By Bruce Burgett

About Bruce Burgett

Bruce Burgett is Dean and Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at University of Washington Bothell.  He is author of Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic, and a co-editor of Keywords for American Cultural Studies.

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

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

New! Keywords Autoethnography Assignment

Three faculty members at the University of Iowa – Naomi Greyser, Aniruddha Dutta, and Aimee Carrillo Rowe – have kindly shared a keywords assignment that was part of their course on “Diversity and Power: Gender, Race, and Class in the United States.” They offer it as an instance of what can be done with Keywords for American Cultural Studies in an undergraduate course, and we’re very happy to be able to pass it along to you.

The assignment is different from others on the site. It asks students to write a short autoethnography in which they share reflections on how their everyday lives are shaped by a term from Keywords. It also invites them to address their keyword’s intersection with additional categories of identity and experience such as sexuality, religion, citizenship, and age.

The course – offered through the Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies program – fulfills the …

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