ASA 2014

For those of you attending the 2014 American Studies Association annual meeting, be sure to check out the session on “Keywords and Field-Formation.” It highlights this keywords publication and others from NYU Press.  And you will hear from the branding master-mind behind these diverse projects: NYU Press Associate Director and Editor-in-Chief Eric Zinner.

The session takes place on Friday, November 7, 2:00-3:45, Westin Bonaventure, Level 1, Beaudry B. Here’s the description from the conference program:

Keywords volumes for American cultural studies, Asian American studies, the study of children’s literature, disability studies, and environmental studies are either published, in press, or in progress. Each of the volumes aims to create a new inventory and analysis of the central terms used in their respective fields. The deeper roots of these projects may be found in Raymond Williams’s Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society and in the iconic “blank pages” at …

Events, From the Editors

Interview with Lindsay Reckson, author of “Gesture”

Be sure to check out Lindsay Reckson’s keyword essay on “Gesture,” which just appeared on the Keywords for American Cultural Studies site. To accompany and frame the publication, we asked her a few questions.

Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler: What drew you to approach gesture as a keyword?

Lindsay Reckson: I’ve been fascinated by the way that gesture emerges as a critical object across fields we tend to think of as relatively distinct: developmental linguistics, sociology, phenomenology, and performance studies, to name just a few. So part of what inspired me to approach gesture as a keyword was the definitional challenge of pinning down a term that is necessarily itinerant; in this sense, gesture names movements that demand the interdisciplinary moves central to American studies and cultural studies. I’ve also been inspired by a whole host of scholars (Robin Bernstein, Daphne Brooks, Carrie Noland, Joseph …

From the Editors, New Essays

Interview with Miriam Bartha, author of “Skill”

Be sure to check out Miriam Bartha’s keyword essay on “Skill,” which just appeared on the Keywords for American Cultural Studies site. To accompany and frame the publication, we asked her a few questions.

Bruce Burgett and Glenn HendlerWhat drew you to approach skill as a keyword?

Miriam Bartha: I began thinking about “skill” as a keyword in the process of a career transition from academic jobs to what is now called an “alt-ac” position. I took a workshop that very explicitly prompted participants to renarrate their professional qualifications in terms of skills. Once I landed a position, as assistant director of a humanities research center, I found myself engaged to talk about my “transferable skills” at professional development events for graduate students; managing projects engaging people with a wide spectrum of professional knowledges and practices; and thinking about how to facilitate the mutual …

From the Editors, New Essays

New Post-Publication Keywords: “Gesture” and “Skill”

Across both editions of Keywords for American Cultural Studies, we have emphasized that a keywords project is always provisional, always in process, always subject to revision. This openness is in keeping with Raymond Williams’s insistence in Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society that his publisher include several blank pages at the back of the volume “as a sign that the inquiry remains open, and that the author will welcome all amendments, corrections and additions.” This website – including this blog and the Keywords Collaboratory, where students using the text can produce their own collaboratively written keyword essays – is a digital analogue to Williams’s blank pages.

In that spirit, we’re very pleased to announce the publication of two new keyword essays, both of which are now part of Keywords for American Cultural Studies: “Gesture” by Lindsay Reckson; and “Skill” by Miriam …

From the Editors, New Essays

Post-ASA 2014

Hope everyone enjoyed the 84-degree weather at the American Studies Association conference in LA.  (For those of you who missed it, don’t worry, it rained the whole time.)

We came away from the conference even more excited by conversations we had about the volume with lots of folks, including the editors of the other keyword books coming out from NYU Press in the near future.  Many of those conversations focused on the uses that individuals have made of the first edition in courses and/or the additional keywords they were interested in working on or reading, including terms such as “safety” and “gesture.”

We want to repeat here what we said to many at the conference.  We are very interested in two forms of post-publication response to the print/digital volume.

1)  Please send us syllabi and/or assignments that have used Keywords for American Cultural Studies.  We are committed to building …

From the Editors, New Essays, Teaching

Welcome, Keywords for Children’s Literature

by Philip Nel, Lissa Paul

In the four years since the launch of Keywords for Children’s Literature in print (2011), we’ve learned a lot from scholars and students who have used it. As Raymond Williams did, we wanted to provide a shared vocabulary — but, in our case, specifically for the disciplinarily diverse group of people who work in children’s literature. The field draws scholars and writers from Literature, Education, and Library and Information Science. We knew that misunderstandings between disciplines arose because key terms were used in different ways. Recording the historical and etymological traces of each of the original forty-nine key terms, our contributors explained how these words came to be used in conflicted ways in different disciplines. In so doing, they drew a new map of our common vocabulary, locating its regional conflicts and contested terrain.

Since they contain only what the cartographer deems plottable, all maps invite revision. Greater familiarity with …

From the Editors

Welcome, Keywords for Disability Studies

We are pleased to announce the publication of Keywords for Disability Studies.  As co-editors, we took seriously the mandate to represent the breadth and diversity of disability studies as an interdisciplinary field poised at the intersection of activism, scholarship, and lived experience.  The essays in this collection are designed to provide essential background and framing for important terms in the field, and also to explain how “disability” changes our understanding of terms that circulate broadly across the disciplines, such as “aesthetics,” “race,” “representation,” and “work.”  While individual essays define and historicize terms, Keywords is not intended to function as a fixed, encyclopedic survey of the field but rather as a series of interventions in what we hope will become an ongoing dialogue about the meaning and shape of disability studies.

The publication of Keywords for Disability Studies coincides with two important 25th anniversaries in the history of disability …

From the Editors

Welcome, Keywords for Environmental Studies

We’re delighted to announce the publication of Keywords for Environmental Studies, the fifth volume in NYU Press’s Keywords series. Our goal in producing the volume has been to create a new “state of the field” inventory and analysis of the central terms and debates currently structuring the most exciting research in and across environmental studies, including the environmental humanities, environmental social sciences, sustainability sciences, and the sciences of nature.

The breadth of this approach means that while our volume shares many of the central features of the other books in the series—incisive essays on key terms in the field, a comprehensive bibliography, an open invitation to discussion and dialogue—it’s also unique in that our contributors hail not only from the humanities and social sciences but also from the environmental sciences. In this volume you will find contributions from distinguished voices in an appropriately wide range of areas, including …

From the Editors, Teaching

Welcome, Keywords for Media Studies

We’re delighted to announce the publication of Keywords for Media Studies.  Our project maps the interdisciplinary field of media studies—past, present, and future.  We are grateful to have assembled a stellar group of scholars to assist in this endeavor.  Our 65 pieces come from contributors who were asked to approach their keyword as a challenge, a problematic, and a field of debate and inquiry.  Moving beyond simple definitions, the entries provoke critical reflection and intervene in the major ideas and debates that have defined and shaped the vibrant and evolving field of media studies.

We intend the book to serve a range of audiences. It will be a useful resource for teachers and students at various levels of instruction, from introductory courses to graduate seminars.  We also hope its conceptual provocations will challenge media studies scholars to grapple with the critical building blocks of our field.  Finally, the book …

From the Editors, Teaching

Welcome!

We’re thrilled that the second edition of Keywords for American Cultural Studies is finally here.  In our roles as co-editors, we have had a great time working with such an exciting group of scholars across a wide array of interdisciplinary fields, including American studies and cultural studies.  We hope that you will find their essays as stimulating and thought-provoking as we do.

As we note in our introduction to the second edition, we’ve been working with NYU Press on this “hybrid print-digital publication” even before any of us knew exactly what that phrase could or would mean.  It’s been a learning experience for us as co-editors and for the Press.  Now that it has arrived, we hope that it will be a rich and engaging learning opportunity for our readers.

The site is pretty straightforward.  It includes the digital essays in full, the opening passages of the print essays, and …

From the Editors
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