Past Events

cucolo "The Media: A Serviceman's View" - Major General Anthony Cucolo

Wednesday, April 2nd at 5:00 pm in Mandel G03

On April 2nd at 5:00 pm Major General Anthony Cucolo will give a talk titled, "The Media: A Serviceman's View" in Mandel G03 at 5:00 pm. Maj. General Cucolo is the 49th Commandant of the U.S. Army War College. Prior to his arrival at Carlisle Barracks, he spent ten months as the Director of Force Development for the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, at Headquarters, Department of the Army in the Pentagon. His office on the Army staff tied resources to requirements to develop equipment solutions for the entire Army, active, Guard and Reserve–from uniforms and rifles to attack helicopters and armored vehicles.

Maj. General Cucolo's most recent operational assignment was a 33 month tour as Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, from July 2008 to April 2011. During that time, he deployed the Division Headquarters to Iraq from October 2009 through November 2010, to command US Division North/Task Force Marne, responsible for all US forces operating in the seven Iraqi provinces north of Baghdad. Throughout their 13 months in Iraq, Task Force Marne conducted counterinsurgency and stability operations, implemented Arab–Kurd confidence building measures along that interior ethnic fault line, supported the Iraqi national election of 2010, and executed the significant drawdown of US forces in the summer of 2010, successfully ending Operation Iraqi Freedom and opening Operation New Dawn in northern Iraq. For more information on Maj. General Cucolo, please see his bio.

Sheldon Stern
"The Secret White House Cuban Missile Crisis: Getting it Right after Half a Century" - Sheldon Stern

Wednesday, March 12th at 5:00 in Mandel G03

On March 12th at 5:00pm, historian Sheldon Stern will give a talk titled, The Secret White House Cuban Missile Crisis: Getting it Right after Half a Century. Stern received a B.A. in history from the City University of New York and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He taught at several colleges and universities before becoming Historian at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston (1977-2000). He was the first non-participant in the ExComm meetings and the first professional historian to hear all of the then classified Cuban missile crisis tapes. He is the author of many articles, as well as the books Averting ‘the final failure’: John F. Kennedy and the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis Meetings (2003), The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis (2005), and The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory: Myths vs. Reality (2012), in the Stanford University Press Nuclear Age Series.

"Margaret Fuller: A Feminist Heroine Across Three Centuries" Megan Marshall

A New American Life Book CoverNovember 14, 2013 at 5:00 in Mandel G03.

Megan Marshall is the author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life (2013). The book takes a fresh look at the trailblazing life of a great American heroine—Thoreau’s first editor, Emerson’s close friend, first female war correspondent, and passionate advocate of personal liberation in her groundbreaking study of gender, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845).  Marshall is the author of The Peabody Sisters, which won the Francis Parkman Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography and memoir. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, and Slate. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, Marshall teaches narrative nonfiction and the art of archival research in the MFA program at Emerson College.

This event is co-sponsored by Women's and Gender Studies.

“Weimar in Waltham: Brandeis University at the Beginning” - A Talk by Professor Whitfield

November 13, 2013 at 5:00 in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall.


With the founding of Brandeis University in 1948, vestiges of the culture of Weimar Germany could be reconstituted in Waltham.  What had been a glorious but brittle era of experimentation and radicalism in the arts prior to the establishment of the Third Reich could be discerned in traces of thinking among the Brandeis faculty who had escaped and were given an opportunity to extend the brilliance of art and thought that had been extinguished in 1933.  Whether in the social sciences or in the arts, the early years of the university were marked by the recognizable impact of the culture that historian Peter Gay labeled the ascent of "the outsider as insider."

"Trayvon Martin and So Many More: Racial Innocence Today" - Robin Bernstein

Racial Innocence Today Book CoverOctober 24, 2013 at 4:00 in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall.

Robin Bernstein is the author of Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights.  Published in 2011, it has won five major book awards. She is a Professor of African and African American Studies and of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality, and a member of the doctoral program in American Studies at Harvard University.

This event is sponsored by American Studies and the Department of  African and Afro-American Studies, and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Education Program.

The Suppressed Desires of Mabel Dodge Luhan: Sex, Syphilis, and Psychoanalysis in the Making of Modern American Culture

Lois Rudnick

Lois Rudnick is professor emerita of American Studies, University of Massachusetts-Boston, where she taught American literature and culture for 36 years, 26 of which she chaired the American Studies Department. She has published numerous books and articles on modern American culture, and the artists and writers colonies of Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, including her multiple award winning Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan House and the American Counterculture (1996).

This talk was sponsored by the American Studies Program and the Women's and Gender Studies Program.

April 5, 2013, 2:00pm., in Mandel G03.

DREAM BIG: From Waltham to Hollywood: Making Movies For the Big & Little(r) Screens

Stan Brooks

Stan Books (Brandeis / AMST '79) is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and one of the television industry’s most successful and prolific producers. Among his many credits are the Emmy-winning Broken Trail (for AMC in 2006), the Emmy-nominated Prayers for Bobby (for Lifetime in 2009) and the ratings triumph Capture of the Green River Killer (for LMN in 2007). He also created and produced the extraordinarily popular Behind the Camera film series chronicling the backstage stories of Three’s Company, Mork and Mindy, Dynasty and Diff'rent Strokes.. He has recently completed the feature film Perfect Sisters starring Abigail Breslin and Oscar winner Mira Sorvino - his directorial debut.

He will be speaking about breaking into Hollywood and adapting true crime stories for
both feature films and television movies/miniseries.

This talk was sponsored by the American Studies Program.

Lecture by Marc Tyler Nobleman: "Heroes, With and Without Capes" Thursday, Nov. 8

The American Studies Program invites you to “Heroes, With and Without Capes: The Creators of Superman and Batman” with Marc Tyler Nobleman ’94, author of Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman and Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman

As seen in Forbes and USA Today, and heard on MTV, TED and NPR’s All Things Considered.

Writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster co-created Superman and writer Bill Finger was the main mind behind Batman. Yet Siegel and Shuster lived in poverty and anonymity for almost 30 years while Finger died poor and nearly forgotten.
Author Marc Tyler Nobleman (Brandeis ’94) reveals the startling tragedies behind the creators of two worldwide icons..

This event has been sponsored by the Martin Weiner Lecture Series.

Staging Race in the 21st Century: The Case of Porgy And Bess   

George Gershwin's classic American opera, "Porgy and Bess," debuted at the Boston Colonial Theater in 1936 to acclaim and controversy. Seventy-five years later, the American Repertory Theater hosted a run of the revamped classic in Cambridge, across the river from Boston. A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus' reinterpretation triggered applause, accolades and, once again -- controversy.

 On September 25, 2011 more than 65 members of the Brandeis community from American Studies, Theater, Education, AAAS, Women and Gender Studies, and other programs went to Cambridge for an experiential learning experience; between watching the production, meeting actors and discussing the performance and its cultural underpinnings, the group found that a few hours weren't enough. A longer, more extensive and richer discussion of the cultural representation of race and gender was needed.
On Tuesday, November 15, from 6pm to 9pm in the Pearlman Lounge, join professors, staff and students for discussion, refreshments, reflection, analysis and more. Panelists include: Jamele Adams, Student Affairs; Joyce Antler, American Studies; Melissa Howard, ‘12; Ryan McKittrick, Theater; Anneke Reich, ‘13; Faith Smith, AAAS; and Ibrahim Sundiata, AAAS/History.  

This event was co-sponsored by African and Afro-American Studies; American Studies; Education; Theater Arts; Women’s and Gender Studies; Intercultural Center, the Transitional Year Program, Student Affairs, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

Doug Newman, American Studies '94, Laura Browder, Ph.D. '94, now the Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor of American Studies at the University of Richmond, and AMST Professor Stephen Whitfield.

"The Reconstruction of Asa Carter," held  Nov. 13.      

(Pictured, left to right: Doug Newman, American Studies '94, Laura Browder, Ph.D. '94, now the Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor of American Studies at the University of Richmond, and AMST Professor Stephen Whitfield.)

When presidential candidate George Wallace shouted "Segregation Now! Segregation Tomorrow! Segregation Forever!" in his 1963 inaugural address as governor of Alabama, no one -- not the press, the audience, Wallace himself, or publishers at the University of New Mexico Press -- could have predicted that just 13 years later the same speech writer who penned those words would transform his persona from that of a hard-line, white segregationist to a gentle Cherokee native American.

Filmmakers Laura Browder (Ph.D. '94) and Douglas Newman ('94) tackle the mystery of "Little Tree" in their hour-long documentary, "The Reconstruction of Asa Carter." In the early 1960s he fought for segregation, but in 1976 Carter -- using the pen name "Forrest Carter," published an autobiography as a Cherokee man, spinning the tale of an orphaned Native American child raised by Cherokee grandparents in "The Education of Little Tree." The book gained national acclaim, largely through word of mouth, boosting sales for the tiny University of New Mexico Press, garnering book award nominations, and triggering a movie rights bidding war between Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg.

In 1991 "Forrest Carter" was outed as segregationist and white supremacist Asa Carter, who had helped found Ku Klux Klan chapters and, famously, penned Wallace's signature line. "The Reconstruction of Asa Carter" looks at racism in American culture and examines the fallout from Carter's actions. 

This event was co-sponsored by the American Studies Program; Film, Television and Interactive Media; SoJust Forum, and The Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund.

Noteworthy News

American Repertory Theater's "Porgy & Bess" an experiential learning experience for students from American Studies, Theater, AAAS, WGS, Education and more.

Richard Gaskins and Eileen McNamara, both of American Studies, win two top faculty awards

Brian Donahue on Weston forest project (Boston Globe)

Brian Donahue on sugar maples and a bit of needed rain (Boston Globe)

Jerry Cohen explains why baseball has become America's pastime, but soccer strikes out with U.S. audiences

Maura Farrelly wins Michael Walzer '56 Award for Teaching

William Goldsmith, retired American studies professor, dies at 90

Shilpa Davé looks at Indian arranged marriage and matchmaking on American television

Stephen Whitfield details impact of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (LTS Special Collections Spotlight)

Joyce Antler and Richard Gaskins talk with The Hoot about sabbatical

Shilpa Davé selected for Visiting Professors Program 

Brian Donahue on local food and farming (Boston Globe)

Stephen Whitfield wins teaching award