and taught for twenty years at Amherst College. She is the author of numerous works on western American history and the history of photography, including Print the Legend: Photography and the American West, winner of the Organization of American Historians’ Ray Allen Billington Prize, and Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace, and is coeditor of The Oxford History of the American West.

The Lapidus Family Fund for American Jewish Studies Annual Lecture: 

And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: Music, Memory, and the Politics of Jewish-American History

Josh Kun, Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, Department of American Studies & Ethnicity, USC

Monday, December 1, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
James M. Stewart ’32 Theater, 185 Nassau Street
Click here to stream a video of the lecture.

Josh Kun is a professor in the Annenberg School for Communications and the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also directs The Popular Music Project at The Norman Lear Center for the Study of Entertainment and Society. His research and teaching focus on the arts and politics of cultural connection, with an emphasis on popular music, the cultures of globalization, the US-Mexico border, and Jewish-American musical history. He is the author of Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America (UC Press) which won a 2006 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and co-author of And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past As Told By The Records We’ve Loved and Lost (Crown, 2008). He also wrote the introduction to the republication of Papa, Play For Me (Wesleyan University Press), the autobiography of musical comedian Mickey Katz. He is currently a contributor to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and Cabinet. In 2005, he co-founded Reboot Stereophonic, a non-profit record label dedicated to excavating forgotten treasures of Jewish-American music, and in 2008 cofounded The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation, a digital archive of Jewish musical history.

Professor Kun will also be delivering a lunch
workshop at 12 noon on the same day

2008 University Constitution Day Lecture: Thomas Jefferson and the Rights of Citizens

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall

Barbara Oberg, Lecturer with the Rank of Professor in History and General Editor, Papers of Thomas Jefferson

with comments by:
Christina Burnett, Associate Professor of Law at Columbia University
Stephen Macedo, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and Director of the University Center for Human Values
Sean Wilentz, Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the American Revolutionary Era

“Every man has a right to live somewhere on the earth…the only rightful line is between transient persons & bona fide citizens.” This year’s Constitution Day lecture will focus on Thomas Jefferson’s personal and political struggle during his first term as president to define the rights of “bonafide citizens.”

For more than a quarter of a century, from his preparation of a constitution for Virginia, to his proposal to establish a government for the Northwest Territory, through his draft of the Kentucky Resolutions, Jefferson grappled with constitutions and the rights of citizens. Between 1801 and 1803, as the nation’s third president, he wrestled with the twin problems of the restriction by the Alien Friends Act and the Sedition Act of the rights of those who were already citizens and the expansion of citizenship through a wise and fair policy of naturalization as new territories were acquired. What did it mean to expand boundaries through the incorporation of new territories into the nation, not from lands already “belonging” to the states but from lands acquired from foreign governments (the Louisiana Purchase, or West Florida, for example)? And, even more perplexing, what did it mean to expand the community of the nation’s citizens and possibly to reformulate the principles of citizenship? Jefferson’s correspondence, his draft of a bill to establish a government for the District of Columbia, and his first Annual Message to Congress provide some answers to these questions.

On Memoir, Magazines, Baseball, and the Writing Life

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with Roger Angell, Gerald Marzorati and Nicholas Dawidoff
Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 4:30 p.m.

McCormick 101

Roger Angell sold his first New Yorker story in 1943, and has been a staff member there for more than half a century, editing writers ranging from Vladimir Nabokov to Ann Beattie, William Trevor, John Updike, and Woody Allen; he remains a New Yorker fiction editor and regular contributor. He is America's foremost baseball writer, and has also published humor and fiction and, most recently, a memoir entitled Let Me Finish.

Gerald Marzorati has been the Editor in Chief of The New York Times Magazine since 2003.  Previously he worked as a senior editor at The New Yorker and Harper's.  He is the author of A Painter of Darkness, a biography of Leon Golub that won a PEN award for first non-fiction.  He has also been the music critic for Slate.

Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of four books. One of them, The Fly Swatter, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and another, In the Country of Country, was named one of the greatest all-time works of travel literature by Conde Nast Traveller. His first book, The Catcher Was A Spy: The Mysterious Life Of Moe Berg was a national bestseller and appeared on many 1994 best book lists. In May, Pantheon will publish The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness and Baseball. He is also the editor of the Library of America’s Baseball: A Literary Anthology. A graduate of Harvard University, he has been a Guggenheim, Civitella Ranieri and Berlin Prize Fellow, and is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and the American Scholar.   He is currently teaching a seminar titled "Americans at Work and at Play."

Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race

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Thursday, April 17, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
Aaron Burr Hall 219
Presented by the Department of Anthropology and the Program in American Studies
Arlene Dávila, Professor of Anthropology and Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University and Visiting Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University

ARLENE DÁVILA is a cultural anthropologist interested in urban and ethnic studies, the political economy of culture and media and consumption studies. Her work focuses on Puerto Ricans in the eastern U.S. , and Latinos nationwide. She is currently working on a collection of essays on the production and circulation of contemporary representations of Latinidad examining current debates about the so called “mainstreaming”and the future place of Latinos in the contemporary politics of race.  In the spring 2008 semester Professor Davila is teaching a student initiated course at Princeton entitled La Nueva Latina.

Next to Love is the Desire for Love: The Search for Meaning in American Memoir with Nicholas Dawidoff, Anschutz Distinguished Fellow

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Thursday, March 27, 2008, 4:30 p.m.
James M. Stewart '32 Theater, 185 Nassau Street

Memoir is an increasingly popular literary genre among American writers and readers. Dawidoff, the author of both a memoir and a biographical memoir, examines the form, how it functions in the work of several superior American writers--and in his own books. In particular, he will discuss the subject within the subject, the way a range of big, general themes from a box of old family mementos to food to fly fishing have been the impetus for the authors of some of America's finest volumes of personal history. 

Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of four books. One of them, The Fly Swatter, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and another, In the Country of Country, was named one of the greatest all-time works of travel literature by Conde Nast Traveller. His first book, The Catcher Was A Spy: The Mysterious Life Of Moe Berg was a national bestseller and appeared on many 1994 best book lists. In May, Pantheon will publish The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness and Baseball. He is also the editor of the Library of America’s Baseball: A Literary Anthology. A graduate of Harvard University, he has been a Guggenheim, Civitella Ranieri and Berlin Prize Fellow, and is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and the American Scholar.   He is currently teaching a seminar titled "Americans at Work and at Play."

Will They Come? Will They Stay? A Conversation on Teachers for the Twenty-First Century

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 7:30 p.m.
Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall 

Nationwide, a severe teacher shortage is undermining our country’s public education system. Although there is a consensus that this problem is crippling public education in America, educators and policymakers are divided over how to tackle it. One school of thought advocates diverting smart, passionate young people from other career paths and convincing them to dedicate several years to teaching. Another school of thought argues that such an approach merely contributes to the problem of high turnover among teachers and that the solution actually lies in reforming and bolstering teacher preparation programs.  What do you think? 
Panelists will include representatives from Teach for America, the Program in Teacher Preparation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, facilitated by the Director of the American Studies Program, Hendrik Hartog.
Sponsored by Teach for America, the Program in Teacher Preparation, and the Program in American Studies

The Opportunity of Crisis: Integrating the University of Alabama

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Friday, February 29, 2008
3:30 p.m., McCosh 50

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the historic racial integration of the University of Alabama (June 1963), the Program in American Studies, Center for African American Studies, and Program in Law and Public Affairs, will mark the occasion with a screening of the documentary, Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment.  A panel discussion including former U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, who served as Deputy Attorney General under John F. Kennedy; John Doar, who prosecuted the Mississippi Burning Trial; and filmmakers, Bob Drew and D.A. Pennebaker, will be moderated by Professors Val Smith and Sean Wilentz.

Lapidus Family Lecture: The Democratization of American Judaism

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008
4:30 p.m., McCormick 101

Jonathan Sarna
Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University

Dr. Jonathan Sarna has written, edited, or co-edited more than twenty books, including the acclaimed American Judaism: A History. Winner of the Jewish Book Council's "Jewish Book of the Year Award" in 2004, it has been praised as being "the single best description of American Judaism during its 350 years on American soil."  If you are unable to attend his public lecture at 4:30, he will also be offering a workshop at 12 noon on the topic, "The Mystical World of Colonial American Jews."

Anschutz Lecture: Before Robertson and O'Reilly: Cold War Extremism and the Legacy of Billy James Hargis

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007
 4:30 p.m., Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture

Heather Hendershot
Associate Professor of Media Studies, Queens College, CUNY, and Coordinator of the Film Studies Certificate Program, CUNY Graduate Center

Convervative evangelical activists often speak of America's historically "Christian roots" and reference the 1950s as an era of strong religious sentiment and high moral standards.  That the loudest politically engaged fundamentalist voices of the Cold War years spoke out against the Civil Rights movement - on hundreds of independent TV and radio stations all over the country - is now seen as something of an embarrassment.  Thus, most figures of the Old Christian Right have been conveniently left out of the nostalgic histories spun by the New Christian Right.  Hendershot's talk will center on broadcaster Billy James Hargis, showing how he functioned as a bridge from the Cold War Christian Right to the New Christian Right of the 1970s.  Hendershot will focus in particular on Hargis's innovations in direct mail and mechanized mass mailings, his mastery of fundraising rhetoric, his successful campaign against sex education, and his skill at erasing the racist foundations of his Cold War activism.

Princeton University Constitution Day Lecture
co-sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions

Stanley N. Katz

"Who's Afraid of Senator Byrd? 
The Constitution and the Uses of American History"

Monday, September 17, 2007
4:30 p.m.
Dodds Auditorium

Why do Americans celebrate “Constitution Day”?  Why does the federal government, indeed, require universities receiving federal funds to provide an educational program on the Constitution each September 17?  Why September 17th?  The lecture will explore the relatively recent reconceptualization of our constitutional history, and especially the linkage that some Americans (mostly but not entirely political conservatives) have forged between their version of constitutional history and what they term “traditional American history.”  What is traditional American history?  Why should the federal government specially fund this version of our national past?  Just as it may be that the Constitution is too important to be left to politicians, it may be that the teaching of history is too important to be left to politicians.  What would a more plausible version of American constitutional patriotism be? 

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lee Clarke

Anschutz Distinguished Fellow

Worst Cases:
Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination

5:00 p.m., Betts Auditorium

Professor Lee Clarke is a leader in the fields of social organization and calamity.  In addition to Worst Cases, his works include Mission Improbable:  Using Fantasy Documents to Tame Disaster (Chicago University Press, 1999), and Acceptable Risk?  Making Decisions in a Toxic Environment (University of California Press, 1989). 

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Inaugural Lecture of the Lapidus Family Fund for American Jewish Studies

Leon Wieseltier

Of What Use is Jewish History to American Jewish History?

4:30 p.m., McCormick 101
Reception to follow

Leon Wieseltier is an American writer, critic, and magazine editor. Since 1983 he has been the literary editor of The New Republic.  Wieseltier has published several fictional and non-fictional books.  Kaddish, a National Book Award finalist in 2000, is a genre-blending meditation on the Jewish prayers of mourning.  Against Identity is a collection of thoughts about the modern notion of identity. Wieseltier also edited and introduced a volume of works by Lionel Trilling entitled The Moral Obligation to be Intelligent and translated of the works of Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai have appeared in The New Republic and The New Yorker

The Program in American Studies and The Modern America Workshop Present 

Same Sex Marriage in New Jersey History and the Next 180 Days

Mary Anne Case
The Program in Law and Public Affairs Fellow
Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law
University of Chicago Law School 

Rebecca Davis
Center for the Study of Religion

Katherine Franke
The Program in Law and Public Affairs Fellow
Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture
Columbia University Law School 

Hendrik Hartog
Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty
Director, Program in American Studies

Laura Weinrib
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History

Thursday, November 9, 2006, 12 noon
210 Dickinson Hall

The Christian Right and the Open Society
Chris Hedges
Anschutz Distinguished Fellow

Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for nearly twenty years in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. He was a member of the New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper's coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism.  He is the author of the highly acclaimed War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.  Hedges, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School, is currently writing a book on the Christian Right and its role in American society.  His latest book is Losing Moses on the Freeway:  The 10 Commandments in America.

Thursday, April 20, 2006
4:30 p.m., Robertson Hall, Bowl 2

The Willard and Margaret Thorp Lecture in American Studies

Journalism, Democracy, and American Popular Sentiment
Fred Inglis

Fred Inglis, the eminent British critic, is Professor Emeritus of Cultural Studies at the University of Sheffield and Leverhulme Fellow 2004-6.  He has written extensively for The Nation, the New Statesman, THES, and the London Independent, and contributes regularly to BBC Radio.  He has been a member of the Institutes of Advanced Study in Princeton and in the Netherlands, of the European University Institute in Florence, and was Visiting Fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute in 2002-3.  His principal publications include, most recently, The Delicious History of the Holiday (2000); Clifford Geertz:  Culture, Custom, Ethics 2000);  People’s Witness: The Journalist in Modern Politics (2002); and Culture: Key Concepts in the Social Sciences (2004). 

Professor Inglis was educated, after service with the draft in the British Airborne, at the University of Cambridge, England and subsequently was awarded his two doctorates at the University of Bristol.  He has been four times a (defeated) Parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party.

Monday, April 24, 2006, 4:30 p.m.
106 McCormick Hall

American Visions in Documentary

Curated for the Program in American Studies by
Sheila Curran Bernard
Anschutz Distinguished Fellow, Fall 2005-6

Lalee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton
With filmmaker Susan Froemke
Wednesday, September 28
7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Betts Auditorium

Nominated for an Academy Award in 2001, this documentary feature is a powerful and timely exploration of poverty and education in the Mississippi Delta. The film was directed by Susan Froemke, winner of numerous awards including four Emmys and a Grammy, and by Deborah Dickson and Albert Maysles.
Sponsored by the Programs in American Studies and African American Studies

Eugene O’Neill
With filmmaker Ric Burns
Wednesday, November 9
7:30-8:45 p.m., McCormick 101

Ric Burns (The Civil War;  New York: A Documentary Film) will present excerpts of his newest work, Eugene O’Neill, a two-hour special that will air on PBS’s American Experience next spring. The film – a collaboration between Burns and O’Neill biographers Arthur and Barbara Gelb – makes use of interviews and readings from a number of the world’s foremost O’Neill scholars, historians, writers, critics and theatre artists. (O’Neill spent a year at Princeton, 1906-7.)
Sponsored by the Program in American Studies, the Program in Theater and Dance, The Program in Visual Arts, and the Department of English

Benjamin Franklin
With filmmakers Muffie Meyer and Ronald Blumer
Wednesday, November 16
7:30 – 8:45 p.m., McCormick 101

Founded in 1978 by Muffie Meyer and Ellen Hovde, Middlemarch Films has won acclaim for its historical filmmaking, including the innovative use of dramatic recreation in series such as Liberty! The American Revolution and Benjamin Franklin. A three-part miniseries for PBS, Franklin won a 2003 Emmy for best documentary special. Producer/director Muffie Meyer and writer/co-producer Ronald Blumer will present excerpts of the series and discuss its production.
Sponsored by the Program in American Studies, The Department of Art & Archaeology, and the Department of History

Eyes on the Prize
With filmmakers Sheila Curran Bernard and Sam Pollard, and Professor Stanley N. Katz
Monday, November 21
7:30-8:45 p.m.

An acclaimed 14-hour television history of America’s civil rights movement, Eyes on the Prize was broadcast over two seasons, in 1987 and 1990. As a team employed by Blackside, Inc. in Boston, Pollard and Bernard created two films for the second season: Two Societies and Ain’t Gonna Shuffle No More, which won national Emmys for both writing and editing.  They will present clips from both films and discuss the series’ creation, recent changes in archival documentary storytelling, and current efforts to renew underlying rights so that Eyes can be re-broadcast.
Sponsored by the Programs in American Studies and African American Studies, and the Department of History

Willard and Margaret Thorp Lecture in American Studies

Lifting Scalps: William Weatherford’s Replacement of His White Identity With His Life as a Muscogee War Chief
David Robertson
March 22, 2005
4:30 p.m.       28 McCosh Hall

The Willard and Margaret Thorp Lectures in American Studies

Carlin Romano 
America the Philosophical

Wednesday, October 20, 2004, 7:30 p.m.
106 McCormick Hall

In his book-in-progress, America the Philosophical, Carlin Romano argues that “The surprising little secret of our ardently capitalist, famously materialist, heavily Disneyfied society is that America in the infancy of the 21st Century emerges as the most philosophical culture in the history of the world, an unprecedented marketplace of truth and argument that surpasses ancient Greece, Cartesian France, 19th-Century Germany and any other competitor for the past three millennia.  The openness of its dialogue, the quantity of its arguments, the diversity of its viewpoints, the intensity of its hunt for evidence and information, the comprehensiveness of its recording of established truths, the widespread rejection of claims imposed by authority or tradition alone, the resistance to false claims of justification and legitimacy, the embrace of Internet communication with an alacrity that intimidates the world:  all corroborate that fact.”  This lecture will present and discuss the core vision of the book.  

Carlin Romano is Literary Critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Critic-at-Large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and a newly elected Fellow at the New York University Institute for the Humanities.

David Cannadine

Do Politics and Business Mix?
From Andrew Mellon to Dick Cheney

David Cannadine is the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Professor of British History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. He is the editor and author of many acclaimed books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy¸ which won the Lionel Trilling Prize and the Governors’ Award; Aspects of Aristocracy; G. M. Trevelyan; The Pleasures of the Past; History in Our Time; and Class in Britain. He is currently working on a book on the life of Andrew Mellon. Professor Cannadine writes regularly for newspapers and reviews in London and New York, and is a well-known broadcaster on radio and television.

Thursday, October 7, 2004, 7:30 p.m.
Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture

A Recantation
Reflections on Joan Didion's California

Wendy Lesser
Anschutz Distinguished Fellow
Founder and Editor, The Threepenny Review

Tuesday, September 21, 7:30 p.m.
Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture

The Making of Americans:
From Hispanic Segmented Assimilation to Hispanic Fractured Accommodation

Anschutz Distinguished Fellow
Maurice Ferré

Maurice Ferré is the Anschutz Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the American Studies Program of Princeton University for 2003-04. From 1973 through 1985, he served as the thirty-seventh Mayor of the City of Miami. His extensive public service has also included presidential advisory appointments and terms in the Florida legislature and on the Dade County Board of Commissioners. His work has been recognized with numerous national honors at home and abroad. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Mayor Ferré has completed research and written extensively on the question of Hispanic accommodation and assimilation in the United States, which remains the major focus of his work. His current Anschutz seminar is entitled, "The Changing American Identity: a Hispanic/Latino View"

Wednesday, April 7, 2004, 4:30 p.m.
106 McCormick Hall

The Danny Kalb Trio
Bob Jones and Mark Ambrosino

Danny Kalb, the blues and folk performing legend, has been a leading force in American music for more than forty years. In 1965, he founded the ground-breaking band, The Blues Project, whose albums and concerts, alongside Bob Dylan's, marked the electrification of the folk revival.
    Wherever and whenever something was happening back then, from New York's Cafe au Go Go to the Fillmore in San Francisco, Danny Kalb was there -- and making it happen. Since then, he has gone on to a distinguished career both as a solo artist and playing with his ensemble, featuring a new richness and darkness in tone. Howard Solomon, respected veteran of the blues and rock scene, ranks Kalb's work "up there with the best of all the blues legends," including Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.

Thursday, December 4, 2003, 5:00 p.m
Betts Auditorium
free and open to the public

Other People's Money
Today's Wall Street Scandals in Historical Perspective

Anschutz Distinguished Fellow

Steve Fraser spent more than twenty years in the publishing industry, first as an editor for Cambridge University Press, then as Executive Editor and Vice President of Basic Books, and lastly as Executive Editor at Houghton Mifflin. He is the editor of several prize-winning books, including a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a winner of the National Book Award. He has worked in the area of general non-ficition with a particular emphasis on history. While pursuing his career in publishing, Dr. Fraser also completed his Ph.D in American History. He is the author of Labor Will Rule: Sidney Hillman and the Rise of American Labor, which won the Taft prize for the best book in labor history for 1991 and was nominated for the National Book Circle Critics Award. He is also the co-editor of The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, the co-editor of Audacious  Democracy, and the editor of The Bell Curve Wars. He is writing a cultural history of Wall Street and is co-editing a new collection of essays provisionally entitled Ruling America.

Thursday, March 27, 2003, 4:30 p.m.
106 McCormick Hall 

November 22-23, 2002

Tangled Roots
A Workshop on American Folk and Field Recordings

Saturday, November 23, 2002
210-211 Dickinson Hall, 9:30-5:30  


Dean Blackwood, co-founder of Revenant Records
Robert Cantwell, University of North Carolina, historian of the folk revival
Marybeth Hamilton, University of London, historian of the Delta blues 
Greil Marcus, author of Mystery Train and The Old, Weird America
Heather O’Donnell, Princeton University, Society of Fellows
Dick Spottswood, discographer, folklorist, WAMU radio 
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, History and American Studies 

Workshop seating limited 
 Musical Guests

Spider John Koerner, Dave Ray & Tony Glover
Blues, Rags, & Hollers
“Every time they play the lights shine” – Bob Dylan
Friday, November 22, 8 PM
Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall

The Handsome Family 
Odessa, Milk & Scissors, Through the Trees, In the Air and Twilight
"One of the Ten Best Records You Didn’t Hear This Year” – Spin, 2001
Saturday, November 23, 8 PM
Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall

Co-sponsored by the Program in African-American Studies, 
the Department of Anthropology, the Department of English, 
the Department of History, the Department of Music, 
and the Council of the Humanities

"Behind the Bully Pulpit:
Reflections on Presidential Speechwriting"

Jeff Shesol
Anschutz Distinguished Fellow
Founding Partner, West Wing Writers
Deputy Director of Presidential Speechwriting, Clinton White House

Monday, April 22, 2002, 8:00 p.m.
101 McCormick Hall

Professor John Kuo Wei Tchen
New York University

"Anti Racism beyond Black and White:
Post 9-11 New York"

Organized by the International Center, and Co-sponsored by:
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Council
Chinese Students Association
Consortium of International Center Students Organizations
Third World Center
Students for Informed Dialogue
The Ombuds Office
The National Conference for Community and Justice, New Jersey Region

After the World Trade Center, the New York metropolitan region looks and feels different. The physical landscape of the region, once again, has changed. And so has its cultural politics. Over the next few months, the rebuilding of lower Manhattan has become paramount, pushing aside all other issues. Yet, this globalized local space embodies all these dynamics. Anti-racism, to paraphrase DuBois, is key to the 21st Century.

April 4, 2002, 4:30 p.m.,
McCosh 28

The Progressive Tradition: Politics, Culture and History

A Conference at Princeton University


Thursday, November 15, 2001, 7:00 p.m.

Wood Auditorium (10 McCosh)

The Program in American Studies Presents
The Willard and Margaret Thorp Lecture in American Studies

"Presidents and Democracy: An American History"

Sidney Blumenthal, Assistant to the President of the United States

Tuesday, November 9, 1999, 8:00pm
Helm Auditorium (50 McCosh Hall)
Co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs