News & Events

Perri Keyes (ASE BA Alum '14) created a documentary called "Beyond Fear" as part of her Senior Honor's thesis

Click here for the link to her documentary.


Professor Viet Nguyen nominated for fiction award

See article in the Daily Trojan, here.

Congratulations to ASE Alumni Tonna Kenneth Onyendu meeting President Barak Obama with Fr. Greg Boyle from Homeboy Industries looking on.

Roundtable tribute to our colleague and teacher, Maria Elena Martinez, in the Radical History Review

Click on the image above to read the review.

Professor David Roman takes his class to watch a play

AMST 350(Junior Seminar) students visit the Pasadena Playhouse to watch Real Women have Curves and meets Christina Frias, the lead actor, in class to rave reviews! Thank you Prof. David Roman for creating this wonderful experience for our undergraduates!

Congratulations to Breanna Betts for winning the Ninfa Sanchez Best Undergraduate Paper Prize!

Breanna Betts wrote a senior honors paper thesis on "Remembering & Forgetting Psychiatric Survivors:  Restoration & Restitution in Asylum Cemeteries."

Congratulations to our Graduating Seniors!

Congratulations new Ph.D. Graduates!


Congratulations to ASE Undergrad Carrie Moore on her selection as USC's Salutatorian!

Salutatorian Carrie Moore recalls a journey of self-discovery

A glimpse of ASE Club activities

Here is a photo from the ASE Club - Sigma Lambda Gamma Study Session.  The Nu Alpha Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma at USC and ASE Club hosted a study session in KAP 445.  Pizza was served and students were provided a safe and productive atmosphere where we were able to study.

USC President Nikias sites Marco Valadez's life experience in Washington Post article

Marco Valadez is a senior, double majoring in American in American Studies & Ethnicity and Economics. Click here to read the article on "Why elite universities should admit more community college grads."

LA in a Box?

USC Dornsife faculty and students have teamed up with Boyle Heights educators to teach local schoolchildren about their community's past — using the mysterious contents of a box.

ASE Commons 2014-15

Students from AMST 498(Senior Seminar in American Studies and Ethnicity) made a visit to MOCA downtown

The students are standing in front of a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.  3/31/14

Chrysler’s advertising campaign uses Black music to remove Detroit’s labor from the city’s narrative

The London School of Economics USApp blog on American politics and policy reprinted an excerpted version of Shana Redmond's 2013 Race & Class article on February 13. Click here to read the blog.


Professor Shana Redmond will be featured on "No Alibis" broadcast on Wednesday September 11 at 10:15AM PST

She'll be talking about her recently published article "Detroit's Idle: The Domestic Sounds of Labour's Foreign Landscape."

Race & Class Radio is produced by Avery Gordon and Elizabeth Robinson for No Alibis, a public affairs radio program that airs weekly on KCSB 91.9 FM Santa Barbara California from 9-11 am PST and webcasts at

Convergence 2013

HEMI Graduate Student Initiative

Convergence 2013

October 10-13, 2013


American Studies and Ethnicity is a proud sponsor of the Hemispheric Graduate Student Initiative (HEMI GSI) being hosted jointly between UCLA and USC October 11-13 2013.  This year’s theme, “Experimental Collectivities” aims to bring together dedicated people who are interested in working at the intersection of scholarship, artistic expression, and politics.  The Hemi GSI works to promote embodied practices as a vehicle for the creation of new meaning and the transmission of cultural values, memory and identity.  The Convergence will be international in scope yet through Working Groups, participants will engage in discussion and visit pertinent sites and community-based organizations around Los Angeles.  There are over 50 confirmed guests with affiliations from the U.S., Latin America, and the Pacific Islands. Faculty and graduate students from private, public, community, and state universities; advocates, community leaders, and artists will converge during 4 days to discuss subthemes of borderlands, labor, care, and bodies in the digital age.  We are committed to exploring how to dwell in the borderlands of our roles as teachers, students, artists, and activists.

For more information please visit:

Josh Kun's new book, "Songs in the Key of L.A.," was recently celebrated in conjuction with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles at the downtown's California Plaza on August 2, 2013.

Along with a few dozen musicians including La Santa Cecilia, Jackson Browne and the Petrojvic Blasting Company, Ozomatli brought to life songs, many from the sheet music collection of the Los Angeles Public Library, that have helped define the region.  Read more

Shana Redmond was recently quoted in this article:

More U.S. blacks satisfied with how society treats them, poll finds

A new poll shows that black Americans have grown more upbeat about their treatment in society after the reelection of President Obama.  Read more

A must-read post from ASE Professor Shana Redmond

Sonic Borders Virtual Panel: Shana Redmond, “The Sounds We Make Together: Chuck Berry’s Onomatopoeia”

Read more

Shana Redmond interviewed for a news story about an LA radio station

Renegade radio station KDAY's gangster rap playing days to end

"KDAY gave an opportunity for communities in Los Angeles that weren't heard on mainstream radio to be heard," said Shana Redmond, USC professor of race, music and 20th century popular culture. "It was the first channel to make hip-hop its central genre for programming, and specifically it played hip-hop acts from Los Angeles. "  Read more

Manuel Pastor in the NY Times

California Eases Tone as Latinos Make Gains

“The political calculus has changed dramatically,” said Manuel Pastor, a demographer and professor of American studies at the University of Southern California. “Immigrants are an accepted part of public life here. And California is America fast-forward. What happened to our demographics between 1980 and 2000 is almost exactly what will happen to the rest of the country over the next 30 years.”  Read more

Jack Halberstam in the NY Times

Generation LGBTQIA

The new vanguard of gender activists wants a broad, inclusive way to describe sexual minorities.

Crossing Borders: Politics, Cultural Contest, and the Urgency of Space

You can RSVP for the Crossing Borders conference here.
Registration is free of charge!

Graduate Student Conference

March 29-30, 2013

University of Southern California
Call for Papers - Submission Deadline Extended: January 10, 2013

Send questions & submissions(in a single PDF file) to

For more information on the Crossing Borders Conference 2013, visit us at

ASE Commons

ASE Achievements/CORE Accomplishments -  MAY 2012


Felix Gutierrez, Professor of Journalism, Communication and American Studies and Ethnicity, was 2011 recipient of the top diversity award in journalism and mass communication education: the Lionel C. Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).  The award, jointly supported by AEJMC's Minorities and Communication (MAC) Division and the Commission on the Status of Minorities (CSM), recognizes oustanding individual accomplishment and leadership in diversity efforts for unerrepresented groups by race and ethnicity.  The award was presented at AEJMC's annual convention in St. Louis, where Gutierrez was also the keynote speaker at the luncheon honoring the 40th anniversary of the founding of the MAC Division.

Dorinne Kondo, Director of Asian American Studies (2011-12) was Distinguished  Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Gender Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong, giving five lectures and seminars for faculty, students, and the general public.  Her play Seamless received two readings at the prestigious Lark Theatre/ Development center in New York, one directed by Victor Maog and one directed by Eric Ting, Associate Artistic Director at the Long Wharf Theatre, a major regional theater located in New Haven. It also received multiple readings through playwriting workshops: three in 2011, one in 2012 and one more upcoming this June. Each reading represents a revision of the play. She was a dramaturg for two iterations of Marcos Najera’s Brown Oxygen/ Oxigeno at Highways Performance Space. Kondo is writing a book on the production and materialization of race in theater; working title: Creative Difference(s).  She continues as a board member of Cultural Dynamics: Insurgent Scholarship on culture, Politics and Power and served as an Expert consultant for the Mellon Fellows faculty book manuscript workshop at Duke’s Franklin Institute of the Humanities.  Her student Todd Honma received his Ph.D. last year and won a UC Chancellor’s Fellowship and a position as Assistant Prof. of Asian American Studies at Pitzer College. Two other students, Anthony Sparks and Nisha Kunte, will be receiving their Ph.D.s this May.

Prof. María Elena Martínez was awarded a 2012-2013 Fulbright Scholars Fellowship to conduct research in Mexico for her current book project, tentatively titled The Enlightened Creole Science of Race: Naturalizing the Body in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Atlantic World. Her first book, Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico (Stanford University Press, 2008), received the American Historical Association’s James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History as well as the prize for best 2008 book in Mexican history, awarded by the American Historical Association’s Conference on Latin American History. Her recent articles include “Indigenous Genealogies: Lineage, History, and the Colonial Pact in Central Mexico and Peru,” in Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Culture, ed. Yanna Yannakakis and Gabriela Ramos (Duke, forthcoming 2013); and “The Language, Genealogy, and Classification of ‘Race’ in Colonial Mexico,” in Race and Classification: The Case of Mexican America (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009).  

Prof. Martínez was the primary academic advisor for the PBS Documentary “When Worlds Collide,” on the early modern Spanish empire and the cultures of Spanish America, which premiered on September 27, 2010. She was also interviewed in the BBC Documentary on “How the World Got Mixed Up,” which aired internationally in fall 2011.

Viet Nguyen is a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2011-2012, and was a Luce Foundation Fellow of the Asian Cultural Council in 2010. He also received a Grant for Artistic Innovation from the Center for Cultural Innovation, as well as an Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant with Sunyoung Lee and Sumi Pendakur to stage Inside/Out, a transpacific and diaspora writers event in April 2012. With Janet Hoskins, he received a three-year, $200,000 grant from the Luce Foundation to continue developing their Center for Transpacific Studies. His short story "Fatherland" appeared in Narrative (June 2011) while another story, "The Americans," was a finalist for the Nelson Algren Prize and appeared in the Chicago Tribune (Dec. 2010). The Asian American Literary Review published his essay "War, Memory and the Future" (vol. 1, no. 2, 2010). USC presented him with a Mellon Mentoring Award for mentoring graduate students in 2011. He also gave ten invited lectures, six of them in Korea and Taiwan. 

Manuel Pastor has secured several grants in 2011 and  2012, including  a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to study naturalization, a National Science Foundation grant to research toxics and environmental justice , a Surdna Foundation grant (in collaboration with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and Green for All) to study green jobs in manufacturing, a grant from Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund to develop an immigrant integration scorecard for California’s regions, a Ford Foundation grant to study the metrics of social movements, a California Community Foundation grant to facilitate the Los Angeles Council on Immigrant Integration and build  a network of Southern California immigration researchers, , a James Irvine Foundation grant to research California’s social movements, a U.S. EPA grant to develop and test an environmental justice screening method, and an Atlantic Philanthropies grant to build university-based infrastructure to research and support social movements.  Publications in this period include Just Growth: Prosperity and Inclusion in America’s Metropolitan Regions (with Chris Benner), Routledge Press, 2011, and articles on climate justice in Climatic Change, on environmental justice in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, on community capacity for participation in decision-making in the American Journal of Public Health, and on regional equity and social movement organizing in Urban Affairs Review and the Journal of the Community Development Society. As well, he authored or –coauthored book chapters in books published by the Brookings Institution, Oxford University Press, the University of California Press and the Lincoln Land Institute on topics such as immigrant integration, spatial assimilation, and coalition-building for social change. He also co-authored reports such as L.A. RISING: The 1992 Civil Unrest, the Arc of Social Justice Organizing, and the Lessons for Today’s Movement Building , America’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model (with PolicyLink in Oakland) , Empowering LA’s Solar Workforce:New Policies that New Policies that Deliver Investments and Jobs (with colleagues at UCLA), and Transactions, Transformations, Translations: Metrics That Matter for Building, Scaling, and Funding Social Movements, and All Together Now? African Americans, Immigrants, and the Future of California (with Juan de Lara of ASE).  He also placed opinion pieces in the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Huffington Post, and other venues, and gave keynote speeches to the Michigan Land and Prosperity Summit, the Mile High Connects conference in Denver, Colorado, the Annual Conference of the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities in Seattle, Washington, the 2012 Grantmakers Retreat for Funders for LGBTQ Issues in Miami, Florida, the Transformative Regional Engagement Roundtable Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, the annual conference of the University Council for Educational Administration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Kids Count Conference sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland, the annual Grantmakers in the Arts conference in San Francisco, California, the 2011 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in Long Beach, California, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, and the University of San Diego’s Seventh Annual Nonprofit Governance Symposium, as well as invited major lectures at UCLA, Stanford, Duke University, Whittier College, and the University of Texas- San Antonio.

Shana Redmond received a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty for 2011-2012. At the 2011 ASA conference in Baltimore, she was awarded the Comparative Ethnic Studies Prize for her paper, “Manifold Music: On Markets and the Limits of Racial Exchange,” a work-in-progress drawn from her second book project. In December 2011, her article, “This Safer Space: Janelle Monáe’s ‘Cold War’,”was published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies. March conference travels took her to Toronto, New York City, San Diego, and South Bend, IN, and in April she was a speaker on “The Politics of Popular Music” panel at the L.A. Times Festival of Books along with ASE faculty and Affiliates Josh Kun, Alice Echols, and Karen Tongson. She was recently named a New Directions in Feminist Scholarship Fellow for 2012-2013 and will use her time in the seminar “Gender, Race, Sexuality and the Politics of Popular Music” (directed by Karen Tongson and hosted by the Center for Feminist Research at USC) to further explore the role of music and culture within global aid productions. This summer she will participate in the “Decolonizing Knowledge and Power: Postcolonial Studies, Decolonial Horizons” seminar in Barcelona, sponsored by UC-Berkeley and the Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues in Spain.

John Carlos Rowe has published several new books in the past two years, including Afterlives of Modernism: Liberalism, Transnationalism, and Political Critique (Dartmouth Press, 2011) and The Cultural Politics of the New American Studies (Open Humanities Press/ University of Michigan Libraries, 2012), which is a digital only book in the open access mode. He also edited A Concise Companion to American Studies (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), co-edited with Winfried Fluck and Donald E. Pease Re-Framing the Transnational Turn in American Studies (Dartmouth Press, 2011), and co-edited with Eric Haralson A Historical Guide to Henry James (Oxford University Press, 2012). In November 2011, he was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University Cairo, where he delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture, "American Orientalism after Edward Said," and another public lecture, "Arabia Fantasia: U.S. Literary Culture and the Middle East." Currently on sabbatical, he has just completed a memoir, "Autobiography of Carlos."



Congratulations to Celeste Menchaca, Amee Chew, Analena Hassberg, and Treva Ellison for passing their qualifying exam in academic year 2011-12.

Congratulations to Nisha Kunte, Anthony Sparks, Jesus Hernandez, Micaela Smith, Thang Dao,  and Viet Le for successfully defended in academic year 2011-12.

David Stein published the chapter, "Black Freedom Struggles and African American Identity" IN 2011 in the Routledge Handbook of Identity Studies. (London and New York: Routledge, 2011), 307-324.

Alvaro Marquez received a USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture(CRCC) 2012 Interdisciplinary Research Group Travel and Research Grant.  In addition, Alvaro was selected by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to receive the 2012 Dissertation Research Grant.

Celeste Menchaca received a 2012 summer research grant from the USC Dornsife Research Cluster in Science, Technolog and Society.

Huibin “Amee” Chew received a 2012 Fulbright Fellowship.  Amee will spend nine months in the Philippines collaborating on a research project with General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action (GABRIELA).  Dornsife News: /news/stories/1177/thats-right-you-earned-a-fulbright/



Daniel Martinez HoSang received his PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity in August 2007 under the direction of Laura Pulido. His book Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California (Univ of California Press, 2010) examines California’s history of racialized ballot measures in the post World War II era to unearth the tangled roots of contemporary “color blind” racial politics. It was awarded the 2011 James Rawley Prize of the Organization of American Historians for the best book on the history of race relations. The book was based on a dissertation he wrote at ASE that won awards from the American Studies Association, the American Political Science Association, and the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Political Science at the University of Oregon, where he teaches classes on racial politics, history and theory                

Mark Padoonpatt has accepted a position as assistant professor of Multidisciplinary Studies in the Interdisciplinary Degree Program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Emily Hobson has accepted a position as assistant professor of Women’s Studies and History in the Gender, Race and Identity Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Laura Fugikawa has accepted a position as visiting assistant professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at University of Illinois Chicago.

Viet Le has accepted the Academia Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of European and American Studies in Taipei, Taiwan.

Michan Connor will serve as a 2012-2013 Visiting Scholar at the James Weldon Johnson Institute, where he will be investigating the historical development and the future prospects of political fragmentation in metropolitan Atlanta.

Imani Johnson is finishing a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at NYU, Dept. of Performance Studies.

Todd Honma completed his Ph.D. in 2011, received a UC Chancellor’s Fellowship, and has a tenure-track position in Asian American Studies at Pitzer College.

Nisha Kunte will be teaching at UCSD Ethnic Studies and UC Irvine, Asian American Studies, next year.



Nelly Chávez received a 2012 Fulbright Fellowship.  Nelly, who recently earned her bachelor’s in American studies and ethnicity, and French, with a minor in Latin American studies in USC Dornsife, will teach English to high school students in Madrid, Spain. Her faculty mentor is Professor Maria Elena Martinez.  Dornsife News: /news/stories/1177/thats-right-you-earned-a-fulbright/

  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
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