Each year, the American Studies program invites a distinguished senior scholar or important emerging voice to deliver our annual lecture. Here are some of our previous invitees:
Mary Helen Washington
Distinguished University Professor of English, University of Maryland
Mary Helen Washington is Distinguished University Professor in the English Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, specializing in 20th and 21st century African American literature. Her monograph, The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s (Columbia University Press, 2014) received Honorable Mention in the William Sanders Scarborough Prize competition from The Modern Language Association. She has edited three collections of African American literature: Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers (Random House, February 1991; Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories By and About Black Women, reprinted Doubleday/Anchor, January 1990; and Invented Lives: Narratives of Black Women, 1860-1960, Doubleday/Anchor, September 1987. From 1976-1980, she was the Director of Black Studies at the University of Detroit. From 1980 to 1990, she taught at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She was president of The American Studies Association from 1996-1997 and was awarded the American Studies Association’s Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize for lifetime achievement in 2015. Her current project is Afterlives: Legacies of the Black Literary Left.
Henry H. Glassie
College Professor Emeritus of Folklore, Indiana University
Henry H. Glassie has published widely in the fields of material culture and vernacular architecture. Among his books are Passing the Time in Ballymenone (1982) which won the Chicago Folklore prize and the Haney Prize in the Social Sciences; Irish Folktales (1985); The Spirit of Folk Art (1989); Turkish Traditional Art Today (1993) which was included in the New York Times list of notable books of the year and won the Award for Outstanding Achievement by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations; Art and Life in Bangladesh (1997); Material Culture (1999); Vernacular Architecture (2000) which won the Cummings Award for the best book on North American Architecture; The Stars of Ballymenone (2006); Prince Twins Seven-Seven: His Art, His Life in Nigeria, His Exile in America (2010), and Daniel Johnston: A Portrait of the Artist as a Potter in North Carolina (2019). He also co-authored Sacred Art: Catholic Saints and Candomblè Gods in Modern Brazil (2017), with Dr. Pravina Shukla.
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Joseph S. Atha Professor in Humanities, Stanford University
Shelley Fisher Fishkin is the Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities and Professor of English at Stanford, where she is also Director of Stanford’s American Studies Program and Co-Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of forty-eight books and has published over one hundred fifty articles, essays and reviews, many of which have focused on issues of race and racism in America, and on recovering and interpreting voices that were silenced, marginalized, or ignored in America’s past. Her books have won awards from Choice, Library Journal, the New York Public Library, and elsewhere. In 2017 she was awarded the John S. Tuckey Lifetime Achievement award by the Center for Mark Twain Studies in recognition of her efforts “to assure that a rigorous, dynamic account of Twain stays in the public consciousness,” and stated that “Nobody has done more to recruit, challenge, and inspire new generations and new genres of Mark Twain studies.” She has served as President of the American Studies Association and the Mark Twain Circle of America, was co-founder of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman society, and was a founding editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies.