Recent Dissertations

A list of dissertations awarded by the Department of American Studies.

Guzman, Vanessa
"Crimmigration in Southern California: Care and Contestation in a Neoliberal Era"
Advisor: Bianet Castellanos 

Reynolds, Kristen
"The (hu)Man in the Machine: Black Speculation and Revolutionary Technocultures Beyond Man"
Advisors: Jigna Desai, Elliott Powell

Tchepikova-Treon, Matthew
"X-Rated Sound: A Musical History of Adults-Only Cinema in the Year 1972"
Advisors: Sumanth Gopinath, Maggie Hennefeld

Annis, Amber
"The River Calls Me Home: Cold War Diplomacy, US Militarization and Environmental Justice within the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe"
Advisors: Kevin Murphy, Jean O'Brien

King, Dewitt
“Wrestling with Blackness: Play, Precarity, and the Black Geographies of Pro Wrestling”
Advisors: Adam Bledsoe, Elliott Powell

Lee, Michelle
“Death Becomes Her: Asiatic Femininity, Aesthetics, and the Politics of Disfigurement”
Advisors: Josephine Lee, Elliott Powell

Carroll, Kidiocus
“Black Milwaukee and the Queerness of Social Life”
Advisors: Keith Mayes, Terrion Williamson 

Atwood-Hoffman, Sarah 
“Refashioned Rags: White Women and the (Re)Invention of the U.S. Secondhand Clothing Market”
Advisor: Elaine Tyler May

Maruyama, Hana
“What Remains: Japanese American World War II Incarceration in Relation to American Indian Dispossession”
Advisors: David Aiona Chang, Juliana Hu Pegues 

Pyle, Kai
“Folks Like Us: Anishinaabe Two-Spirit Kinship and Memory Across Time and Space”
Advisors: Juliana Hu Pegues, Jean O'Brien

Zhang, Lei
"The Tiananmen Diaspora: Student Migration and The Transpacific Remaking of Chinese America"
Advisors: Erika Lee, Josephine Lee

Arrastia, Lisa
“Love Pedagogy And The Unmaking Of The Nclb Generation”
Advisor: Roderick Ferguson

Bachman-Sanders, Christine 
"Harmless Pleasure: Feminist Liberation and Whitenormative Conquest for the New Woman Cyclist of the 1890s"
Advisors: Kevin Murphy, Elliott Powell

Chang, M. Chip
“Korean American Creations and Discontents: Korean American Cultural Productions, Los Angeles, and Post-1992”
Advisors: Josephine Lee, Elliott Powell 

Patel, Soham
"Terrorist Threats: Dreaming Beyond the Violence of Anti-Muslim Racism"
Advisors: Jigna Desai, Elliott Powell

Suarez, Sasha
“Gakaabikaang: White Earth Ojibwe Women and the Creation of Indian Minneapolis in the Twentieth Century”
Advisor: Jean O’Brien

Whitson, Joseph
"#Explore: Outdoor Retailers, Indigenous Activists, and the Digital Battle for Public Land in the United States"
Advisors:  Kevin Murphy, Jean O’Brien

Eddens, Aaron
"‘Climate-Smart’ Seeds: Race, Science, and Security in the Global Green Revolution"
Advisors: Bianet Castellanos, Rachel Schurman

Huang, Mingwei
"The Intimacies of Racial Capitalism: Chinese Capital and Migration in South Africa"
Advisors: Jigna Desai, Karen Ho

Miron, Rose
“Mohican Archival Activism: Narrating Indigenous Nationalism”
Advisors: Jean O’Brien, Kevin Murphy

Obando, Mario
“Articulations of Responsible Freedom: Black, Latinx and Chicanx Life and Interiority Beyond Statist Redemption”
Advisor: Bianet Castellanos

Esparza, Rene 
"From Vice to Nice: Race, Sex, and the Gentrification of AIDS"
Advisors: Roderick Ferguson, Kevin Murphy

McNally, Andrew
"Empire Imaginary: International Understanding and Progressive Education in the United States"
Advisors: Regina Kunzel, Kevin Murphy

Mohrman, Katharine
"Exceptionally Queer: Mormon Peculiarity and US Exceptionalism"
Advisors: Regina Kunzel, Kevin Murphy

Pha, Kong
"Queer Refugeeism: Constructions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Hmong Diaspora"
Advisors: Jigna Desai, Erika Lee

Butler-Wall, Karisa
"Feeling Healthy: Media, Affect, and the Governance of Health"
Advisors: Regina Kunzel, Kevin Murphy

Keeler, Kasey
"Indigenous Suburbs: Settler Colonialism, Housing Policy, and American Indians in Suburbia"
Advisors: Jean O'Brien, Brenda Child

Owens, Tammy
"Making Black Girls Real: Reconstructing Black Girlhood in the U.S., 1861– 963"
Advisor: Roderick Ferguson

Topete, Daniel
"Taking Back Mi Lengua: Spanish Rock, Space, and Authenticity in Chicana/o Barrios & Academia"
Advisor: Edén Torres

Estrada Pérez, Jesus 
"Decolonial Fantasies: Gay Chicano Art and the Practice of Utopian World-Making"
Advisors: Bianet Castellanos, Edén Torres

Lewis, Abram
"The Falling Dream: Unreason and Enchantment in the Gay Liberation"
Advisors: Roderick Ferguson, Regina Kunzel

Mahdi, Waleed
"The Cultural Politics of Otherness: Arab Americans at Crossroads of U.S. Arab Imagery"
Advisor: Roderick Ferguson

Padrón, Karla
"Legal Injuries: Deportability and U.S. Immigration Policy in the Lives of Trans Latina Immigrants"
Advisors: Bianet Castellanos, Edén Torres

Pottinger, Trecia
"Black Suburbanization on Philadelphia's Main Line, 1894–1975"
Advisor: Katherine Solomonson

Aguilar, Rodolfo 
"Tambien Bailamos en el norte: sonidero transnational, lives, and Mexican migrants in the Midwest"
Advisors: Bianet Castellanos, Roderick A. Ferguson

Beam, Myrl 
"Compassion, Community, Capital, and Crisis: Neoliberalism and the Non-Profitization of Queer Social Movements"
Advisors: Kevin Murphy, Teresa Gowan

Beane, Katherine 
"Woyakapi Kin Ahdipi 'Bringing the Story Home': A History Within the Wakpa Ipaksan Dakota Oyate"
Advisors: Jean O'Brien, Brenda Child

Cheyne, Michael 
"Sitcom Citizenship: Civic Participation within Postwar Suburban Sitcoms, 1952–1972"
Advisors: Kevin Murphy, Laurie Ouellette

Hatmaker, Melissa 
"Flooded in Sludge, Fueling the Nation: Generating Power, Waste, and Change in East Tennessee"
Advisor: Hoon Song

Sarmiento, Thomas 
"The Heartland of Empire: Queer Cultural Imaginaries of Filipinas/os in the Midwest"
Advisors: Kevin Murphy, Kale Fajardo

Vitulli, Elias 
"Canceral Normatives: Sex, Security, and the Penal Mangement of Gender Nonconformity"
Advisors: Regina Kunzel, Roderick A. Ferguson

Brown, James 
"Anarchy and Individualism in American Literature: From Walden Pond to the Rise of the New Left"
Advisor: Lary L. May

Dillon, Stephen 
"Fugitive Life: Race, Gender, and the Rise of Neoliberal-Carceral State"
Advisors: Roderick A. Ferguson, Regina Kunzel

Mitchell, Jasmine 
"Popular Culture Images of the Mulatta: Constructing Race, Gender, and Nation in the United States and Brazil"
Advisors: Erika Lee, Bianet Castellanos

Norby-Marroquin, Patricia 
"Visual Violence in the Land of Enchantment"
Advisors: Brenda Child, Jennifer Marshall

Pegues, Juliana 
"Interrogating Intimacies: Asian American and Native Relations in Colonial Alaska"
Advisors: Erika Lee, Jigna Desai

Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew 
"Peak Politics: Resource Scarcity and Libertarian Political Culture in the United States"
Advisor: Elaine Tyler May

Tang, Jasmine Kar 
"Atomic Hospitality: Asian Migrant Scientists Meet the U.S. South"
Advisor: Erika Lee

White, Karissa 
"To Resist and Adapt: Tribal Narratives of Community, Sovereignty, and Treaty Rights at the Squaxin Island Museum, Library and Research Center and the Mille Lacs Indian Museum"
Advisor: Brenda Child

Wiggins, Benjamin 
"Managing Risk, Managing Race: Racialized Actuarial Science in the United States, 1881–1948"
Advisors: Richard Leppert, John Archer

Ault, Elizabeth Jane 
"Take Responsibility for Your Good Times: Black Sitcoms, Citizenship, and the Reinvention of Government 1972–1985"
Advisor: Laurie Ouellette

Beitiks, Emily Smith 
"Building the Normal Body: Disability and the Techno-Makeover"
Advisors: Roderick A. Ferguson, Bruce Carleton Elliott

Cartwright, Ryan 
"Peculiar Places: A Queer History of Rural Nonconformity"
Advisors: Roderick A. Ferguson, Regina Kunzel, Kevin Murphy

Butler, Pamela W.
"Global Chicks: The Politics of Travel in Twenty-First Century Feminisms"
Advisors: Jennifer L. Pierce, Roderick A. Ferguson, Jigna Desai

Hyon, Soyoung 
"Anxieties of the Fictive: The Immigrant and Asian American Politics of Visibility"
Advisors: Roderick A. Ferguson, Josephine Lee

Lachance, Daniel William 
"Condemned To Be Free: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States, 1945–Present"
Advisor: Elaine Tyler May

Mariano, L. Joyce Zapanta 
"Homeland Developments: Filipino America and the Politics of Diaspora Giving"
Advisor: Josephine Lee

Shoemaker, Scott M.
"Trickster Skins: Narratives of Landscape, Representation, and the Miami Nation"
Advisor: Brenda Child

Watson, Cathryn M.
"Spectral Materialisms: Colonial Complexes and the Insurgent Acts of Chicana/o Cultural Production"
Advisor: Louis Mendoza

Franklin, Michael David 
"Spectacles in Transit: Reading Cinematic Productions of Biopower and Transgender Embodiment"
Advisors: Roderick A. Ferguson, Kevin Murphy

Pate, SooJin 
"Genealogies of Korean Adoption: American Empire, Militarization, and Yellow Desire"
Advisors: Roderick A. Ferguson, Jigna Desai

Park, Bongsoo 
"Intimate Encounters, Racial Frontiers: Stateless GI Babies in South Korea and the United States, 1953–1965"
Advisors: Lary L. May, Hiromi Mizuno

Murphy, Ryan P.
"On Our Own: Flight Attendant Labor and the Family Values Economy"
Advisor: Jennifer L. Pierce

Suarez, Harrod Japhet 
"The Insolence of the Filipinas: Mothering Nationalism, Globalization, and Literature" 
Advisor: Roderick A. Ferguson

For older dissertations, please visit the Register of Doctoral Degrees