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American Studies And Ethnicity News

In her new book <em>Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora</em> (New York University Press), USC Dornsife’s Shana Redmond takes a critical look at black music's largely unexplored anthem genre and its contributions to social justice movements. Photo by Erica Christianson.

‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’

January 6, 2014

It was a beautiful spring day in Johannesburg. The year was 1994. At the inauguration ceremony where Nelson Mandela took the oath of office as the first democratically elected black president of South Africa, the victorious…

Priscilla Leiva, Ph.D. student in American studies and ethnicity, is exploring the role sports stadiums play in creating civic identity, as well as their interaction with their surrounding communities of color. Here, Leiva stands at a window overlooking downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Homing in on a Ph.D.

May 9, 2013

Imagine a day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles: The checkered pattern of freshly cut grass outlines the red-brown dirt that makes up the baseball diamond. As you settle in for the game, you tear open a bag of salty, shelled…

An 1872 illustration depicts the seven African Americans who held seats in the 41st and 42nd United States Congress, a mere seven years after the abolition of slavery. The illustration is part of an African American history exhibit at Walt Disney's EPCOT, scripted by USC Dornsife lecturer and alumnus Anthony Sparks. Courtesy of the Kinsey Collection.

Narratives of Integrity

April 3, 2013

Did you know that in the post-Emancipation Reconstruction era — and only seven years after the abolition of slavery — seven African Americans had seats in the United States Congress? All were from formerly…

Barraclough (right) and Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity Laura Pulido at the ASE Ph.D. program's hooding ceremony in May 2006. Photo courtesy of Laura Barraclough.

Right On Track

March 1, 2013

Laura Barraclough has been pinching herself lately. Rather than concocting ill-fated New Year’s resolutions, she kicked off 2013 by accepting a dream job: a tenure-track faculty position as assistant professor of…

This woman in her early 20s was trafficked into a blue jean sweatshop in Thailand, where she and others were locked in and made to work 20 hours a day, sleeping on the floor, with little to eat and no pay. She managed to escape and was brought to the government-run Baan Kredtrakarn shelter in Bangkok. After telling her story to the director, the police were informed and they raided the sweatshop, freeing 38 young women, ages 14 to 26. Photo by Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

Prosecution to Empowerment

February 6, 2013

Emblematic of the shallow level of dialogue taking place concerning human trafficking is the “celebritization” of the global crisis, panelists said during a recent international conference organized by USC…

Macarena Gómez-Barris studies representations of politics and culture in the wake of Chile's dictatorship under Gen. Augusto Pinochet through the lens of memories. Photo by John Livzey.

Shadows & Symbols

January 9, 2013

At Villa Grimaldi in Santiago, Chile, the majority of buildings that stood on the grounds between 1974 and 1977 have been demolished. There are no known photographs or historical registers that capture what transpired during…

USC Dornsife's Laura Pulido stands near the gravesite of Owen Brown in the hills of Altadena, Calif., one of the sites in her new guidebook, <em>A People's Guide to Los Angeles</em>. Photo by Laura Paisley.

L.A.’s Vernacular Landscapes

October 8, 2012

There is a tendency among my friends in Chicago, where I lived for the past eight years, to not see a Los Angeles beyond the Hollywood glitz and the tales of horrible traffic and bodily artificiality. And before making L.A.…

Nayan Shah joined USC Dornsife from the University of California, San Diego and began his post as professor and chair of American studies and ethnicity this Fall. Photo by Ben Pack.

Fighting for Inclusion

September 6, 2012

Nayan Shah was in South Africa on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship during the most intense period of struggle against apartheid. Black resistors were being beaten, tortured and murdered. It was 1989, a year before South African…

USC Dornsife's Jack Halberstam explores society's evolving gender roles in his book, <em>Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal</em>, due out this September from Beacon Press. Photo of Halberstam by Assaf Evron.

Feminism Goes Gaga

August 9, 2012

On stage and off, Lady Gaga seems to be an ever-evolving performance piece dominating the media landscape. But in Gaga’s anarchic, gender-bending public persona, Jack Halberstam sees a mirror — one reflecting a…

USC Norman Topping scholars in USC Dornsife’s Japan Immersion Program pack the more than 300 books they collected from schools across campus to donate to Japan’s American studies libraries affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Students carried the books with them when they traveled for their two-week Maymester trip to Japan.

Restocking Hope in Japan

June 12, 2012

For the past few months, 13 students in USC Dornsife’s Japan Immersion Program have collected 300 American studies books from schools across campus. The students carried the books on a plane for Japan for their two-week…