College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies

Department News

Spring 2015
  • Dr. Pamela Thoma has been awarded an Edward R. Meyer Project Grant by the WSU College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Lucia Soriano, Ruben Zecena, Sophia Stephens, and Angie Winkle have been awarded scholarships by the WSU College of Arts and Sciences. Zecena was also awarded a Gabriel Cardenas Scholarship.
  • Dr. C. Richard King has been named a WSU Humanities Fellow for the 2015–2016 academic year.
  • The following CCGRS students and faculty will present papers at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual conference, held April 1–4 in New Orleans:
    • Dr. Michael Johnson (instructor) will present "Familial Arrhythmias in the Reynolds Family: A Study of Queer Kinship Relations on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," on the panel "Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Studies II: Kin, Relationships, and Families (Good and Bad)"
    • Joseph Herrera (Ph.D. candidate) will present "'Hmm... Abortions for Some, Miniature American Flags for Others': The Simpsons, Cultural Memory, and the Unpaid Labor Behind 'Oogle Goggles,'" on the panel "Animation II: Franchises and Familiar Faces"
    • Ruby Kim (Ph.D. student) will present "Transforming the Script: Queering Coffee Princes and Flower Boys," on the panel "Asian Popular Culture II: Podcast, Online Hate Group"
    • Nicholas Krebs (Ph.D. student) will present "State of the Art: Meritocratic Minstrelsy and HipHop under Neoliberalism," on the panel "Identity Politics in Hip-Hop"
    • Selena Lester (Ph.D. student) will present "Details, baby. Details.: Exposure of the Transgender Body as a Plot Device," on the panel "Masculinity and Femininity in Film"
    • Lucia Soriano (Ph.D. student) will present "Kardashian Kulture: Empire, Racial Ambiguity, and the Global Celebrity Body," on the panel "Robin Williams, Celebrity Chefs, Korean Wave, and Kardashian Kulture"
  • Veronica Sandoval (Ph.D. student) authored the poem "How to be La Llorona for the City of Sullivan that has no Sidewalks" in New Border Voices: An Anthology (Texas A&M University Press).
  • Alice Webber (Ph.D. candidate) was selected to serve on the 2016 Conference Planning Committee/Liaison Committee to Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Idaho for the Idaho chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association.
  • Dr. Michael Johnson has been appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board, effective February 23, 2015.
  • American studies graduate and current instructor Dr. Marc Robinson gave an invited guest lecture about the achievements of the Black Student Union at Whitworth University February 19. Robinson's dissertation focused on the history of student activism in the Northwest and how it connects to the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement. Read more »
Fall 2014
  • Dr. Pamela Thoma gave an invited presentation in Tokyo, Japan, this past November as part of Sophia University’s Open Research Weeks 2014. Sophia’s Institute of American and Canadian Studies sponsored Dr. Thoma’s lecture, “Mutating Figures in Postfeminist North American Chick Culture:  Pregnant Teens, Tiger Mothers, and Orphan Clones,” and also invited Dr. Niels Bjerre-Poulsen of the University of Southern Denmark to comment. The lecture examined a post-millennial shift in postfeminist popular culture from a focus on the single career woman, primarily concerned with caring for herself, to the working mother, primarily concerned with caring for others. It included analysis of neoliberal conditions that are pronatalist and romanticize motherhood for some while simultaneously commodifying it as part of a "new" form of eugenics that distributes reproductive health through racial, sexual, and class hierarchies transnationally.
  • Ph.D. student Nicholas Krebs presented a paper, "Critically Conscious Cultural Commodities and the Constant Risk of Absurdity," at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History's annual convention in September 2014. This year he also published "Confidently (Non)cognizant of Neoliberalism: Kanye West and the Interruption of Taylor Swift" in The Cultural Impact of Kanye West, edited by Julius Bailey (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
  • Ph.D. candidate Jorge Moraga has been named an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) Graduate Student Fellow. The fellowship includes registration fees, special events, hotel accommodations, and travel funding to attend the AAHHE National Conference March 12-14, 2015, in Frisco, Texas.
  • Dr. C. Richard King delivered "Hate Today," an invited presentation, at "Creating and Vilifying the Other: Encountering Ideologies of Hate against Muslims and Jews," a symposium cosponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Martin-Springer Institute, held at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, October 5–7.
  • Ph.D. graduate student Tiffany A. Christian's essay "Gendered Survival: The Recuperation of Wounded White Masculinity in Doomsday Preppers" has been accepted for inclusion in the upcoming anthology We Dare Not Go Back! Critical Essays on Apocalyptic Media in the Millennium. The anthology, edited by Amanda Firestone, Leisa A. Clark, and Mary F. Pharr, has an anticipated publication date of spring/summer 2015 with McFarland.
  • Enjoy a few photos from our Week of Welcome activities: tabling at the All-Campus Picnic and our second annual CCGRS Ice Cream Social!
Spring 2014
  • Ph.D. candidate Darrell S. Hogge's paper "Journey to Inclusion," about repatriating returning Native American students to the plateau reservations, was presented at the Pacific Northwest American Studies Conference, held at Central Washington University April 17–19, 2014.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Linda Heidenreich for receiving the President's Award for Mentoring Student Leaders.
  • Dr. Pamela Thoma presented a paper in April at the Association for Asian American Studies Annual Conference (35th anniversary) in San Francisco entitled "Academia's Next Top Model: Asian American Studies in the Neoliberal University." Also in April, she presented "The Cautionary Tale and the Makeover Narrative on 'Quality TV': Girls, Anti-Work, and Managing the Threat of the Female College Grad" at Console-ing Passions: International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media, and Feminism.
  • We are happy to announce that Dr. Jenifer Barclay will be joining the faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor starting fall 2014. We are excited to have her on board and look forward to continuing to work with her as our department grows.
  • Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo was awarded the 2014 William F. Mullen Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award by the College of Arts and Sciences, a testament to her longstanding excellence in the classroom and her immense contributions to the undergraduate experience at WSU.
  • Lisa Guerrero presented a paper, "'I am not myself today': Mimesis and the Crisis of Black Visibility in Percival Everett’s Erasure and I Am Not Sidney Poitier," at the College Language Association Convention, held March 26-29 at Tulane University in New Orleans.
  • The CCGRS department was well-represented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference held in Seattle March 19-23:
    • Lisa Guerrero, paper presented, "Criminal Acts: The (Post)racial Economy of Crime on Film in the Twenty-first Century"
    • Nishant Shahani, paper presented, "The Queer Politics of Hypothetical Time"
    • Tiffany Christian, paper presented, "Recuperating Wounded White Masculinity in The Book of Eli"
    • Pamela Thoma, chaired "Sexual Diversions on Prime Time: Displacing Economic Anxieties and the Post-recessionary 'Multicultural' Subject in Popular Television"; paper presented, "The Not-so-new Normal or the Sexual Politics of Women's Employment: The Postfeminist Workplace from HBO's 'Girls' to Bravo's 'Eat, Drink, Love'"
    • Mary Jo Klinker (Ph.D. '13, American studies), paper presented, "It's Showtime! Portrayals of White Neoliberal Masculinity in 'Ray Donovan' and 'Californication'"
    • Marian Sciachitano, chaired "Current Topics in Film and Media Studies"
  • Tanya Golash-Boza (UC Merced) presented a guest lecture titled "Mass Deportation and Global Capitalism in the 21st Century" on March 6, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. in CUE 203. View flyer
  • The 10th International Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference, held February 26–28 at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Airway Heights, featured several CCGRS instructors and alumni presenting papers or participating in panel discussions, including:
    • Shannon Gleason, W St 220 instructor (cultural studies Ph.D. program): Roundtable, "STEM as Discourse that Legitimates Destructive Neoliberal Logics and Processes in U.S. Education"
    • Nicole Ferry, W St 338 instructor (cultural studies Ph.D. program, W St minor alum): Paper presentations, "The Postfeminist Diaries: Carrie Bradshaw, Miley Cyrus, and You!" and "What Would Tom Cruise Do? The Risky Business of Managing Bodies in Neoliberal Education"
    • Bruce Hazelwood, CES 101 instructor (cultural studies Ph.D. program; B.A. '11, CES): Paper presentation, "She's Rocked! A Personal Reflection on Fanhood and Women's Mixed Martial Arts"
    • Panel presentation, "Inspiring Activism in Academia: Race and Cultural Commodification in University Athletics," with Michael Johnson Jr., CCGRS instructor (Ph.D. '13, Am St); Stephen Bischoff, associate director of Multicultural Student Services, AAPISC retention counselor, and CES instructor (Ph.D. '12, Am St); Frank King, English instructor (Ph.D. '13, Am St)
    • Jenifer Barclay, visiting assistant professor: Panel presentation, "Blooming Gloriously: The Flower of Hope for Marginalized Identities"
    • View full conference program
  • Four candidates for the department's tenure-track Assistant Professor of Race, Gender, and Global Health visited campus in February. Each presented a public lecture (see Events page for details).
  • Nishant Shahani's article "'Between Light and Nowhere': The Queer Politics of Nostalgia" was published in The Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 46(6), December 2013.
  • Gendering the Recession: Media and Culture in an Age of Austerity, in which Pamela Thoma's chapter "What Julia Knew: Domestic Labor in the Recession-Era Chick Flick" appears, has been included (#10) in Critical Theory's "15 Books to Be Excited About in 2014."
Fall 2013
  • Drs. David Leonard and Pamela Thoma participated in the American Studies Association's annual meeting, held November 21–24 in Washington, D.C. Leonard chaired the session "Party Like It's 1899: Racial Play in the Neoliberal University," and Thoma chaired and commented on the session "Immigrant Matters." In addition, Ph.D. student Annita Lucchesi's paper "They Are Still Taking: Mapping Reiterative Violence and Northern California's Gold Rush" was presented in the session "Indigenous and Critical Settler Cartographies: Mapping Labor and Debt in Public Spaces of Dissent."
  • The Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies invites applications for a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of Race, Gender, and Global Health to begin August 16, 2014. Application deadline is November 18, 2013.
  • CCGRS screened a new documentary by Luz María Gordillo and Juan Javier Pescador, Antonia: A Chicana Story, on November 6 at 5:00 p.m. in Todd Hall 125. The 55-minute film journeys through the experiences and memories of Antonia Castañeda from her migrant family's cycles between Crystal City, south Texas, and the Yakima Valley in Washington state, to her coming of age as a Chicana activist, community organizer, feminist, teacher, mentor, and scholar. Shifting away from documentarian conventions, the film proposes a non-linear set of narratives where past and present are intertwined by intense mementos dealing with patriarchy, subordination, sexuality, survival, and self-discovery. View flyer »
  • David J. Leonard presented a discussion in the Bunche Center for African American Studies' Circle of Thought Series at UCLA on October 30. He will discuss his book-in-progress, Presumed Innocence: The Racial Profiling of Gun Violence.
  • Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University), one of the nation's preeminent scholars on race, popular culture, and masculinity, presented a guest lecture titled "Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities" on October 24, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. in Todd Hall 276. View flyer | View press release
  • Jenifer Barclay, Lisa Guerrero, and Richard King presented an "Academic Job Market Workshop for Graduate Students" on October 18.
  • Carmen Lugo-Lugo led "A Workshop for Graduate Students: Incorporating In-Class Activities" September 27 addressing the pedagogical logic of using in-class activities and presenting examples of effective activities.
  • Pamela Thoma, associate professor in CCGRS, was invited to give a public lecture at Middlebury College in late September. Her presentation was titled "The Not-So-New Normal or Finding a Job in HBO's 'Girls': Sexuality, Self-Work, and a Recession-Era Update for the Recent College Grad in Postfeminist Popular Culture." View flyer »
        While visiting Middlebury's campus, she also led a faculty seminar with 14 scholars on her new book Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genre and Neoliberal Belonging.
  • CCGRS was well-represented at the Cultural Ethnic Studies Association conference in Chicago September 19–21. Lisa Guerrero chaired the roundtable "Behind the Velvet Rope: The Politics and Perils of Interdisciplinary Work on Race and Ethnicity in the Academy" and David Leonard was on the panel; Annita Lucchesi presented "(Counter)Genocidal Cartographies: (De)Colonial Territoriality & Spatial Representations of Native America"; Nishant Shahani presented "'I Have a Voice': Speech, Silence, and the Redemption of Empire"; and Jorge Moraga presented "From Chile to Arizona: Neoliberal Resistance and Transnational Student Solidarity."
  • Pamela Thoma's article "Romancing the Self and Negotiating Consumer Citizenship in Asian American Labor Lit" has been accepted for publication and will appear soon in Contemporary Women's Writing, an Oxford University journal. Advance Access is available online at
  • Pamela Thoma's book Asian American Women's Popular Literature will be released by Temple University Press in October.
Spring 2013
  • Judy Meuth, Clinical Associate Professor, retired on May 16, 2013, from Washington State University. We are all very proud of the great work she has done over these past years and hope the best!
  • Judy Meuth was one of the inaugural recipients of a WSU President's Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Monica Miller, a visiting assistant professor in religion & popular/material culture, will be giving a presentation entitled "Beyond Belief: The Search for More (and Less) in Material Culture". This will be taking place on April 16, 2013, 5:30–7:00 p.m. at Smith CUE 202. See Poster
  • Congratulations to CCGRS faculty and advisor on receiving the following College of Arts and Science (CAS) awards [see awards ceremony write-up/photos]:
    • Anna Chow, CAS faculty Recognition Award for Advising Excellence in General
    • Carmen Lugo-Lugo, CAS faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in Service to the Institution in Service
    • David Leonard, CAS faculty Recognition Award for Mullen Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in Teaching/Advising
  • The Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies is now taking nominations for the Susan Armitage Faculty Award. This award will be presented at the CCGRS Graduation and Awards Dinner on April 10, 2013.
  • Kim Christen, an expert on digital technologies, archival practices, cultural heritage movements, and intellectual property rights, discussed "Digital Return: Cultural Heritage and the Ethics of Circulating Indigenous Knowledge" on February 26, 2013.
  • A spring speaker series begins Wednesday, January 23, in celebration of the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, & Race Studies at Washington State University. See Flier or WSU News Article
Fall 2012
  • David J Leonard is now the new chair of the Critical Culture Gender and Race Studies. Also, Lisa Guerrero became the new director for the Program in American Studies.
  • Dr. Karsten Fitz, professor of American Studies from University of Passau, Germany, held a talk on Wednesday, September 26th at 6pm in Todd Hall 230 about German Cultural Perceptions of "Indians" in fiction and film. Dr. Karsten Fitz is highly regarded internationally as a scholar of American Studies and German-American Studies. See Article
  • Dr. Rich King presented the year's first Common Reading Tuesday, August 28, in Todd 116. He discussed race, racism and science regarding the common reading book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
  • There will be a common reading talk Tuesday, October 16th at 7:00PM in Todd 130. It will be about exploring themes of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The panelists include Critical Culture Gender and Race Studies faculty; T.V. Reed, John Streamas and David Warner. See Article

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