Awards for American 2021 American Studies Graduates

Anna Birtwell Badalament, winner of the Pauli Murray Award and the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Internship Research Prize.

Jessica Ashley Cocomazzi, winner of the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Essay Prize.

Adina Sarah Kalish Scheinberg, high honors and winner of the Lawrence Fuchs Award.

Seth Isaac Wulf, high honors.

American Studies Is Pleased to Announce

photo of book coverAhab Unbound:  Melville and the Materialist Turn

2022:  Meredith Farmer and Jonathan D. S. Schroeder, Editors

Afterword by Samuel Otter

Why Captain Ahab is worthy of our fear—and our compassion

Ahab Unbound advances an urgent inquiry into Melville’s emergence as a center of gravity for materialist work, reframing his infamous whaling captain in terms of conversations in animal studies, critical race and ethnic studies, disability studies, environmental humanities, medical humanities, political theory, and posthumanism. It makes a case for the vitality of materialist inquiry and the continued resonance of Melville’s work.

photograph of the cover of Dohorty's book
American Studies Is Pleased to Announce
Much has been written about the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., the subsequent investigation, and the trial and conviction of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, but Prof. Thomas Doherty's new book, "Little Lindy Is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century" takes on a new angle.  As Dohorty says:  "I found most of the books about the case are sort of true crime accounts about what happened during the kidnapping, the trial, whether Hauptmann was guilty or not guilty, those kinds of questions. Nobody had done a book exclusively on the media revolution."
American Studies Is Pleased to Announce
The American Studies Program is pleased to announce the release of two new books by its faculty:

Paula Jo Musegades' Aaron Copland's Hollywood Film Scores is a pioneering study of how the famous American composer helped to shape the sound of Hollywood movies and the place of sound in American films.

photograph of book cover of Musegades' book

Jerome Tharaud's Apocalyptic Geographies: Religion, Media, and the American Landscape examines how white evangelical Protestants in the antebellum United States used print culture to shape Americans' understanding of a wide variety of secular and sacred issues.

photo of Tharaud's book cover
Lydia Emmanouilidou, '14, Named Athens Bureau Chief for Public Radio International Program
The American Studies program is delighted to announce that Lydia Emmanouilidou, class of 2014, was recently made the Athens Bureau Chief for Public Radio International Program's The World.  While at Brandeis, Lydia completed a senior honors thesis in American Studies that explored the American news media's coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  She received the distinction of "highest honors" for that project.  Lydia also minored in Journalism, and after graduating from Brandeis, she accepted a fellowship at National Public Radio, before going on to work as a producer for WGBH's Morning Edition.  She later worked as a reporter for 'GBH's Education Desk before going on to work for The World.  You can hear Lydia's latest report from Greece here.
Awards for 2020 American Studies Graduates

David Aizenberg:  Harry, Joseph and Ida Stein Memorial Award

To the outstanding male student-athlete.  Aizenberg also earned All-American honors this year, Brandeis's first All-American since 1994. 

Jessica Lauren Gedallovich:  Justice Louis D. Brandeis Essay Prize

Kalianni Neal-Desatnik:  Michael Kalafatas ’65 Admissions Prize
To an outstanding Brandeis senior who has greatly contributed to the admissions process throughout his/her/their time at the University.

Rachel Wang:  Richard Kaufman ‘58 Memorial Prize
Student/s who demonstrates leadership in campus activities and who, through academic achievement, exemplifies the well-rounded student who is likely to have a lifelong interest in his/her/their fellows.

Donald Gerard Weisse III:  Doris Brewer Cohen Award in Justice and Public Life, Lawrence Fuchs Award, Lester Martin Foundation Award in Legal Studies

Natalia M. Wiater:  Pauli Murray Award

Breen Gives Talk on Privacy Laws at BNC Event

January 9, 2019

Dan Breen gave a talk, "Stories of Privacy: The Legal Boundaries of Public and Private Life," to the Tucson, Arizona, chapter of the Brandeis National Committee. His lecture was part of the BNC's University on Wheels program and was co-sponsored by the Tucson Jewish Community Center, which hosted the event.

Awards for American Studies 2019 Graduates

Kaitlyn Xiaorong Decker-Jacoby:  Lawrence Fuchs Award

Julianna Eleanore Scionti:  Pauli Murray Award

November 11, 2018

"Stan Lee is one of those people that helped the field of American Studies look at bizarre material — he made comics and comic art worthy of critical intelligence," Thomas Doherty says.

October 22, 2018

Stephen Whitfield previews "The Power of Music" exhibition at Brandeis.

October 9, 2018

In Tablet article, Thomas Doherty examines how the architect of the Final Solution, an otherwise unremarkable bureaucrat, became a star character for film.

Awards for 2018 American Studies Graduates

Valerie Achille:  Justice Louis D. Brandeis Essay Prize

Ruaidhri Thomas Belfry Crofton:  Michael Kalafatas '65 Admissions Prize and

                                    Pauli Murray Citizen-Scholar Award in American Studies

Abigail M. Patkin:  : Lawrence Fuchs Citizen-Scholar Award in American Studies

lee bloch

Lee Bloch

Bloch Appointed Kay Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Studies

September 24, 2018

Lee Bloch has joined the university as the Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Studies for 2018-20, and will serve as a lecturer in the departments of anthropology and American studies. Bloch, who holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Virginia, is working on his first book, "Sweetgum Archaeology: Mound Landscapes and the Unfinished Histories of the Native South." The book draws on community-based research with members of a small Native American community in the U.S. South who identify as of Muskogee (Creek) ancestry, focusing on indigenous knowledges about large-scale earthworks built by ancient peoples over the last 5,000 years.

April 13, 2018

A Washington Post review of Thomas Doherty's illuminating new book "Show Trial."

April 13, 2018

A Washington Post review of Eileen McNamara's new book on "the Kennedy who changed the world."

March 7, 2018

Joyce Antler writes about her forthcoming book on Jewish radical feminism.

Book cover with text reading Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860, Maura Jane Farrelly

January 23, 2018

From The Junto blog on American history: "Whether John Higham was correct in describing anti-Catholicism as the 'most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history' is a matter of debate. Not as disputed, though, is the reality that, until relatively recently, a great many Americans did view Catholicism as one of the principal threats to liberty and order in the United States. Maura Jane Farrelly’s masterful new volume, 'Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860, traces the development of anti-Catholicism in the United States (or what would eventually become that country) from the establishment of Plymouth Colony to the coming of the Civil War."

Awards for 2017 American Studies Graduates

Herbert Fisher Award for Exceptional Achievement in American Studies:

Leah Margalit Newman and Jessica Robin Shinberg

July 18, 2017

Thomas Doherty wonders if today’s atmosphere on college campuses encourages, or even tolerates, the kind of unsparing reprimand from a professor that might be needed for a student’s growth.

December 2, 2016

Brian Donahue has been made an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society, a national research library of American history and culture through 1876.

Awards for American Studies 2016 Graduates

Carrie (’83) and Gail (’88) Fisher Award in American Studies:

Ellie Marie Driscoll, Sarah Anne Lemelman, Kaitlyn Julia Sever, and Zoe Joelle Waldman

civil rights activist Julian Bond gestures during speech on the brandeis campus

Civil rights activist and Richman Fellow Julian Bond speaks in Rapaporte Treasure Hall on campus.

April 6, 2015

Julian Bond went into the segregated cafeteria of Atlanta’s city hall with a group of fellow college students in 1960 and when he was refused service, he refused to leave. It was the first time he was arrested and brought before a judge.

“After some back and forth, the judge asked me, 'How do you plead?' And I was panic-stricken,” Bond recalled. “On the one hand, I knew I was guilty – a policeman had asked me to leave and I had refused. But I didn’t feel guilty – I knew I had a right to eat in that tax supported cafeteria, and that any law that said I couldn’t was no law at all.”

The civil rights leader received a standing ovation upon being recognized as the 2014-15 Richman Fellow in a ceremony and speech March 31 at Rapaporte Treasure Hall.

January 2, 2015

In an interview with WGBH, Thomas Doherty discusses Hollywood mogul Louis B. Mayer's transformation from a "struggling scrap metal dealer" to a major player in the Hollywood industry.

November 21, 2014

In an article in the Boston Globe, Brian Donahue discusses his "elaborate report laying out a scenario in which New England, in the year 2060, has three times as much farmland as it does now—a full 6 million acres, or 15 percent of the entire landmass, upon which to raise crops and livestock that would be consumed by the local population. Under these conditions, the authors of the report argue, New England could grow 50 percent of its own food."

October 20, 2014

In an interview with the Boston Globe, Brian Donahue discusses "A New England Food Vision," a collaborative report that asserts Massachusetts should be growing half of its own food by 2060.

Statement from the American Studies Program on the decision by the American Studies Association to Boycott Israel

December 18, 2013

It is a with deep regret that we in the American Studies Program at Brandeis University have decided to discontinue our institutional affiliation with the American Studies Association. We view the vote by the membership to affirm an academic boycott of Israel as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster. We remain committed to the discipline of American studies, but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture: freedom of association and expression.