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


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!





The founder of Critical Studies Blog, Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor University. She specializes in new media portrayals of women and people of color. Her recent papers focus on the effects of the James Byrd Jr. dragging death on Jasper, Facebook hate groups, stereotypes of President Barack and Michelle Obama, male and female rappers’ differing views on the “independent woman,” and coverage of missing women.

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