Welcome back American Studies students, faculty, alumni, and supporters! We hope you had an enjoyable and restful summer.
Please join us for a Welcome Week open house on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 12-1pm in Fine Arts 545-B (in the American Studies office suite) to kick off the fall 2022 semester! Come pick up a (free!) boxed lunch in Fine Arts 545-B.
You can say hi to your professors, and find out more about a degree in American Studies, or learn about our three minors (in public humanities, Asian American studies, or American Studies) and find out about our other exciting programs for this academic year.
Come say hello to our new chair, Dr. Tamara Bhalla, and program management specialist, Morgan Dowty, as well.
And for the alumni on the lis, please read on for notes from our esteemed colleagues, Warren Belasco and Ed Orser.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Fall News and Notes from the Department of American Studies
Professor Bhalla just published a co-written essay in The Journal of Asian American Studies on the state of South Asian American studies in the broader field of Asian American Studies, called The Privilege of South Asian American Studies. She also had an opportunity to write about her experiences teaching a public humanities version of her Asian American Studies course, Bringing Public Humanities to Asian American Studies for HumanitiesForAll.org. This fall she will be participating in the inaugural Breaking the Mold Leadership Initiative.
Professor Casiano will participate in the Fall Spotlight! Lecture Series hosted by the AOK Library���s Special Collections. His talk, entitled Policing Jim Crow Baltimore: Archival Insights, will draw on his book manuscript to detail how policing shaped urban governance in Baltimore during the post-Civil War Era. The talk will take place on November 9, 2022 virtually.
Professor Fouts launched, "Project Neutral Grounds: At the Intersection of People, Street Food, and the Hustle," in New Orleans this summer as part of the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship. Professor Fouts is working with Professor Nicole King, Jasmine Braswell, and Professor Tahira Mahdi (Psychology) to beginBaltimore Field School 2.0, funded through ACLS and NEH "Sustaining Public Engagement" grant.The grant will support 7 Community Fellows engaged in Baltimore-based projects who will help develop theBaltimore Field School 2.0workshop for UMBC faculty and graduate students in summer 2023. Professor Fouts's collaborative public humanities research projects were featured inUMBC's News.
Professor King published a co-authored article ���Building Together��� in Baltimore? Corporate Megadevelopment and Coalitions for Community Power in Urban Affairs Review. Since 2020, she has been working on the A Place Called Poppleton project documenting a fight for community-led development in Baltimore as part of the Baltimore Traces project. She will teach an upper-level undergraduate and graduate student seminar focused on preservation and development in Baltimore for AMST in Spring 2023. King is giving the opening talk Preservation for the People: The Fight for Development Without Displacement in Poppleton for Open Doors Baltimore on September 29, and is speaking at The University and the Neighborhood Conference at Wake Forest University on November 11.
And notes from our esteemed, professors emeriti:
From Professor Warren Belasco
Aside from the physical afflictions associated with the Golden Years, life is good here. The garden exults in the steamy heat and drenching t-storms, and my fig crop has exceeded all expectations. Maeve (14 mos) continues to amaze and delight us as she runs wild and free (thereby exhausting her poor overwhelmed parents, who like every other human being who has ever had children, had no idea what they were getting into.) As for my mind, I occasionally exercise it (tho not excessively) by researching and writing about my family's history, which seems to follow the eternal dialectic of trauma and triumph. I've even written and self-published a couple of books, which I distribute gratis to worthy relatives. They're a tough audience however, as they frequently complain that my words are too long.
About More Alumni Involvement: Your idea about involving the alumni more is excellent! All joking aside, I really do believe that they have amazing stories to tell, and our students will be inspired by them, as will the faculty. I still remember the wonderful alumni dinners we had. We must never forget that American Studies has transformed so many lives.
In our emails, Prof Belasco also shared two playlists that he has created, the second one is inspired by his food studies class���beloved by many students! Enjoy!
From Professor Ed Orser:
Professor Orser and his wife Jo have moved into the Charlestown Retirement Community. As he says, ���We're liking our setting a great deal here, where the campus looks like a well-maintained college campus on parents' weekend, and the community offers quite a range of activities for residents. I'm hoping to attend this fall's Bmore Historic sessions, though the move has made our plans a bit up in the air, since we had to postpone some scheduled visits with friends and family. I was quite surprised to meet up here with several of my students from my early years teaching at UMBC, when a number of my best AMST students were returning women, who had missed out on college til later in life, and typically were among my most serious and determined students.���