AMERICAN STUDIES IN THE NEWS | Oakland native Tyson Ross trains for a major league comeback while finishing his UC Berkeley degree

Reprinted from Oaklandside – by Nick Lozito, 7/15/22 It was a whirlwind spring semester at UC Berkeley for former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher Tyson Ross. With two young boys at home, time management is key for the Oakland native who, now that final exams are over, plans to show major-league teams that his right arm can help them win a pennant, despite not having thrown a professional pitch since 2019. “I’ve got some more left in me,” said the American Studies major who is one upper-division course and a 30-page thesis shy of graduation this fall. In May, before a bout with COVID-19 delayed the pitcher’s comeback pursuit, Ross was reaching 94 mph with his fastball, the hardest he had […]

American Studies Graduate Elijah Hicks Honored

Excerpted from Cal Bears News, 5/2/22 The best and the brightest of Cal student-athletes convened at the Field Club at California Memorial Stadium on Monday for the annual Cal Athletics Academic Honors Luncheon, featuring an appearance from Chancellor Carol Christ and inspiring remarks by track and field standout Camryn Rogers. Several Cal student-athletes were honored with an array of awards, including Rogers and football’s Elijah Hicks’ selection for the Tom Hansen Medal, given annually to one outstanding male and female student-athlete from each Pac-12 institution. Elijah Hicks (football) Camryn Rogers (women’s track & field)


Friday, May 6, 2022, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Women’s Faculty Club, Lucy Ward Stebbins Lounge   10:00:  Leigh Raiford (African American Studies)  – The End(s) of American Photography 10:40: David Miller (Music)  – The Spokane Conservatory Guestbook: One Family’s Journey Through 20th Century Music 11:20: Margaretta Lovell (History of Art)  – John Greenwood: The Nanny, The Spyglass, and the Drunken Gentlemen -BREAK- 2:00: David Henkin (History)  – A Fan’s Votes: Partisanship in Baseball — and in American Culture 2:40: Sarah Gold McBride (American Studies) –  Locks of Hair and Embodied Identity in the Nineteenth Century 3:20: Shannon Steen (Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies)  – The Creative Society: Reagan and the California Crusade

In Memoriam: American Studies co-founder Paul Groth

It is with great sadness that we bring you news of the passing of Paul Groth, Professor and former Director of American Studies at Berkeley, on January 17. Indeed Groth was one of the three founders of the Program—together with Dell Upton (Architecture) and Margaretta Lovell (Art History), with adroit assistance by then-Dean Don McQuade, in 1990. This core group was quickly joined by Larry Levine (History), Richard Hutson (English), and Kathleen Moran (Political Science). Far more interdisciplinary than American Studies programs established elsewhere, Berkeley’s program was designed around Space and Time rather than Texts and Contexts; it was a truly-interdisciplinary and revolutionary pedagogy from the outset. Paul Groth’s two-semester cross-listed lecture course “American Cultural Landscapes” anchored the program and […]

Paul Groth, American Studies co-founder, honored

Paul Groth, co-founder of the UC Berkeley Program in American Studies, and professor emeritus of geography and architecture, has been honored by a “Festschrift” in Platform. Numerous colleagues and former students have penned this collective literary tribute to Groth, including American Studies affiliated faculty Margaret Crawford (Architecture), Margaretta Lovell (History of Art), and Alexander Benjamin Craghead (American Studies). Additional honors come from former UC Berkeley faculty Mary Ryan (History), Dell Upton (Architecture), and Richard Walker (Geography). Groth made profound contributions to Berkeley and to American Studies. As Margaret Crawford notes: As a professor, he wrote about unexpected but important topics, his research techniques were famous for being both exacting and creative, he was a meticulous and generous editor, and, as […]

American Studies Faculty Awarded the Presidential Chair Fellows Grant

American Studies Faculty Awarded the Presidential Chair Fellows Grant

Christine Palmer, T. Carlis Roberts, Brandi Summers, and Bryan Wagner have been awarded the Presidential Chair Fellows Grant for 2021-2022 for their interdisciplinary project, “An Open Curriculum on Traditional Music and Culture.” The purpose of the project is to strengthen humanities teaching at UC Berkeley by developing and sharing digital resources and curriculum on music, history, and traditional culture that can be adapted to a wide range of courses across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. The initial phase of the project will focus on Haiti, Cuba, and Louisiana with collaboration with Rachel Breunlin and Bruce Sunpie Barnes’s Neighborhood Story Project in New Orleans and Ned Sublette’s Postmambo Productions in New York. Photo credit: Big Chief Victor Harris, the Spirit […]

New Adventures in American Studies Colloquium

Friday, April 2, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm PST Join us for three in-depth conversations about new and exciting work in American Studies featuring Edgar Garcia discussing his book, Signs of the Americas, with Fred Moten; Erica Fretwell discussing her book, Sensory Experiments, with Elizabeth Dillon; and Joshua Bennett discussing his book, Being Property Once Myself, with Dylan Rodríguez. Sponsored by the English Department with the African American Studies Department, American Cultures Center, American Studies Program, and Ethnic Studies Department. Website: Register:

American Studies Major Helen Pinto featured in “Berkeley Discovery Stories”

For over a year, Helen has worked as a research assistant for Art History Professor Todd Olson. During summer 2020, she compiled images and image-use permission information for potential inclusion in Olson’s forthcoming book on Neapolitan artist Jusepe de Ribera. Building upon her major in American Studies, this project has challenged her to think deeply about processes of transculturation. Watch a video about Helen’s Discovery Story here.

American Studies Alumnus Alex Serna wins Emerging Leader Award

Alex Serna, M.Ed., Class of 2011, has won the Emerging Leader Award from Orange County Grantmakers for his work as Executive Director of Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, a college success program that supports students from underrepresented backgrounds starting in middle school through college graduation. The goal: to break the cycle of poverty through the power of education. The Emerging Leader award is for an individual engaged in the nonprofit and/or philanthropic sector, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and contributions to their organization and/or sector. Alex never envisioned having a career in education while gambling for quarters in the back of his high school Geometry class, growing up in a low-income neighborhood in Anaheim. He graduated high school with a 2.1 GPA, never […]

Announcing Summer 2021 American Studies Courses

American Studies 101– P.T. Barnum and Other Scams. Instructor: S. Gold McBride (SESSION A – Six Weeks) American Studies 101 – Golden Age of Advertising. Instructor: K. Moran (SESSION D – Six Weeks) More information coming soon here and on the Summer Sessions website.