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Spotlight: Marisol Cortez

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Last fall was my first semester as a visiting faculty member in the American Studies Department, so the past few months have been full of new and exciting challenges. Thanks to the warm welcome I have received from AMS faculty and the broader KU community, it has been a good adjustment, and I have been able to turn my attention to the tasks of figuring out how to balance teaching with research (with some community organizing on the side). Last semester I co-taught AMS 110 with Ray Pence, who has been a wonderful colleague and mentor. I am also working on a reflective piece on the environmental metaphorics of the humanities job market crisis and the promise of environmental justice work for allying academic work with community struggles. I hope with this piece to reimagine the critical and pragmatic value of humanities within the context of the academic labor crisis. In December, I presented this at an interdisciplinary symposium at the Hall Center organized by AMS Ph.D. candidate Rachel Vaughn. I have also enjoyed my participation in the New Cities project, and the weekly brain expansion sessions and the many conversations about houses, grandmothers, utopias, dystopias, and developers with Dennis Domer and others. I traveled back home to San Antonio in November for the ASA conference, where I moderated a panel on waste politics as well as helped the housekeepers' union, "Unite Here," organize an "alter-conference" panel on labor issues outside the Hyatt Hotel.


  • Geoffrey Newman did a podcast for the journal Kansas History that was broadcast on 91.9 KSDB-FM.  It is available online here.
  • Congratulations to Sam Steuart for being named KU's 20th Truman scholar!
  • This article, written by Geoffrey Newman, was published in the August edition of the Kansas History Journal. Congratulations Geoffrey!
  • Rachel Schwaller and Saoussen Cheddadi successfully defended their respective dissertations on October 29, 2018. Congratulations, Drs. Schwaller and Cheddadi!
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kathryn Vaggalis for being awarded the American Studies Association's 2018 Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize!
  • Dr. Gamze Kati Gumus defended her dissertation with honors on May 10, 2018. Congratulations, Dr. Kati Gumus!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Burrow-Branine for successfully defending his dissertation with honors January 25, 2018.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
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