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
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