American Studies Program

Current Events

A postor for Julian Saporiti's "No-No Boy" concert.

April 18, 2023

"No No Boy," an immersive multimedia concert with Julian Saporiti, will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, in Rapaporte Treasure Hall. Light refreshments will be served.

Taking inspiration from his own family's history living through the Vietnam War as well as many other stories of Asian American experience, Nashville-born songwriter Julian Saporiti has transformed years of doctoral study into an innovative project which bridges a divide between art and scholarship, blending original folk songs, storytelling and projected archival images all in service of illuminating hidden American histories.

This program is co-sponsored by the American Studies and Asian-American and Pacific Islander Studies programs and made possible through the generosity of Sam Weisman, MFA '73.

Mountain range, text reads: Sixth Annual Brandeis Novel Symposium
Brandeis Novel Symposium 2022

October 14, 2022

This year's Brandeis Novel Symposium on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, will take place in person at the Mandel Center for the Humanities. It will also be livestreamed. See our Program page for the full schedule.

Heather Hendershot crosses her arms in front of a black background.
"When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America"

November 3, 2022

Join the American Studies program in Shiffman 219 at 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, to hear a talk from Dr. Heather Hendershot, author of "When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America."

"The whole world is watching!" cried protestors at the 1968 Democratic convention as Chicago police beat them in the streets. When some of that violence was then aired on network television, another kind of hell broke loose. Some viewers were stunned and outraged; others thought the protestors deserved what they got. In her talk, Heather Hendershot revisits TV coverage of those four chaotic days in 1968 — not only the violence in the streets but also the tumultuous convention itself.

Dr. Hendershot discusses the nuance of the convention as a pivotal moment in American political history, spanning topics like the notion of "liberal media bias," fairness and accuracy in the news, and the distrust of TV news in the United States. As Hendershot reveals, it doesn't matter if the "whole world is watching" if people don't believe what they see.

Featured Past Events

Gina McCarthy
Conversation with Gina McCarthy, Climate Czar

Gina McCarthy, the top national climate official in the federal government, headlined a Brandeis Journalism webinar March 8, 2022, focused on how to improve communications and coverage of climate change. As the government's first National Climate Advisor, McCarthy served as President Joe Biden's chief advisor on domestic climate policy and headed the White House office focused on mobilizing a whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis and securing environmental justice.

She spoke with Neil Swidey, a professor of the practice and the director of the Brandeis Journalism Program. Swidey, who is also editor-at-large of The Boston Globe Magazine, wrote an in-depth magazine cover story in 2018 about McCarthy.

McCarthy, a Boston native who served five governors in both Democratic and Republican administrations, served as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama. A former professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, she serves as chair of the board of directors of the Harvard Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment.  

Video recording 

Jack Davis reading from a book
"The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea"

In March 2019, Jack E. Davis, PhD’94, spoke about his Pulitzer Prize-winning book about America's Gulf Coast. Listen to the podcast he recorded with GSAS while he was on campus.