In Support of the Sanctuary Campus Movement

 

Disclaimer: This statement has been issued by the American Studies Association (ASA). ASAT’s sharing of this information does not reflect an official endorsement on the issue from ASAT. Colleagues who seek an official stance on the issue are encouraged to contact their campus administrators.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2016Press Contact: John F. Stephens, asamedia@theasa.net

As an organization dedicated to the support and advancement of scholars, students, and teachers, the American Studies Association strongly endorses the measures across educational institutions at all levels that are designed to offer institutional support to all those whose ability to continue their educations will be severely hindered by the enactment of the exclusionary policies on immigration and religious affiliation promised by a Trump administration.  Whether by offering refuge for students facing deportation or detainment, or by providing services and resources necessary to continuing their education despite arrest, imprisonment, or deportation, or through the protection of student data as well as other means, campuses across the country have committed to acting on behalf of the groups to be made most vulnerable. Under the rubric of “sanctuary campus” and otherwise, individuals and institutions have expressed their willingness to act on behalf of students despite the risks involved in civil disobedience, a commitment that resonates with and pulls forward the importance of civil disobedience to the history and formation of the U.S. nation since its founding.  We recognize, too, the exacerbation of vulnerability for women, for lesbian, gay, and transgender people, for indigenous and native people, and for People of Color among all too many others, that will likewise require continuing and intensified efforts to address. In accordance with our long held principles of academic freedom and orientation toward the public good, the ASA is likewise dedicated to providing resources and support regardless of immigration status, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or any other category of socio-political identity, to those who teach and learn in and outside of formal educational institutions. We encourage individuals and institutions with similar values to adopt, proactively, similarly supportive measures.
Executive Committee of the American Studies Association

President: Robert Warrior, University of Kansas
President-elect: Kandice Chuh, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Immediate Past President: David Roediger, University of Kansas
Councilor: Jodi Byrd, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Councilor: Christina Hanhardt, University of Maryland, College Park
Councilor: Sharon Holland, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

In Memory of Dr. Dan R. Jones

By Sean Ferrier-Watson

This past April Dr. Dan R. Jones, President of TexaA&M UniversityCommerce from 2008 to 2016, tragically passed away in Commerce, Texas, to the shock and dismay of his friends and colleagues. Not only did his passing leave a deep void in Texas higher education, but his unexpected death affected my life and my family’s profoundly. Dan was my father-in-law.

He was also my role model in higher educationexemplifying the values I hold dear as a youneducator and scholar, particularly his great love and respect for the teaching of literature, history, and writing. Dan was a consummate scholar of American Studies, dabbling in a wide array of subjects, from journalism and history to music and literature. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. He also held an M.A. in English from Rice University and another in American Studies from the University of Iowa.

His love for American Studies knew few bounds and his appreciation for the American StudieAssociation of Texas is one of the reasons I pursued a role in the organization. ASAT was one of the first true connections I made with Dan.

When I presented at my first ASAT conference back in 2012, Dan supported and encouraged metouting the organization’s reputation for friendliness toward new scholars. When I had an article published in the 2013 issue of JASAT, Dan expressed to me his sense of indebtedness toward the organization and its journal. Before becoming an administrator, Dan taught as an assistant professor at the University of HoustonDowntown, where he published two articles in JASAT and held regular membership in the organization. These articles were critical in gaining his tenure and by extension establishing his career in higher education.

When going through a few boxes from his office this summer, I found his contributor copies from JASAT and had a chance to read over his articles —“The Fiction of Fact: Journalism As American Art” (1988) and “Madness, Mayhem, and Mystery: the Story of Murder in Texas” (1992). His voice felt remarkably familiar—his choice of diction, the crispness of his phrases, his subtle but strangely direct manner of presenting his points. I knew it swell. It was a voice I loved and admiredthe voice of my wifewho is now close to finishing her own Ph.D. in creative writing at University of North Texas.

When reading his article “The Fiction of Fact,” I also realized just how strong a focus we shared in our scholarship. I knew Dan had an interest in New Journalism and the writings of Tom Wolfe and Truman Capote, but I never realized that both of us shared in a mutual fascination with their ability to blur the lines between the real and the fabricated, the expected and the unexpected.

If I had read these articles earlier, before Dan had passed away, I might have asked him about his feelings on the Beats, whether he liked the writings of Jack Kerouac, a contemporary of Capotes, and a writer that set the stage for New Journalism, but these are conversations Dan and I will never share. In reading these articles, I discovered a part of Dan I never knew and missed a conversation we never had with each other. I am grateful to JASAT for preserving his ideas in the pages of their journal, and

I am glad to serve within an organization that publishes articles by scholars like Dan Jones.

American Studies Association of Texas Membership

There are four classes of individual membership and one for institutions.

  • Basic Membership is $25 per year.
  • Sustaining Membership is $50 per year.
  • Student and Retired Memberships are $15 per year.

Institutions may join and support ASAT at $50 per year.

Make checks payable to ASAT. Dues can be paid at the annual meeting or by sending a check to…

Greg Giddings, Secretary/Treasurer

Department of English

Midwestern State University

Wichita Falls, TX 76308

Meet the JASAT Editor

 

sharon
JASAT Editor Sharon Griff

Sharon Gripp, editor of the Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas, is going on her 11th year of service for the American Studies Association of Texas. She has served as JASAT’s managing editor since 2006.

Gripp is a senior lecturer at Baylor in the Department of Journalism, PR & New Media, which houses Baylor’s American Studies Program.She is the department’s director of undergraduate studies and director of curriculum. She teaches courses in PR, Editing and Writing for Media Markets.

Gripp is previous managing editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice journal, the leading scholarly journal in entrepreneurship published by Baylor University, 1994-2006.

She also served as editor of two national trade publications in health care for Stevens Publishing (1991-1994), and as a PR consultant and freelance writer for Ernst & Young and AT&T.

She has written numerous articles for national health care publications and continues to work in the health care field. Locally, she publishes Waco Health & Wellness magazine through her company, CBM Publishing.

Gripp’s accomplishments include working at Raytheon Technical Services Company on a multi-billion-dollar government proposal and completing the book, Historic McLennan County: An Illustrated History in 2014.

Gripp is interested in animal rights issues and has assisted in writing grant applications and coordinating efforts among groups to better serve the community. She enjoys reading and writing.

Professor’s Collaborative Book Wins Big Award

A book edited by Dr. Debra Andrist, Sam Houston State University professor of Spanish, has been selected to receive the South Central Modern Language Association’s 2016 Book Award.

The Body, Subject & Subjected: The Representation of the Body Itself, Illness, Injury, Treatment & Death in Spain and Indigenous and Hispanic American Art & Literature was conceptualized, edited and introduced by Andrist.

The book examines how the body is used as a subject in art and literature by using the “selfie” craze as a metaphor. It is explored through a collection of critical essays on those topics from the Iberian Peninsula, pre-Columbian American and Hispanic American cultures.

“Hominids have always been obsessed with representing their own bodies,” Andrist wrote for the book’s back cover.

“The first ‘selfies’ were prehistoric negative hand images and human stick figures, followed by stone and ceramic representations of the human figure. Thousands of years later, moving via historic art and literature to contemporary social media, the contemporary term ‘selfie’ was self- generated.”

She and colleagues from SHSU’s Department of Foreign Languages also authored chapters in the book, including faculty members Enrique Mallén and Montse Feu as well as graduate student Jorge Chavarro, and former pool faculty Norma Mouton.

“The essays reveal critics’ insights when ‘selfies’ are examined through a focused ‘lens’ over a breadth of cultures,” Andrist wrote.

“The result, complex and unique, is that what is viewed—the visual art and literature under discussion, becomes a mirror image, indistinguishable from the component viewing apparatus, the ‘lens.’”

Since 1992, the SCMLA Book Award has annually recognized the best book by a member of the association with a $500 prize.

The book is available in both print and electronic form.

Other books by Andrist and other SHSU collaborators include “Insult to Injury,” which will appear in December, and “S/He: Sex and Gender in the Spanish, Hispanic American and Mesoamerican Worlds,” which will appear in mid-2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hominids have always been obsessed with representing their own bodies,” Andrist wrote for the book’s back cover.

“The first ‘selfies’ were prehistoric negative hand images and human stick figures, followed by stone and ceramic representations of the human figure. Thousands of years later, moving via historic art and literature to contemporary social media, the contemporary term ‘selfie’ was self- generated.”

She and colleagues from SHSU’s Department of Foreign Languages also authored chapters in the book, including faculty members Enrique Mallén

and Montse Feu as well as

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

graduate student Jorge Chavarro, and former pool faculty Norma Mouton.

“The essays reveal critics’ insights when ‘selfies’ are examined through a focused ‘lens’ over a breadth of cultures,” Andrist wrote.

“The result, complex and unique, is that what is viewed—the visual art and literature under discussion, becomes a mirror image, indistinguishable from the component viewing apparatus, the ‘lens.’”

Since 1992, the SCMLA Book Award has annually recognized the best book by a member of the association with a $500 prize.

The book is available in both print and electronic form.

Other books by Andrist and other SHSU collaborators include “Insult to Injury,” which will appear in December, and “S/He: Sex and Gender in the Spanish, Hispanic American and Mesoamerican Worlds,” which will appear in mid-2017.

Press Awards for ‘Her Texas’

Her Texas: Story, Poems, Images & Song, includes the work of 60 contemporary Texas women songsters, poets, creative writers (fiction and nonfiction), artists and photographers. In late March, Texas Press Women awarded the anthology first place in “edited work.” The 2015 anthology later won second place in the National Federation of Press Women   competition.

Congratulations to co‐editors Donna Walker-Nixon, Cassy Burleson, Rachel Crawford and Ashley Palmer, publisher Bryce Milligan of Wings Press, and all of the contributors who shared their work in the anthology, including Dr. Carmen Tafolla, ASAT’s 2016 keynote speaker.

 

Paul Ruffin Dead at 74

Paul Ruffin, 2009 Texas State Poet Laureate, Texas State University System Regents’ professor and Sam Houston State University’s distinguished professor of English, died at his home in Montgomery County on Wednesday, April 13. He was 74.

Ruffin was founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Review, an international literary journal, and Texas Review Press. He was a member of the Texas A&M University Press Consortium.

He was also active in TACWT and other creative writing organizations.

His career included the publication of more than 1,500 poems, 100-plus stories, and more than 90 essays in magazines and journals. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and textbooks. He wrote a weekly column that appeared in several newspapers in Texas and Mississippi.

His most recent book, published last November, is “The Time the Waters Rose and Stories of the Gulf Coast.” An article in SHSU’s 2009 alumna magazine, Heritage, described Ruffin as loving football, shooting, riding his tractor, maintaining his truck and doing his own carpentry, electric, and plumbing work.

Former SHSU English Department Chair Bill Bridges said the substantial work Ruffin did in building The Texas Review and Texas Review Press from the mid-’70s made them a well- respected cache of literary work.

“His contributions as an editor, publisher, writer and poet will be missed in Texas and throughout the South,” Baylor ASAT member Dr. Cassy Burleson said.

Sarah Cortez, author of “Vanishing Points” (2016), added that Ruffin was a champion of literary writers with polished voices and stylistic integrity within genres.

“Once Paul. trusted your ‘writerly’ judgment, he trusted your judgment,” she said. “Many people chose to dislike Paul.”

Cortez added “That’s too bad because he had flawless taste and was a brilliant writer in his own right.”

Ruffin is survived by his wife Amber and his three children.

and doing his own carpentry, electric, and plumbing work.

Former SHSU English Department Chair Bill Bridges said the substantial work Ruffin did in building The Texas Review and Texas Review Press from the mid-’70s made them a well- respected cache of literary work.

“His contributions as an editor, publisher, writer and poet will be missed in Texas and throughout the South,” Baylor ASAT member Dr. Cassy Burleson said.

Sarah Cortez, author of “Vanishing Points” (2016), added that Ruffin was a champion of literary writers with polished voices and stylistic integrity within genres.

“Once Paul. trusted your ‘writerly’ judgment, he trusted your judgment,” she said. “Many people chose to dislike Paul.”

Cortez added “That’s too bad because he had flawless taste and was a brilliant writer in his own right.”

Ruffin is survived by his wife Amber and his three children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His career included the publication of more than 1,500 poems, 100-plus stories, and more than 90 essays in magazines and journals. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and textbooks. He wrote a weekly column that appeared in several newspapers in Texas and Mississippi.

His most recent book, published last November, is “The Time the Waters Rose and Stories of the Gulf Coast.” An article in SHSU’s 2009 alumna magazine, Heritage, described Ruffin as loving football, shooting, riding his tractor, maintaining his truck

 

and doing his own carpentry, electric, and plumbing work.

Former SHSU English Department Chair Bill Bridges said the substantial work Ruffin did in building The Texas Review and Texas Review Press from the mid-’70s made them a well- respected cache of literary work.

“His contributions as an editor, publisher, writer and poet will be missed in Texas and throughout the South,” Baylor ASAT member Dr. Cassy Burleson said.

Sarah Cortez, author of “Vanishing Points” (2016), added that Ruffin was a champion of literary writers with polished voices and stylistic integrity within genres.

“Once Paul. trusted your ‘writerly’ judgment, he trusted your judgment,” she said. “Many people chose to dislike Paul.”

Cortez added “That’s too bad because he had flawless taste and was a brilliant writer in his own right.”

Ruffin is survived by his wife Amber and his three children.

Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., ASAT News Editor

mia

Excitement is in the air as we prepare to attend the 2016 American Studies Association of Texas (ASAT) conference.

Members of the ASAT newsletter staff are looking forward to sharing the inaugural issue of the publication. ASAT President Barbara Miles has informed us it will be catalogued by EBSCO, which also catalogues issues of the Journal of the American Studies of Texas (JASAT).

This is great news for American Studies Association of Texas members as we continue to grow as an organization.

In this first issue of the newsletter, you will find highlights of the upcoming ASAT conference; tributes to Drs. Paul Ruffin and Dan R. Jones, two ASAT colleagues who passed away recently; a feature on JASAT editor Sharon Gripp; the bio of this year’s ASAT conference keynote speaker and much more!

We are excited about the upcoming 60th Annual American Studies Association of Texas (ASAT) Conference, which will be held Nov. 10-12 at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville.

This is my fifth year to attend the annual conference—two of which have been held at SHSU. It is always wonderful to catch up with colleagues.

As always, Barbara Miles, the 2016 ASAT conference coordinator and ASAT president, has done a wonderful job planning the event.

This year’s conference theme, “Intersections of Innovation, Ideology, and Imagination in American Studies,” is ideal for the 21st Century since it exemplifies goals we strive for as educators in this discipline.

Keynote speaker for this year’s conference, Dr. Carmen Tafolla, promises to be a treat. A writer, performance artist, motivational speaker, and university professor, she was chosen as San Antonio’s first Poet Laureate in 2012 and as Poet Laureate of Texas in 2015.

We are all excited about the opportunity to hear her share her experiences as a two-time Poet Laureate and hear her poetry.

I would like to extend a note of thanks to ASAT members and everyone who contributed to making this newsletter possible. Special thanks to Barbara Miles for her vision and ongoing support of ASAT. Secondly, I thank JASAT co-acquisitions editor Cassy Burleson for her continued support of ASAT and the organization in general.

Thanks to ASAT webmaster and photographer David Sonenschein for his dedication to documenting the history of organization. Thanks also to Treasurer Greg Giddings for being the glue that binds the organization together. I also want to thank Sean Ferrier-Watson for submitting several articles to this issue of the publication.

Thanks also to Mayra Monroy, the Baylor Journalism, PR & New Media graduate assistant, who designed and laid out this newsletter.

This issue would not have been possible without this group of people!

As always, I am grateful for Dr. Sara Stone and the Baylor Department of Journalism, PR & New Media for continued support of the American Studies Program.

And last but not least, I extend a special thanks to Doug Ferdon, a long-time ASAT mentor who introduced me to ASAT when I was a graduate student almost 15 years ago. It has been a great adventure!

 

 

 

From ASAT President Barbara Miles

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At the 2014 post-conference officers’ meeting, we capitalized on the success of the event by pledging to promote our chapter and its annual meeting in as many ways as possible. By post-conference 2015, we had expanded our website (thank you, David Sonenschein), begun using social media and updated our membership records.

This year we added an updated blog feature to our website, thanks to the efforts of Mia Moody-Ramirez (Baylor), who began the work on a chapter newsletter. This is our inaugural issue.

Sharon Gripp and her staff at Baylor continue to do an outstanding job of editing and publishing the Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas (JASAT) annually, which includes academic scholarship of the highest caliber.

Sean Ferrier-Watson (Collin College) joined the staff this year as book review editor, which can only mean good things for the journal.

This year’s goal, in honor of the chapter’s 60th anniversary, is to create a digitized archive of our conference history, beginning with the videoing of this year’s meeting.

Sam Houston State University, with the generous support of its Office of the Provost-Academic Affairs, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Honors College and English Department, has been honored to host the ASAT conference from 2014 to 2016. It has been my privilege to serve

as the organization’s president and Conference Coordinator during that time. Whether our campus hosts the event again in 2017, or it is held at another Texas college or university, do not miss the opportunity to participate in future meetings. They offer a lively forum for discussion of diverse thought in the field of American Studies.

Other ways to support the organization’s efforts include membership in ASAT and submissions to both JASAT and this newsletter. These publications offer opportunities to widely promote your academic efforts and those of your university’s AS programs and faculty.

For more information, visit www.asatexas.org.

Sincerely,

Barbara Miles,

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

ASAT President

& 2016 Conference Coordinator

 

Message from the President of the American Studies Association

November 15, 2016
Denver, Colorado

Dear American Studies Association members and registrants for the upcoming annual meeting:

I am writing on behalf of the ASA’s Executive Committee with a message about the meeting and also with some updates from the Program Committee’s co-chairs on some of the sessions that have recently been added to this week’s program.

First, the Executive Committee has a compelling sense that we ought to say something in advance of our upcoming meeting given the recent election results in the US and the many ongoing issues that are of deep concern to ASA members that continue to give us grave concern. We as elected leaders of the association hope our annual meeting this week in Denver will provide opportunities for a renewed collective commitment to the importance of our actions as scholars in and citizens of the world. In Denver, the national council will be discussing issuing a statement that articulates the association’s long-standing commitments to justice in light of recent events and ongoing struggles. This year as much or more than ever, we want the annual meeting to be a reminder to all of us of the power of our collective knowledge, wisdom, solidarity, and hope to respond to forces that target and threaten so many, including many of our members, and seek to diminish the values we embody and express in standing for justice and against xenophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous peoples, and the destruction of places we live.

We look forward to seeing those of you who will be in Denver. Please let us know what we can do to make ASA the sort of association you need in facing the challenges you are up against in your scholarship, teaching, and intellectual witness.

Second, the co-chairs of the Program Committee and I have added several sessions over the past several weeks in response to issues that have arisen since the formal work of building the program was completed in June. The sessions listed below are in the online version of the program. We hope you will be able to attend some of them along with the other rich offerings you as members and the Program Committee are bringing to Denver.

Safe travels to those heading to Denver. We will miss those who can’t make it this year and will hope to see you next year in Chicago.

Robert Warrior
President
American Studies Association