International Forum for U.S. Studies

Current Events and Initiatives

EVENTS

IFUSS Writing Workshops

In Fall 2013, IFUSS initiated a series of WRITING WORKSHOPS, held weekly throughout most of the academic year, in which two colleagues shared work-in-progress. These workshops are generally held on Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. in the conference room 345 on the 3rd floor of the Armory Building, where IFUSS is currently located.  Typically two colleagues would be chosen by the IFUSS Director based on their schedule and period of residency at IFUSS. About an hour is devoted to each person's work-in-progress, and participants often include former IFUSS Fellows participating via Skype.  Book ideas, conference papers, drafts of chapters or journal articles, research proposals, and drafts of scholarly talks have been discussed. We plan to continue these workshops in 2015-16.  Scholars participating must share something that has to do with the United States, and it must be in English since it is the only language we all have in common.  The IFUSS Director typically asks a U.S.-based colleague and a non-U.S.-based colleague to share their work at each IFUSS Writing Workshop, thereby having "presenters" (sharers) as well as "audiences"/listeners/readers/discussants who are normally located in different countries and intellectual communities.  Since IFUSS connects with colleagues in many disciplines around the world, these IFUSS Writing Workshops always include participants normally located in a range of scholarly disciplines.  Finally, it has been our custom to have each "presenter"/"sharer" circulate some written work several days before their scheduled IFUSS Writing Workshop (with the work/draft sent to the IFUSS Director and Program Coordinator, who then circulates it electronically to all expected participants).

 

INITIATIVES

International Anthropology of the U.S. (IAUS)

In March 2008 IFUSS Co-Founder and Consulting Director Virginia R. Dominguez launched an IFUSS initiative to locate and promote social science field-based research and scholarship on the U.S. by colleagues and advanced students based abroad.

The paucity of field-based research and scholarship of this sort by scholars outside the United States is noteworthy, especially in social/cultural/linguistic anthropology. Determining how much and what kind of work there is, locating allies in this endeavor, exploring the empirical, ethical, political, and theoretical dimensions of this phenomenon, and promoting such work are the goals of this initiative. A invited Working Group has been established Members include: Professor Keiko Ikeda (Kyoto, Japan), Professor Moshe Shokeid (Tel Aviv, Israel); Professor Jasmin Habib (Waterloo, Canada); Professor Sarah Green (Manchester, England); and Dr. Sara Le Menestrel (Paris, France).

The first IAUS working group meeting took place at IFUSS in March of 2009 to formally launch the new project. Collaborations with groups elsewhere working on related interests are being explored, and IFUSS sponsors residencies by social scientists conducting field-based research on issues relevant to U.S. Studies.

“Japan” in U.S. and the “U.S.” in Japan: the role of National Identity in Global Circuits of Consumption and Exchange

A Joint project with Doshisha University Graduate School of American Studies, Kyoto, Japan

Project Description:

In between the “local” and the “global” lies the national realm. Despite discourses of “globalization” as either a utopian or dystopian all-encompassing process, the nation, and more importantly national identity, continue to play what we feel is an under-recognized and under-researched role in the dynamic ways that meaning is generated as products, processes, people, capital and ideas move around the globe.

To address this need for such research, this project constructs a case-study of a bi-national dialectic between the U.S. and Japan, two economic engines with extensive political power, both deeply implicated and imbricated in the dynamics of global flows. We will ask when, how, and with what effects the attribution of national origin makes a difference in how “culture in motion” travels and is received, mobilized, and transformed as it flows from one site to another and back again.

GLOBAL STUDIES OF THE U.S. Book Series- U of Illinois Press (direct link)

The International Forum for U.S. Studies (IFUSS) is pleased to announce the inauguration of a brand new book series titled “Global Studies of the United States”, to be sponsored by the University of Illinois Press, one of the leading academic presses in the United States.

Books in this series will present the work of scholars of the U.S. who are primarily located outside of the U.S. in their daily scholarly lives, and hence are embedded in a variety of different national and regional intellectual discourses and scholarly traditions. A special focus of the series will be the transnational study of the U.S., that is, how the movement of commodities, cultural practices, people, and ideas associated with the United States as a geopolitical entity or a cultural imaginary, circulate around the globe.

Founded in 1995 by Jane Desmond and Virginia Dominguez, IFUSS facilitates the production of new scholarship and the relationship of scholars of U.S. Studies from around the world. Our new book series is one of several initiatives to connect the work of outstanding scholars of the United States working outside the U.S. with their peers inside the U.S. and around the world.

For more information, please visit the Book Series Page