TORONTO, October 9, 2013 – York University launches its new U.S. Studies Program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies with a two-day conference this week focusing on America during another era of boom and discontent: the 1950s and ’60s.
With the spotlight firmly fixed on Canada’s neighbour to the south during the current U.S. government shutdown and possible default, understanding the United States – and Canada’s close relationship with that country – is more crucial than ever.
York University’s new U.S. Studies program, which offers more than 60 courses in 14 departments, draws on York’s “extraordinary breadth of talent in this area of study,” says York history Professor Marc Egnal.
The two-day conference, New Directions in U.S. Studies: Re-imagining the 1950s and 1960s, brings together York experts with other noted scholars to examine developments in music, television, film, literature, politics and other areas.
The conference is free to the public with registration. For more information and the full conference program, click here.
WHAT: New Directions in U.S. Studies: Re-imagining the 1950s and 1960s. A two-day conference and launch of the new U.S. Studies Program at York University.
WHERE: Senior Common Room (Room 305), Founders College, York University, Keele Campus (building number 50 on the map)
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, 9:30 am – 7 pm and Saturday, Oct. 12, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm.
The keynote address (Friday, 5-6 pm) will be presented by Professor Paul Buhle from Brown University. His talk, "Culture as Politics: How Vernacular Arts Opened Up U.S. Studies...and why it needed opening so badly," will discuss the rise of graphic novels and other non-traditional literature.
Buhle, a longtime activist, founded the journals Radical America (1967-1999) and Cultural Correspondence (1977-1983). He has edited or written more than 40 books, including a three-volume study of Jews and popular culture, an authorized biography of C.L.R. James, as well as graphic histories of Emma Goldman and the Students for a Democratic Society movement.
The conference also brings together some of the most exciting recent scholarship on the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s. The seven panels present cutting-edge research that spans the fields of history, political science, sociology and literature, as well as art, music and film.
- The American Life – Sociologically Speaking, moderated by York sociology Professor Amber Gazso
- Races, Places and Passions: Revisiting American Literature, moderated by York English Professor Art Redding
- Body Politics: New Histories of Disability, Gender, Race and Sexuality, moderated by York history Professor Molly Ladd-Taylor
- The Politics of American Film and Television, moderated by York political science and film Professor Scott Forsyth
- Transformations in Popular Music, moderated by York ethnomusicology doctoral student Michael Kaler
- The American State and the Politics of Empire, moderated by York political science Professor Stephen Newman
- Triumph, Exploration and Neglect: The Reception of Great American Abstract Art since World War II, moderated by York media and culture Professor Ken Carpenter.
NOTE: Speakers and organizers are available for interviews.
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