Faculty Books

American Studies' faculty have authored a number of critically acclaimed books in recent years. Here is a sampling of their work.

 

Image of the cover of Tom Gugilelmo's book, A New History of Racism and Resistance in America's World War II Military

A New History of Racism and Resistance in America's World War II Military

Prizewinning historian Thomas A. Guglielmo draws together more than a decade of extensive research to tell sweeping yet personal stories of race and the military; of high command and ordinary GIs; and of African Americans, white Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Guglielmo argues that the military built not one color line, but a complex tangle of them. 
Image of the cover of Elaine Peña's book, ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the US-Mexico Border

¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the US-Mexico Border

For 120 years, residents of the cross-border community of Laredo/Nuevo Laredo have celebrated George Washington's birthday together, and Associate Professor of American Studies Elaine Pena's account reveals the essential political work of a time-honored civic tradition.
Image of the cover of Dara Orenstein's book, Out of Stock: The Warehouse in the History of Capitalism

Out of Stock: The Warehouse in the History of Capitalism

Associate Professor of American Studies Dara Orenstein delivers an ambitious and engrossing account of that most generic and underappreciated site in American commerce and industry: the warehouse. She traces the progression from the nineteenth century’s bonded warehouses to today’s foreign-trade zones, enclaves where goods can be simultaneously on US soil and off US customs territory.
Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance book cover

Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance

Amber Jamilla Musser, associate professor of American Studies, reimagines black and brown sensuality to develop new modes of knowledge production. Sensual Excess works against the framing of black and brown bodies as sexualized, objectified and abject, focusing on unpacking the relationships between racialized sexuality and consumption to interrogate foundational concepts in psychoanalytic theory, critical race studies, feminism and queer theory.

The Kingdom of God Has No Borders: A Global History of American Evangelicals

The Kingdom of God Has No Borders: A Global History of American Evangelicals

Melani McAlister, professor of American studies and international affairs, offers a daring new perspective on conservative Christianity by focusing on the world outside American borders. In a narrative covering 50 years of evangelical history, she upends much of what we know—or think we know—about American evangelicals. Her case studies examine, for example, how Christian leaders have fought to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa while also supporting harsh repression of LGBTQ communities.

Open Mind book cover

The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature

Jamie Cohen-Cole chronicles the development of a rational, creative and autonomous self and demonstrates how the self became a defining feature of Cold War culture. Cohen-Cole presents an explanation of how policy makers and social critics used the idea of open-minded human nature to advance centrist politics from 1945 to 1965.

It's Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television book cover

It's Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television

Gayle Wald, professor of English and American Studies, examines the first African American black variety television program, "Soul!," which was influential in expressing the diversity of black popular culture, thought and politics, as well as helping to create the notion of black community.

Book cover: Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom

Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom

Elisabeth Anker, associate professor of American Studies and political science, argues that American politics is often influenced by melodrama narratives from cinema and literature. This book focuses on the role of melodrama in the news media and presidential speeches after 9/11.

Cover image of The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York

The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York

Suleiman Osman locates the origins of gentrification in Brooklyn in the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, challenging the conventional wisdom that New York City's renaissance started in the 1990s. Gentrification began as a grassroots movement led by young and idealistic white college graduates searching for "authenticity" and life outside the burgeoning suburbs. 

book cover of Citizenship and the Origins of Women's History in the United States

Citizenship and the Origins of Women’s History in the United States

Associate Professor of American Studies Teresa Anne Murphy outlines the development of women's history from the late eighteenth century to the time of the Civil War. Murphy examines literature that promoted domestic citizenship, and how these historical writers set the stage for a more progressive women's rights campaign. Murphy demonstrates that citizenship is at the heart of women's history and, consequently, that women's history is the history of nations.