For more information about previous events, please contact Charity Adams-Brzuchalski at (781) 736-3030 or by email:

Previous Events

November 2017

American Studies and the Department of History welcomed Liz Covart, host of Ben Franklin's World: A Podcast About Early American History and a historian of early America and the Digital Projects Editor at the Omohundro Institute. She discussed how she practices scholarly history, public history, and digital humanities and communicates it to a large, public audience through her podcast, Ben Franklin's World. Each episode features a conversation with professional historians who help shed light on important people and events in early American history.

October 2017

John A. FarrellPrize-winning biographer, John Farrell, discussed his new book Richard Nixon: The Life. In a January 1, 2017 op-ed in The New York Times, Farrell previewed one of the book's sensational findings: that Nixon personally directed a secret campaign to scuttle Lyndon Johnson's October, 1968 peace initiative.  His fellow historians told the Times how the book provides a key and missing piece to the history of the Vietnam war.  Farrell's lecture is exceptionally relevant in the age of Trump.Farrell is a contributing editor to Politico Magazine and a contributor to The Atlantic, after a prize-winning career as a journalist, most notably at The Denver Post, National Journal and The Boston Globe, where he worked as White House correspondent and served on the vaunted Spotlight team.

Is this American Cuisine?
The American Studies and Journalism Programs hosted a Meet the Majors/Minors event featuring Mediterranean food, a presentation by American Studies majors Abby Patkin, Anna Stern, Katie Decker-Jacoby and Journalism minor Eva Spitzen, and a lively discussion on food and American Culture. It was a lip-smackin' good time.

May 2017

The American Studies Program hosted a showing of Casablanca in it's original 35mm format followed by a conversation with Noah Isenberg and Leslie Epstein, moderated by American Studies Professor Thomas Doherty.  Noah Isenberg is Professor of Media and Culture at the New School and author of We'll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend and Afterlife of America's Most Beloved Film.  Leslie Epstein is Professor of English at Boston University and author of King of the Jews.

This event was sponsored by the American Studies Program and the National Center for Jewish Film with a generous contribution from the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Provost.

March 2017

Susan Carruthers presented "The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace." This event was co-sponsored by the International and Global Studies Program, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies Program, and the History Department.

Michael Socolow presented "Six Minutes in Berlin: The Nazi Olympic Games in Sports & Media History."

November 2016

The American Studies program hosted a 35mm screening of None Shall Escape (1944) followed by a Q&A with Brandeis Professors Thomas Doherty and Daniel Breen.  This is the only Hollywood film made during World War II to depict the events later known as the Holocaust.

October 2016

Comedy and the Constitution:  The Legacy of Lenny BruceComedian Lenny Bruce’s legacy is the focus of a two-day conference this fall at Brandeis University. “Comedy and the Constitution" marked the formal opening of the collection of archival material that the university acquired from Bruce’s daughter, Kitty Bruce, with a generous grant from the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation.

April 2016

AMST Dinner with Professor John Burt: Two Kinds of Collective Guilt in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
American Studies hosted a dinner with Professor John Burt.  Professor Burt spoke about President LIncoln's Second Inaugural Address, diving into the meaning and impact that it and the war had on the United States.  John Burt is Professor of English in the English Department at Brandeis University. 

Archie's Betty: An Independent Documentary Search for the Real-Life Characters Behind Archie Comics
The documentarian, a devoted Archie fan, searched for the real-life people behind the characters in Archie Comics, the influential teen comic strip still popular almost 75 years after its creation. Were Archie, Betty, Veronica, Moose, and Jughead based on actual students who Bob Montana, the original Archie cartoonist, had gone to high school with in the 1930s in the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts? More, is the person who inspired blonde Betty still alive?  All those questions and more were answered in this fun-filled 90 minute presentation.

Profiles in Courage: Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Doherty, Steven Whitfield, and Daniel Breen screened the February 14, 1965 episode of “Profiles in Courage” that depicted the nomination of Justice Brandeis by President Wilson studying the Presidential decision of Woodrow Wilson to nominate Louis D. Brandeis to the Supreme Court. 

Heather Lee discussed "New Directions in Asian American Studies: Chinese Restaurants through a Transnational and Digital Lens"
Heather received her Ph.D. from Brown University in American Studies in May 2014 and is currently the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. Her book project tells the social history of Chinese restaurants through a case study of New York. She studies the historical transformation of Chinese restaurants in the United States from an enclave business into one of the largest mass consumer industries. Blending archival research with quantitative and spatial analyses, this project tells the story of how the Chinese developed a system for shuttling capital and labor across the Pacific that accounts for the Chinese restaurant industry’s rapid growth in the early twentieth century. Alongside this research, Heather is developing a historical database of Chinese restaurants, which she will make publically available through an interactive digital platform on Chinese migration. She has published articles on transnational Asian American history and U.S. Consumer history, as well as worked with museums and historical societies on public exhibits.

March 2016

David Greenberg presented "The Spinning of the President: The Politics of Image from the Bully Pulpit to the Permanent Campaign." David is an associate professor of History and of Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University. He is a frequent commentator in the national news media on contemporary politics and public affairs. He specializes in American politics and cultural history. He has just published Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency (W.W. Norton). Professor Greenberg’s first book, Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image (W.W. Norton, 2003) won the Washington Monthly Annual Political Book Award, the American Journalism History Award, and Columbia University’s Bancroft Dissertation Award.

December 2015

Thomas Doherty, Stan Brooks, Stephen Whitfield, Paula MusegadesBrandeis alum Stan Brooks ‘79 (AMST), discussed the treacheroud but rewarding journey from Waltham to Hollywood.  Stan has produced over sixty films and recently directed the indie feature PERFECT SISTERS starring Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and nominee Abigail Breslin. He recounted stories about running the Student Programming Board his Senior year, venturing to Tinsel Town, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries, and reuiniting back at Brandeis with his suite-mates. 

October 2015

Rachel Gordan is in residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She presented a screening of Elia Kazan's classic "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947) which is based on Laura Z. Hobson's 1947 novel of the same name. Professor Gordan is currently working on a book entitled "How Does One Fight Such Things? A Gentleman's Agreement."

October 2015

Dane Morrison

Dane Morrison spoke to the American History Majors. Dane is a Professor of History at Salem State University and the author of "True Yankees: The South Seas and the Discovery of American Identity." He presented his latest research, tracing early American voyages to the East Indies and explored how representations of that experience in the public sphere contributed to the construction of an American national identity.

October 17 & 18, 2015

Joyce AntlerThis two-day event honored American Studies Professor—and the Samuel B. Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture and Women's and Gender Studies—Joyce Antler. Twenty-two speakers participated in six session, all to empower attendees and "rejoyce" in Joyce Antler's life's work. Sessions discussed: Women Writing Women's Lives, American Studies/Jewish Studies/Women's Studies, Creating Feminist Institutions, Experiments in Education, Empowering Voices for Change, and Comedy and Jewish Mothers. A reading of "Year One of the Empire: A Play of American War, Politics, and Protest was directed by Dmitry Travanovsky and Joyce's daughter, Lauren Antler, concluded the conference with heart felt laughs.

October 15, 2015

American Studies co-sponsored Professor Helle Porsdam from the American Studies Department of the University of Copenhagen who spoke about "Cultural Rights: The New Human Rights Frontier." Professor Porsdam discussed if cultural rights are the new frontier of human rights, then how do we both celebrate and protect humankind’s creativity and traditions? At the universal level, cultural rights are recognized in the rights to education, to participate in cultural life and to benefit from scientific progress. Professor Porsdam asked how should we frame cultural rights--as individual or collective? How do we reconcile claims of access to knowledge and culture with the rights of indigenous groups to protect their culture as a form of empowerment?

October 7, 2015

Usdan International Lounge

Farran Smith NehmeNew York Post film critic, blogger, and author, Farran Smith Nehme, spoke on "Hollywood History, Hollywood Fiction."

Her recent novel Missing Reels is described as an utterly winning, wholly delightful, totally cinematic debut novel of young love, old movies, and an epic search for a long-lost silent film.

May 2, 2015

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker

Professor Joyce Antler, author of A History of The Jewish Mother, was a guest speaker for The National Center for Jewish Film's 18th Annual Film Festival, which ran from April 30-May 15. 

April 23, 2015

Behind the Scenes @ Brandeis: The Masks We Wear

March 19, 2015

Judith Smith, Professor of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston spoke on "Finding His Song: How Harry Belafonte Negotiated a Left-Wing Path Through the Cold War, Civil Rights, and Stardom in the 1950's."

March 5, 2015

Paula Rabinowitz '74, University of Minnesota, spoke about "American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street"

February 26, 2015

Jennifer Gillan, Professor of English and Media Studies at Bentley University presented a lection titled "The Wonderful World of Synergy: Film, Television, and Walt Disney"

Jillian Powers, Florence Kay Fellow in American Studies and Sociology and Jasmine Johnson, Assistant Professor in African and Afro-American Studies and Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies spoke about "Imagined Mobilities: Thinking About Movement in Diaspora Studies"

October 29, 2014

Arnie Reisman, screenwriter of Hollywood on Trial (1976) spoke about “When Red was a Scary Color: Hollywood and the Blacklist”

October 22, 2014

Joyce Antler and Karen Hansen hosted a lecture on "Women's Liberation in the Hoag-Hall Collection of Extreme Literature"

October 20, 2014

Noah Isenberg hosted a screening of Detour (1945) followed by an audience Q&A.

October 1 and 2, 2014

The Many Dimensions of Herbert Marcuse: This two-day conference explored the critical theory of Herbert Marcuse. The conference coincided with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Marcuse's most famous book, "One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society," and our recent discovery of an early draft of this book that was given to Brandeis by Marcuse himself. 

June 10 - 12, 2014

Blacks, Jews, and Social Justice in America: Marking the 50th anniversary of the slaying of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, the American Studies Program at Brandeis University hosted a conference on the theme “Blacks, Jews, and Social Justice in America."

April 2, 2014

Major General Anthony Cucolo spoke about "The Media: A Serviceman's View"

March 12, 2014

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

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

November 14, 2013

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

November 13, 2013

Professor Whitfield presented "Weimar in Waltham: Brandeis University at the Beginning"

October 24, 2013

Robin Bernstein presented a lecture titled "Trayvon Martin and So Many More: Racial Innocence Today"