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American Identities & Global Crises
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
Saturday, May 14th, 2005
Centennial House, UC Santa Barbara

George Lipsitz
George Lipsitz is professor and chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of American Studies in a Moment of Danger, a provocative book about the changes in culture, social movements, and the state prompted by the increasing power of transnational capital. His other books include Rainbow at Midnight: Labor and Culture in the 1940s, a book about shop floor activism, working class culture, and the massive strike wave that shook the United States in the years immediately after World War II; A Life in the Struggle: Ivory Perry and the Culture of Opposition, the biography of Ivory Perry, a Black worker and community activist from St. Louis; The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, an unflinching look at white supremacy which probes into the ways that race determines life chances and structures experience in the contemporary United States; Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism, and the Poetics of Place, an intelligent survey of world music's inter-cultural fusions; Time Passages, a book that examines the relationship between historical memory and commercial culture, and discusses popular television, music, and film. Lipsitz also serves as editor of the Critical American Studies series at the University of Minnesota Press, which recently published Singlejack Solidarity, a collection of writings by longtime labor activist Stan Weir.

Click here to download Lipsitz's recent article "Abolition Democracy and Global Justice" from Comparative American Studies.


Michelle Samura
In preschool, a class bully chose to pick on my petite friend. Upon seeing this great injustice—big girl picking on little girl—frustration and anger welled up inside my little body and I made my move: I bit her. Since that time, I have discovered other methods just as effective in fighting against inequality. One way is through my teaching (secondary education and undergraduate levels) as I challenge students to question notions of “normal” and “natural.” Another is through my research which is at the intersection of education, racial & ethnic studies, and visual sociology. And a third way is with my camera as a freelance photographer who focuses on seemingly two extremes—children and social commentary. As a second year student in UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, I am using this opportunity to continue to refine my interests and fuel my passions.

Conference Presenters

Jacob Berman
Jacob Berman is a Ph.D. student at the University of California at Santa Barbara who works on 19th Century American representations of the Middle East, Islam and Arabs and how these representations are an integral facet of the discourse of 19th Century American national identity. He has recently published an article entitled "Domestic Terror and Poe's Arabesque Interior" in the Canadian journal American Studies. He received his BA from Washington and Lee University and MA from University of Chicago.

Brandon Fastman
Brandon Fastman is a student in the Literature program at the University of Arizona. His interests include twentieth-century literature, American literature, and cultural studies.

Kenneth S. Habib
Ken Habib is a doctoral candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he specializes in the art and popular music of the Middle East and the United States of America. His dissertation examines the music culture that has developed over the past half century around the Lebanese superstar singer, Fairouz, and the Rahbani composers. His primary areas of focus include music analysis, the use of music in the creation of personal and social meaning, and the experience of music in diaspora. At UCSB he has taught Musicianship, American Popular Music and Culture, and Directed Teaching in Music. He currently teaches Arabic at Santa Barbara City College and is the Assistant to the Director of the Middlebury College Arabic School. He earned his M.A. in Music Composition and his Certificate in College and University Teaching from UCSB, and he received his B.A. in Communications Studies from UCLA.

James Hall
James Hall has published personal essays and poetry in such journals as Alaska Quarterly Review, Bellingham Review, Rhino, New Orleans Review, and Cimarron Review.  He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston.

Laurie Clements Lambeth
Laurie Clements Lambeth is completing her Ph.D in creative writing—poetry at the University of Houston.  Her poetry and literary nonfiction has appeared in such publications as The Paris Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Nimrod, and Mid-American Review.  In 2002 her critical essay, “’As Little as Possible’: Chinatown’s Female Landscape” was selected by the Western Literature Association for their J. Golden Taylor Prize.

Sol Neely
Sol Neely is a Ph.D. student in the English & Philosophy program at Purdue University. His interests include literary theory and cultural studies, social-political philosophy, Marxist literary theory, utopian studies, biopower and racism, Levinas (ethics and an-arkhe), and a burgeoning fascination for the pseudonymous seductions of Kierkegaard.

Sarah Park
Sarah Park is a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a native of Los Angeles, and received an M.A. in Asian American Studies and a B.A. in History and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests are voice, representation and accuracy in Asian American children’s literature, particularly Korean American children’s literature. She is a fellow of Project Athena, an Institute of Museums and Library Science funded program that focuses on recruiting and educating doctoral students from underrepresented communities to make up the next generation of Library and Information Science faculty.

Stefanie Stauffer
Originally a native of Boston, MA, Stefanie Stauffer is a first year graduate student in Political Science at UCSB, with a primary emphasis in International Relations, secondary emphasis in Comparative Politics, and interdisciplinary emphasis in Global Studies. She is working towards both a Master’s degree and P.H.D, and is interested primarily in the effects of globalization on distinct populations, manifested through anti-globalization protest movements.

Andrea Tinnemeyer
Andrea Tinnemeyer is an assistant professor at Utah State University in the fields of American Studies and Nineteenth Century American Literature.  Her first book, Mis(s)Taken: Identity Politics of the Captivity Narrative After 1848 will be published next Spring by University of Nebraska Press.  She is currently working on her second book project, which centers on the trans-border feminist movement during the Mexican Revolution.