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Interest Groups

American Studies Consortium

Yeshua TolleMolly KeranBen Mangrum

The American Studies Consortium (ASC) aims to support interdisciplinary, transhistorical scholarship on topics related to the literature, history, culture, and politics of the Americas. Throughout the year, we host pubic lectures, writing workshops, film screenings, and reading group meetings. Our events bring together faculty and graduate students from multiple departments to engage in cross-disciplinary investigation of American cultural production.

We welcome interest and participation from any student or faculty member interested in American history, literature, and culture.

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Animal Studies & Environmental Humanities

Carceral Studies

Rachel CawkwellElizabeth TackeGrace ZanottRuby TabiaSara Ahbel-Rappe

We are a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop that is focused on carceral studies. Our aim is to provide a space for graduate students to share and connect across their work on prisons, asylums, etc. However, all of our events are open to the general public, and we welcome anyone interested in thinking, talking, and acting about carceral studies.

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Critical Contemporary Studies

Josh Miller, Hayley O'Malley, Matt Liberti

Critical Contemporary Studies is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop dedicated to studying cultural production and politics from the 1960s to today. Our group facilitates cross-disciplinary dialogue about the complicated histories and pressing questions – socio-political, artistic, and technological – that structure contemporary life.

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Digital Studies Workshop

Tung-Hui Hu, Megan Ankerson, Melissa Chalmers, Dimitri Pavolounis

The Digital Studies Workshop is an interdisciplinary forum committed to a critical engagement with digital-related knowledge. It is aimed at graduate students interested in the history, politics, and theory of digital culture, media, and information. Working in collaboration with Digital Studies faculty, the Digital Studies Workshop will support the growth of digital studies-based research at Michigan by providing an interdisciplinary intellectual space in which to share methods and models for thinking about and studying digital culture. To this end, the workshop will provide graduate students and interested faculty with the opportunity to present their work in a supportive environment, discuss cutting-edge scholarship, and meet with leading scholars in the field from Michigan and abroad.

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Disability Studies Group

Petra KuppersElise Nagy, Luke Kudryashov, Kate O’ConnorStephanie Rosen

The University of Michigan Disability Studies Group aims to bring together students, faculty, staff, and community members interested in the growing interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies. This field views disability as a cultural and minority identity, not simply as a set of physical or mental conditions. We hope to foster a supportive and collaborative scholarly and social community and to generate further dialogue on disability as both a critical category of analysis and a unique creative resource. Through our discussions and events we aim to showcase disability culture; inspire more inclusive pedagogies; promote equitable education; and urge active leadership in the community. We will engage with the key questions in disability studies today, such as debates over bioethics and the boundaries of the body; the dilemmas pertaining to access, employment, and civil rights; or how ethnicity and race, among other aspects of identity, intersect with disability. This group will also be a forum for students and faculty members to discuss recent ideas and scholarship in Disability Studies; to plan events related to Disability Studies, including lectures by UM and non-UM scholars; and to get advice, feedback, and support on works in progress (abstracts, articles, papers, etc.).

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Drama Interest Group

E.J. Westlake (Theatre), Sheila CourseyHannah Bredar

The Drama Interest Group (DIG) is an interdisciplinary group that brings together faculty and graduate students from the departments of English, Theatre, History, Romance Languages and Literatures, Classics, Asian Languages and Literatures, and more.

Early Modern Colloquium

Michael SchoenfeldtLaurel Billings

Graduate students and faculty from around campus to participate in symposia, panel discussions, lectures and major conferences

Graduate students are integral, work with faculty to develop conference and panel ideas, writing and delivering papers, meeting and developing relationships with scholars from around and beyond the University

Forums have included panel discussions, single speakers, and discussions of pre-circulated papers

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Global Postcolonialisms Collective

Supriya Nair, Katherine Hummel, Coni Contreras, Bassam Sidiki

The University of Michigan Global Postcolonialisms Collective is a transdisciplinary endeavor that aims to bring together academics, artists, and activists working to expand the boundaries of postcolonial studies and engaging in other forms of de- and anti-colonial social practices. We strive to attract individuals not only from the conventional postcolonial scholarship of English departments, but from numerous disciplines, fields, and languages, including but not limited to anthropology, comparative literature, history, sociology, religion, fine arts, communication, economics, psychology, and the natural and health sciences. As an RIW for 2018-19, we are excited to collaborate with faculty and graduate students across departments, as well as intellectuals beyond UM’s campus to interrogate ongoing iterations of colonial and imperial violence both in academic and public spheres.

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Language and Rhetorical Studies

  • The structure and history of the English language
  • Language’s function in discourse and discourse communities
  • History of rhetoric
  • Language ideologies
  • Language variation and change
  • Rhetorical strategies and their effects in the world
  • The relationship between linguistic practices and literary form
  • Literary practices
  • Activities likely will include: discussion of readings proposed by group members, sharing of group members’ research and works-in-progress, lectures from visiting scholars, attendance at national conference

Modernist Studies Workshop

John Whittier-Ferguson, Alex RamseyAaron Stone

The Modernist Studies Workshop aims to facilitate lively discussion of multiple modernisms. Graduate students and faculty from departments across the university work together to explore aesthetic, social, political, and cultural questions raised by modernist art of all forms. Our group hosts several guest speakers each academic year. We also meet regularly to discuss work-in-progress, teaching strategies, and current scholarship in the field.

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Nineteenth-Century Forum

  • Interdisciplinary group of graduate students and faculty from departments in LS&A
  • Graduate students organize the events for the year
  • Meets monthly to read a common text or discuss work-in-progress
  • Invites two outside speakers to campus each year 
  • Additional activities include roundtable discussions, symposia, and jobs workshops

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Poetry and Poetics Workshop

  • Provides an interdisciplinary forum for professors and graduate students to discuss work in progress on poetry, poetics, and lyric theory
  • Meets approximately three to four times a semester
  • Invites outside speakers to present and discuss their work
  • Has provided a forum for panel discussions, pre-circulation of conference papers, public lectures, article drafts, and thesis / book chapters
  • Participation of graduate students (Zoey Dorman, Talin Tahajian are current coordinators) has been integral in all aspects of the workshop’s running and planning
  • The workshop encourages attendance by students and faculty working in a range of languages and creative and scholarly disciplines

Website

Transnational Comics Studies Workshop

Elana MaloulHanah Stiverson and Gina Brandolino

The Transnational Comics Studies Workshop is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop, which functions as a forum for discussing graduate student research, conference presentations and dissertation chapters, while working towards creating a common theoretical (transnational) language through reading comics theory from a variety of contexts, and in collaboration with scholars outside the University of Michigan.

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Transnational Contemporary Literature Workshop

Elizabeth McNeill, Nadav Linial, Martha Henzy, Walter Cohen, Kristin Dickinson

The Transnational Contemporary Literature Workshop is a University of Michigan Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop which intends to carve out a space for structured dialogue concerning the stakes of a transnational frame for literary studies. In view of the wider discursive repertoires of the national and its prefixes (inter-, supra-, sub-, trans-, non-), we intend to reflect on the value of “trans-” for apprehending contemporary literature and the material and symbolic networks of its circulation. Accordingly, we will place emphasis on literature and scholarship that reflects, performs or invents modes of existence (human, animal or planetary) across national boundaries. The workshop will thus provide a forum for cross-disciplinary scholarship that admits a variety of frameworks, including but not limited to: translation, multi- and monolingualism, migration, postcolonial studies, world literature, and minor languages and subjectivities.

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Visual Cultures

Sara BlairKyle FrisinaOlivia Ordoñez

The Visual Culture Workshop (VCW) at the University of Michigan is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop composed of faculty and graduate students with an academic interest in some aspect of visual culture,  including (but not limited to) photography, painting, digital media, print technologies, film , architecture, and curatorial modes.

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