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American Studies News


  • We are saddened to learn of the death of Vanessa Santos, a double major in AMST and Politics, Administration, and Justice and member of the class of 2021. Intelligent, kind and generous to classmates, and a joy to teach, Vanessa was an ideal student who will be deeply missed by the entire department. 

    We invite all to join us in "Remembering Vanessa Santos"PDF File on Friday, March 5 from 4-5 pm via Zoom.  If you have recollections of Vanessa, you are welcome to share them at that time or you can also send written or recorded memories so that we can share them for you at the event.  You can send your memories to the chair of American Studies, Terri Snyder by 5 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2021.  

    We extend our sincere sympathies to Vanessa’s parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. Those who wish to read more about Vanessa or make a contribution to her funeral expenses can do so at her GoFundMe page.
  • Congratulations to graduate student Raymond Gandara for winning the 2021 Weaver Prize for his essay "Imperial Machinery: the Roads, Camineros, and Engineers of the U.S.-Occupied Philippines" which analyzed the intersection of technology, masculinity, and imperialism in the Philippines. Congratulations as well to Michelle Okawa who earned an honorable mention for her essay "Ghost in the Geisha: A Critical Analysis of Techno-Orientalism and Asian Female Robots in Science Fiction Films." Both essays will be published later this year in the 2020-2021 edition of The American Papers
  • Congratulations to students Nadine Boctor and Alicia Barajas-Ritchie for winning the Fall 2020 Napolin and Vaca Undergraduate Scholarships.  AMST Undergraduates can apply for these scholarships every Fall and Spring Semester. See our Scholarships page for more information. 
  • Congratulations to the Class of 2020! The AMST Department hosted a virtual graduation ceremony on June 13.  You can watch the celebration on YouTube.
  • The Department is pleased to announce that it has added two new upper division electives to the curriculum: AMST 454 - American Nightlife and AMST 489 - Digital America. Proposed by Professor Gonzaba, American Nightlife will examine the development of nightlife in America and cover such topics as evening labor, Prohibition, gender roles, sexuality, ballroom culture, cinema, and urban cultures.  Based on the America 2.0 course originally taught by Emeritus Professor Steinle and now proposed by Professor Abnet, Digital America will analyze how digital and electronic communications technologies, social media, and apps have shaped and been shaped by American culture.  Look for these courses as well as all of our other amazing upper division electives over the next few semesters.  
  • Due to the coronavirus, the American Studies department has canceled its planned 50th anniversary celebration.  It will hopefully be rescheduled within the next few years after the crisis passes. 
  • Following a series of discussions among students, faculty, and staff, the AMST Department has released a statement on the recent hate speech incidents on campus.  
  • Photograph of Kristin Rowe Photograph of Eric GonzabaThe department is excited to welcome Kristin Rowe and Eric Gonzaba as new full time faculty members! Check out their webpages and stay tuned for more information about their research and teaching.  


  • Graduate student Laura Fauvor recently published an essay on her activism and work on Professor Gonzaba's Mapping the Gay Guides digital history project in the OC Register.  Check it out!
  • The OC Register recently published a story on 2020 graduate Julian Orozco!
  • A story on AMST student Joey Hernandez's experiences at CSUF was recently featured on the university's main page!
  • AMST student Kate Resnick was recently featured on the new "Meet the Faces of HSS" feature on the HSS website!
  • Professor Lane's study abroad program in Denmark during Summer 2019 was recently profiled by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  Read the story to find out about the amazing experiences students had.


Cover of The American Robot

  • U-Chicago Press just published Professor Abnet's new book The American Robot: A Cultural History  which traces the development of the robot as a concept and character in American culture from the eighteenth century to the present.  Examining both real and fictional robots, it explores how the device's duel role as a humanized machine and mechanized human has served an important ideological role in navigating the always contested lines between humans and machines.  Check out an interview Professor Abnet did for NPR on the book. 
  • Dr. Eric Gonzaba has just launched a new digital history project called Mapping the Gay Guides . The project is a free, online web application that allows users to explore and understand the history and culture of queer spaces across the United States since 1965. Currently the site includes the complete listings of sites from twelve states in the Southern U.S. Thanks to a generous RSCA grant from the CSUF Chancellor’s Office, Dr. Gonzaba has hired and is working with four American Studies graduate students to train them in digital history skills while utilizing LGBTQ documents. By the end of the Spring 2020 semester, the Mapping the Gay Guides team and graduate students will have completed listings from the entire United States between 1965 and 1980. 
  • Professor Golub and former MA student Ashley Loup just published an article entitled "Engaging Fan Cultures: What Students Learn When They Study Fans" in the current issue of Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies.  

Cover of Framed by War

  • NYU Press just published Professor Woo's fascinating new book Framed by War:  Korean  Children and Women at the Crossroads of Empire which traces the arc of intimate relations that generated enduring transnational entanglements. Centering upon the experiences of Korean orphans, GI babies, birth mothers, adoptees, prostitutes, and brides, the book examines how US military involvement in the Korean War indelibly transformed Korean and American lives on both sides of the Pacific.





  • Cover of Men without MapsThe University of Chicago Press just published Professor Ibson's second book in two years: Men without Maps: Some Gay Males of the Generation before Stonewall.  Focusing on several American males who lived before the “gay liberation” movement, in stories of agency as well as agony, of fulfillment and pleasure as well as thwarted desire and self-loathing, Men without Maps freshly explores the actual quality of life for those “of the generation before Stonewall” who yearned for and sometimes experienced sexual involvements with other men. A few of the men studied are moderately well known today, but most are not. The involvements of some with other men were examples of long-lasting gay domesticity, while the encounters that others had were fleeting. Relying mostly on archival material--such as letters, memoirs, and snapshots--previously unused by a scholar, the book first explores those midcentury males, more numerous than usually realized, who lived as part of a male couple; it then examines experiences of solitary queer men who found coupling to be either unappealing or simply unattainable.


  • Professor Rowe's article "Beyond 'Good Hair': Negotiating Hair Politics Through African American Language" has been selected for the inaugural Women & Language Article Award. The Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender approved the award in its recent update to its bylaws. The editorial board considered all peer-reviewed articles published in W&L in 2019. The award will be conferred virtually at their annual banquet in October. 
  • Professor Gonzaba's Wearing Gay History digital humanities project was recently selected by the Library of Congress for preservation and inclusion inits LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Professor Gonzaba's other digital history project, Mapping the Gay Guides, was also recently featured on CSUF's News page. 
  • Professors Snyder and Lane were recently awarded Senior Faculty Research Grants to work on their current research projects.
  • Professor Rowe was recently honored with the 2020 College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean's Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award for her article “‘Nothing Else Mattered After That Wig Came Off’: Black Women, Unstyled Hair, and Scenes of Interiority” in the Journal of American Culture.
  • Professor Golub was recently awarded CSUF's first-ever Writing Across the Curriculum certificate! To earn the certificate, Professor Golub attended a series of workshops and then put together a portfolio of teaching ideas focused on ways of integrating more writing-to-learn activities into his AMST 401T course on music.   Read more about this innovative workshop series.
  • Professor Gonzaba recently was awared a CSUF Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity award for his project on "Mapping the Gay Guides" in which he will work with graduate students to develop a free, online web application that will allow users to explore and understand the history and culture of queer space in Sourthern California since 1965.  

Alumni Activities

  • John Carlos Marquez (M.A.) was recently hired as an assistant professor at Colorado College and awarded a 2 year postdoc at the prestigious Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture. 



  • Professor Terri Snyder was featured as the keynote speaker at "Untamed: Women and the Law," a special symposium held in conjunction with the Jamestown Settlement's year-long exhibit, "Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia" in commeration of the 400 year anniversary of the beginnings of slavery in North America.