Deborah Cohn 

Deborah Cohn, Provost Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Indiana University Bloomington, will be at the RIAS as a visiting professor from 6 May to 4 June 2024. Cohn is the author of The Latin American Literary Boom and U.S. Nationalism during the Cold War (Vanderbilt University Press) and History and Memory in the Two Souths: Recent Southern and Spanish American Fiction (Vanderbilt University Press), as well as coeditor, with Hilary Kahn, of International Education at the Crossroads (Indiana University Press), and, with Jon Smith, of Look Away! The U.S. South in New World Studies (Duke University Press).

She has published numerous articles and book chapters and received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the American Philosophical Society, among others.

At the RIAS, she will continue working on her current research project on “Cold War Humanities: American Studies, Foreign Language Study, and the U.S. National Interest.”

American Studies Abroad

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.  Cohn’s research 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.