Americanists from Three Academic Departments Convene Reunion Conference

Past and present members of African American Studies, American Studies, and History came together to celebrate their successes and reflect on their challenges.

“Interdisciplinary Americas: the Legacies of African American Studies, American Studies, and History at Yale,” November 7 -  9, combined the intellectual rigor of a world-class academic conference with the warmth and joy of a reunion. About 200 alumni, faculty, staff, and students from the three sponsoring departments attended. Hosted by the Graduate School, the event was coordinated by the Association of Yale Alumni and organized by faculty members Matt Jacobson, Glenda Gilmore, Alicia Schmidt Camacho, and Mary Lui.   read more

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University of Colorado Professor Elizabeth Fenn (PhD 1999, History) spoke at the “Global America/s” session. Seated are Yale Professor Jenifer Van Vlek (PhD 2009, History), Princeton Professor Daniel Rodgers (PhD 1973, History), and American University Professor Theresa Runstedtler (2007 PhD, African American Studies, History).

Lots of Good Reasons
and Great Places to Volunteer
in New Haven


Alumna with the ‘Best Job in Journalism’ Credits Yale for Launching her Career


Culture and Literature —
from European Classics to Contemporary China

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Volunteer work is good for the community and also for the person who volunteers, says McDougal Graduate Student Life Public Service Fellow Edward (Ted) Schmid (Immunobiology). Ever since a Cub Scout in Minnesota, he has found community service rewarding and enlightening. “You feel a sense of accomplishment and return to study refreshed, with a clear mind.”    read more


In August, after almost 34 years at The Plain Dealer newspaper, Betsy Sullivan became opinion director of a digital startup that serves over 1.3 million readers in Ohio. A career journalist, she has covered wars and political upheavals and circled the world twice. She also serves on the GSAA board, plays violin with the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, and mentors middle school students.   read more


Elizabeth (Beth) Harper is writing a Comparative Literature dissertation about how children were portrayed in theatrical tragedies in Europe from antiquity through the Renaissance. But this year, she is in Taiwan studying Mandarin. For Beth, Comparative Literature includes the work of both Western and non-Western writers.   read more

  Kudos   Alumni Spotlight  
Belton, Lebowitz, Watson

Doctoral student Beverly Belton (Nursing) has co-authored an article that appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association on techniques to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The project was nicknamed “BUGG,” for “Benefits of Universal Glove and Gowning” by the research team.   read more

Matthew Lebowitz (Psychology) won an award from the American Psychological Foundation for his research on how the trend to view the causes of mental illness as biochemical or genetic has changed clinicians’ and patients’ beliefs about mental disorders. He will present some of his findings at a conference in February.   read more

Postdoctoral Fellow Cecelia Watson (Philosophy) has been awarded a New Faculty fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to work on her book about philosopher-psychologist William James and artist John La Farge. La Farge’s papers are in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s collections.   read more

Other News

Graduate Student Assembly Update

The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) has continued to make progress on new and ongoing initiatives this fall, including potentially major changes to transportation in New Haven and a new ad-hoc committee on graduate student life. GSA members are involved in advising the city on a plan to convert many downtown streets from one-way to two-ways, to simplify bus routes and improve pedestrian safety. New bike lanes will be added as part of the New Haven Street Conversion Plan. The GSA has also created a committee to find ways to strengthen the sense of community among graduate students.   read more

snowflakes in Common Room
Brrr! Some snowflake fractals may be found in the HGS
Common Room stained glass.  Photo: Robin Ladouceur

Richard J. Powell

Smithsonian Honors Art Historian Richard Powell

Duke University Professor Richard J. Powell (PhD 1988, History of Art) was awarded the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the Field of American Art History in October. The award was given by the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, the world’s preeminent resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America. Powell, a Wilbur Cross Medalist, has been on the faculty of Duke since 1989. In addition to his scholarship, he has curated many exhibitions, including Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist, which goes on view at Duke’s Nasher Museum on January 30, 2014.   read more

Jonathan S. Holloway

New Book Explores
History, Memory, and Racial Identity

Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America since 1940, a new book by Jonathan S. Holloway (PhD 1995, History), is an exploration of race memory from the dawn of the modern civil rights era to the present. In the book, Holloway explores the nature and meaning of collective memory and asks, how do African Americans balance the desire for tales of exceptional accomplishment with the need for painful doses of reality? Do people work to remember their past or to forget it? Holloway is chair of African American Studies and professor of American Studies and History at Yale as well as master of Calhoun College.   read more

Alumni Celebrate 2013 Yale Medal Recipients
from GSAS: Richard C. Levin and Jane Levin

Graduate School Alumni Gathered for Yale Medal Presentation

Graduate School alumni gathered for the annual Yale Medal celebration in October. The Yale Medal, the highest award presented by the Association of Yale Alumni, honors outstanding service to the University. This year, former Yale President Richard C. Levin (PhD 1974, Economics) and his wife Jane Levin (PhD 1975, English), lecturer and head of Directed Studies, were among those awarded Yale Medals.

Please contact Gila Reinstein with news items.

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