We are pleased to announce the online NASA Roundtable by the RIAS Visiting Professors Deborah Cohn and Joseph Heathcott, which will take place on Friday, 24 May 2024 at 15:00-17:00.

Deborah Cohn

Promoting a Field in Flux: American Studies Abroad and the US Bicentennial

In 1975 and 1976, a series of five international conferences marking the US Bicentennial was held in Austria, Japan, Iran, the United States, and the Ivory Coast. The conferences were meant to both assess the global impact of the Bicentennial and to strengthen the activity of American studies scholars around the world. The events were organized by the Bicentennial Committee for International Conferences of Americanists, which was chaired by Robin Winks (Yale) and supported by the (US) American Studies Association, the US Information Agency, and the US Department of State. This paper explores the planning and execution of these conferences in order to offer insights into a key moment of the dissemination of American studies abroad, as well into the changes that the field was undergoing in response to the civil rights and women’s movements and the Vietnam War.

Deborah Cohn is a professor at Indiana University Bloomington. Cohn’s research interests span a wide breadth of fields, including Latin American studies, American studies, and Cold War studies.

Joseph Heathcott

Photography at the End of Progress: Documerica and the Environmental Imaginary in the 1970s

Between 1971 and 1977, the Environmental Protection Agency sent dozens of leading photographers around the United States to record conditions in urban, suburban, rural, and wilderness areas. Known as Documerica, it was the largest federally sponsored photography program since the New Deal, and it left a rich legacy of over 15,000 unique still images. Professor Heathcott will provide an overview of the program and discuss some of the major themes that emerge from this trove of images. Drawing on work in progress, he will focus on the rise of an environmental consciousness in the 1970s and its representation in photography.

Joseph Heathcott is a professor at The New School in New York. Heathcott’s research and teaching interests include cities real and imagined, urban spatial production, history and theory of built environments, race, class, and urban planning, and the politics of urban redevelopment.

For the full invitation you can click here.  Please register before 23 May 2024.