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Interest Groups

American Studies Consortium

Klara Boger, Caroline Fernelius, Julian Levinson

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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Critical Ethnic & Asian Pacific Islander American Studies

Jasmine An, Carlina Duan, Joey Song

The CE & A/PIA Studies RIW is an interdisciplinary community invested in improving our understanding of the current state of Critical Ethnic and Asian Pacific Islander American Studies. We come together to discuss the field, and to grow as scholars and individuals, including the many challenges of navigating academia.

Critical Contemporary Studies

Elana Maloul, Emily NaJosh Miller

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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Critical Conversations

Chandrica Barua, Torre Puckett, Adela Pinch

Critical Conversations is an interdepartmental lunchtime discussion series that invites University of Michigan faculty and occasionally visitors to present flash talks about their current research. The series aims to build community among faculty and graduate students by creating an informal space to think through questions that matter. 

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Digital Studies Workshop

Martha Henzy, Elana MaloulTung-Hui Hu

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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Early Modern Colloquium

Ariel Renner, David Higbee Williams, Michael Schoenfeldt

The Early Modern Colloquium is an interdisciplinary group run by graduate students at the University of Michigan. Our main goals are to provide a community in which graduate students and faculty with shared interests in the early modern and medieval periods can foster professional relationships across the university and country. In addition, we strive to promote new and varied approaches to the study of early modern and medieval culture. We hold meetings several times a year, which include but are not limited to panels, conferences, lectures, and dissertation or article workshops.

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Global Postcolonialisms Collective

Sania Hashmi, Anaridia MolinaBassam 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 2020-21, 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

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 (Marianna Hagler, Maya Day 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

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Rural America Working Group

Coordinators: Surabhi Balachander, Scotti Parrish

Description: The Rural America Working Group is necessarily interdisciplinary–health science and public policy scholars benefit from speaking with environmental scientists and creative writers. Our members have interests in rural America as diverse as forest management, indigenous governance and politics, opioid addiction, local budgets, and race and ethnicity in literature. We are planning events to support opportunities to share work with an interdisciplinary audience, read published work from different disciplines, and hear from outside scholars in a variety of fields.

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