American Culture and Difference at the University of St. Thomas has experienced a consistent growth in program events, interdisciplinary initiatives, and faculty and student activities since its inception in 1998. Invited speakers and student panels have explored a variety of cultural texts, focusing on a range of issues, such as representations of race, class, and gender in popular culture, and identity formation in the age of globalization.
The Cultural Studies program, inaugurated with funding from a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, hosted a symposium on American Cultural Studies with Henry Louis Gates and Susan McClary among the speakers and panelists.
American Cultural Studies, Journalism, and Women’s Studies co-sponsor a lecture and university teach-in with TV commentator, journalist and author, Farai Chideya.
Faculty and students participate in Popular Culture and American Cultural Studies conference in Philadelphia.
American Cultural Studies creates an Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) course listing and Web site highlighting its interdisciplinary offerings. The Foundations of American Cultural Studies introduction courses triple in size and are offered in both fall and spring semesters. Faculty from various disciplines begin team-teaching the Foundations course and a course in Music and Rhetoric in American Popular Culture.
An interdisciplinary film series "Troubling Waters" is introduced in conjunction with the Justice and Peace Studies program and the Women's Studies department.
Professor David Todd Lawrence is appointed Interim Director of the program.
American Cultural Studies Advisory Board is formed with the following faculty members: Kanishka Chowdhury (English), Chris Kachian (Music), David Todd Lawrence (English), Ellen Riordan (Communication Studies), and Buffy Smith (Sociology).
Alex Pate, University of Minnesota, is invited to speak on “In the Heart of the Beat: The Poetry of Rap”
The American Cultural Studies program is renamed American Culture and Difference. Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury is appointed the new Director of the program.
In the fall American Culture and Difference moves to a new location at 2093 Grand Ave. on the St. Paul campus. During the 2007-2008 academic year the program has an open house at the new location in November, and sponsors a number of events: fall and spring pre-registration information sessions; fall and spring "Troubling Waters" film discussions; speaker Dr. Jane Rhodes (March 11), Dean of the Study of Race and Ethnicity and chair of the American Studies Department at Macalester College, speaks on FRAMING THE BLACK PANTHERS: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon; and Elise Marubbio, Augsburg College, presents a screening and discussion of three films about Native American issues (April 3).
During the 2009-2010 academic year the American Culture and Difference program presents UST speaker, Dr. Bernard Armada, on "Memory's Execution: (Dis)placing the Dissident Body" (October 20); holds a pre-registration informational open house (November 11); and continues the Troubling Waters Film Series (November 18). Spring semester the department co-sponsored Dr. James Loewen, author of Teaching What Really Happened, Sundown Towns, Lies My Teacher Told Me, in a lecture, book signing, faculty workship and student discussion (March 15-16); UST speakers, Dr. Wendy Wyat and Dr. Peter Parilla, on "Media Constructions of Urban Problems: The Wire as Case Study" (April 8); and Elise Marrubio, Augsburg College, Elizabeth Day and Migizi Pensoneau, in "An Evening of Native American Films and Discussion," (April 21).