Faculty Research

The publications of American Studies faculty reflect their disciplinary and sub-disciplinary specializations. This page gives you a sense of the range of their research and scholarship. American Studies majors, by writing a honors thesis, enter the world of formal academic research.

Paul Fisher

House of Wits Paul Fisher's doctoral thesis treated American literary expatriates of the art world of the Belle Époque and was the basis for his book, Artful Itineraries: European Art and American Careers in High Culture, 1865–1920 . His research in American Studies has combined literature, art history, cultural history, and gender and sexuality studies. He often examines American internationalism and transnationalism, so his work is comparative as well as interdisciplinary. His most recent book, House of Wits: An Intimate Portrait of the James Family , looks at Henry, William, and Alice James in the light of social and cultural developments of their time as well as according to family dynamics underemphasized in previous accounts: mental illness, alcoholism, and sexuality. He is currently working on a study of John Singer Sargent and his patrons, focusing on the role of sexuality in the fin-de-siècle art world.


Michael Jeffries

Thug Life The bulk of Michael Jeffries'  published research is concerned with hip-hop culture. Articles and essays include pieces about hip-hop feminism and representations of love in hip-hop performances. His first book, Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop is available from the University of Chicago Press.


Student Research

The primary opportunity for student research is the honors thesis. American Studies majors have written theses on an impressive range of subjects, including:

2011: Narratives of Transgression or Tales of Subversion? Gender and National Drag in Transnational Caribbean Performance

2010: Race Formation in Hawaiian Multicultural Literature

2008: Dude Ranches, Elvis Impersonators, and Pole Dancing: The Unlikely Ways that Las Vegas Empowered Women through Its Divorce, Marriage, and Club Industries, 1911-2008

2004: An American Asylum: The Effects of Immigration Policies on Cambodian Refugees

2004: Within Bounds but Pushing Boundaries: The Teachers at the Carlisle Indian School, 1879-1904

2002: A Car with a View: Roadside Culture and American Frontiers of the 1930s and 1950s

2002: Asian American Success: A Look at Subgroup Achievement Differences

2001: Virtuous Beginnings, Successful Endings: The American Dream in the Antebellum South

1999: Living Ghetto Fabulous: A Study of African-American Youth and Gangs

1999: The Role of Theatre in Sustainable Community Development: Creating a Blueprint for Successful Social, Cultural, and Educational Intervention in American Inner-Cities

For a full list of American Studies honors theses, please visit the library  catalog.