Contact

Ursula Rothrock
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
785-864-8118

American studies celebrates 60 years at KU

Tue, 09/17/2013

LAWRENCE – Sixty years after Chancellor Deane Malott called for a new academic program to “cut across the existing departmental and group barriers,” the Department of American Studies celebrates its history at the University of Kansas.

The weeklong 60th anniversary event, Reflecting Forward, celebrates the department’s accomplishments while exploring the critical issues of tomorrow. Reflecting Forward will provide public events including distinguished speakers, film screenings and open discussions. These free events will be hosted Monday, Sept. 23, through Friday, Sept. 27.

"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to honor our past, and to remind the campus and the community of the important, exciting and diverse scholarship that our students and faculty engage in every day," said Henry Bial, chair of the Department of American Studies.

David Roediger, the Kendrick C. Babcock Professor of History at the University of Illinois, will be the event’s keynote speaker. Roediger is a leading writer on race and ethnicity. His will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the Alderson Auditorium of the Kansas Union. The event is free and open to the public. The lecture is also sponsored by the Office of the Provost as part of the Bold Aspirations Lecture Series.

The department expects to welcome back alumni to the Lawrence campus as part of Reflecting Forward. Alumni will join in discussions, events and receptions hosted by American Studies.

A full list of events is available here.

During the 1953-1954 academic year, KU introduced the American civilization major as part of the call to strengthen the liberal arts education at the university. That major was the beginning of what became the American studies department at KU. Since then the Department of American Studies has been an interdisciplinary mainstay at KU focusing on community, identity and social justice in American culture, politics and society.

The Department of American Studies is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.



Travel to New York and perform on one of the greatest stages in the nation? KU's Wind Ensemble did just that. In March 2013, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble made the trip of a lifetime to perform the world premiere of composer Mohammed Fairouz’s Symphony No. 4, In the Shadow of No Towers at Carnegie Hall. http://bit.ly/1nXMXr9 Tags: University of Kansas Wind Ensemble KU School of Music Carnegie Hall #KUdifference #music #symphony
Journey to Carnegie Hall
One of America’s most esteemed concert bands, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, came to Carnegie Hall to introduce a commissioned work with the potential to resonate well beyond the usual college circuit... - New York Times review

University of Kansas Homecoming Parade 2014 The University of Kansas celebrated its 102nd Homecoming, "Roll with the 'Hawks,'" Sept. 21-27, 2014. Watch the video to see highlights from some of the week's activities, and from Friday's Homecoming Parade and pep rally featuring our Grand Marshal and KU Alumnus, Rob Riggle. Rock Chalk!


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times