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The concern of this seminar is the history, literature, and culture of the United States, focusing on the period from the nineteenth century to the present. Recent subjects have ranged from Margaret Fuller to the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, from Asian American fashion designers to letters from former slaves who settled in Liberia. A number of presentations have positioned the United States in transnational or comparative contexts. The seminar’s strength is the variety of fields represented by its intellectually active participants. The very lively discussion periods are one of the most appealing aspects of this seminar.

Professor James Kim

Professor Matt Sandler

Rebecca Stout

All seminars will meet over Zoom for the 2020 fall semester. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change. 

Meeting Schedule

09/22/2020 Online Meeting
7:30 PM
Fugitive Historiography and the Gift of Black Folk: Towards a Consideration of Slave Narratives as African-American Intellectual History
Westenley Alcenet, Fordham University


This talk will present working ideas of an article in progress (Fugitive Historiography and the Gift of Black Folks) that explores the deeper intellectual significance of the slave narrative genre. I argue that, collectively, these texts were among the first to articulate a transnational, transcultural view of history, one that anticipated current trends in the modern historical profession. Written against an emerging genre of white nationalist histories, American slave narrative offered an alternative national history, one that highlighted the nation’s transnational ties, as well as its racial, ethnic, and religious diversity.

11/17/2020 Online Meeting
7:30 PM

Julio Capo Jr., Florida International University

12/08/2020 Online Meeting
7:30 PM

Diane Detournay, Fordham University

01/26/2021 Location TBD
7:30 PM

Sasha Panaram, Fordham University

02/23/2021 Location TBD
7:30 PM

Autumn Womack, Princeton University

03/23/2021 Location TBD
7:30 PM

Howard Rambsy II, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

04/20/2021 Location TBD
7:30 PM

Benjamin Balthasar, Indiana University South Bend