Working Groups and Other Organizations


Working Groups

Material Culture/Visual Culture Working Group (MC/VC) – This interdisciplinary group engages in research on these facets of culture.  The group has several goals: to build a learning community within which we can share and critique each other’s research, think together and think cross-disciplinarily about important issues of common interest to our fields, and exchange information about courses, resources, and events in each other’s units.  Contact Dr. Mary Corbin Sies or Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson for more information.


Carceral Studies Working Group – The Carceral Studies Working Group is an interdisciplinary collective of scholars, educators, activists, and students who address the mass criminalization andincarceration of marginalized groups through research, teaching and activism.  Contact Christina Hanhardt.


Media Studies Working Group. Contact Lisa Tropea –


Life Writing Project – Thisworking group brings together those interested in the cultural study of individual lives.  We are exploring issues in our different yet often parallel work doing cultural biography, memoir, life history, person-centered ethnography, and oral history.  Contact: John Caughey.


Project on Religion, Culture and Globalization – The Project on Religion, Culture, and Globalization addresses two main themes: the role of religion in American culture; and the importance of religion in understanding America in the context of rapid globalization.  Contact Asim Ali (American Studies Department graduate student).


Early American– The Maryland Early American Seminar provides scholars with an opportunity to share their research on any dimension of pre-Columbian, colonial, early national, and Atlantic world history and culture.   Contact Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson (301-405-6931, or Dr. Alison Olson (301-405-4297, and Dr. Whitman Ridgway (301-405-4270, in the Department of History.Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson


Latina/o Studies Working Group – This bi-monthly, interdisciplinary group is interested in discussing, reading and thinking through issues in Latina/o Studies.  As a critical discussion, reading, and research working group, some of their past monthly topics included: Black Latinidad, migration, globalization, cultural theory, social movement history, Latina feminist thought, criminalization and the visual arts.


Other organizations of importance…


Chesapeake Chapter of the American Studies Association (CHASA) – The Chesapeake American Studies Association is a regional branch of the American Studies Association.  Our membership area includes the greater Washington,D.C. metropolitan area; Richmond, VA; and Baltimore, MD.  You must be a member of the ASA (and can join through the ASA).


Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity (CRGE) – CRGE’s work explores the intersections of race, gender, ethnicity, and other dimensions of inequality as they shape the construction and representation of identities, behavior, and complex social relations.


Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) – MITH is a collaboration among the University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities, Libraries, and Office of Information Technology.  Since its founding in 1999, MITH has become internationally recognized as one of the leading centers of its kind, distinguished by the cultural diversity so central to its identity.


Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) – CTE is the campus’ central partner for improving undergraduate education.  CTE facilitates and supports new innovations in teaching, helps faculty teach more efficiently and effectively, works toensure that all graduate teaching assistants develop as excellent teachers, and oversees faculty learning communities as they address current and future educational needs of the University.


The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora Preserves the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture.  Established in 2001, the Center provides an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators, and scholars, who are interested in broadening the field of African Diasporic studies.