Below, you will find faculty willing to advise you on your syllabus construction as well as the topics in which they are knowledgeable.


Deborah Appleman – Educational Studies

  1. The relationship of adolescent development and the structure of American Schools; gender issues in schools, cliques and other peer relationships, identity development, youth culture.
  2. Issues in urban education; Ethnography of urban classrooms, culturally relevant pedagogy, multicultural education.
  3. Intersections of literature and pedagogy; How American literature gets taught in high schools, adolescents and the bildungsroman, multicultural literature and the dynamic demographics of high school.
  4. Using literary theory to “”read” popular culture; Reading film, television, magazine though a variety of multiple perspectives, influence of popular media and adolescents (and vice versa).

Sharon Akimoto – Psychology

  1. Social psychological phenomenon, in particular, those that deal with social cognition, stereotyping and prejudice.
  2. Psychological aspects of the Asian American experience.

Andrew Carlson – Theater

  1. Theatre History
  2. Performance Studies
  3. Performance as Research
  4. Theatre for Social Change
  5. Blackface Minstrelsy
  6. American Drama

Nancy Cho – English

  1. Asian American Studies
  2. American literature, especially African American and Asian American
  3. American drama and performance, all periods
  4. Comparative ethnic studies
  5. Cultural studies topics with a focus on race, gender, and/or sexuality

Adriana Estill – English and American Studies

  1. Latino Studies
  2. U.S. Latino literature, all periods
  3. Contemporary poetry in the U.S.; I am especially interested in politically and/or socially engaged texts
  4. Transnationalism, especially as seen in literature, popular culture, and the mass media
  5. Beauty and body image
  6. Popular culture in the U.S., particularly magazines, movies, and television, especially if considering race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality
  7. Theories of feminism and corporeality, cultural studies, race and ethnicity, multi/bi-racial identities, and place

Annette Igra – History

  1. U.S. history (particularly the 19th and 20th centuries)
  2. Women’s and gender studies
  3. Labor
  4. Social welfare
  5. Law
  6. Consumer culture

Michael Kowalewski – English

  1. American literature. Especially: 19th and 20th century fiction, 19th and 20th century poetry, “high” modernism, southern literature, literature of the American West, American Indian literature, and creative non-fiction (journalism, nature writing, the literature of travel and exploration, social protest writing),
  2. American film history. Especially: Hollywood genres, classical Hollywood narratives, Los Angeles and the rise of the film industry, and Hollywood and the depiction of American history
  3. “Place” in American culture and art. Especially: environmental issues, geography, urban planning, rural communities, agriculture, regional identity in literature and art (particularly the West and the South)
  4. Popular Culture in America. Especially: consumer culture, the role of sports, television journalism, and contemporary music
  5. Anything Having to do with California. Especially: the Gold Rush, California art (painting; photography; spray-can murals), film, architecture, California history, California and the Pacific Rim, the literature of Los Angeles, John Steinbeck 

Meredith McCoy – American Studies and History

  1. Native American and Indigenous Studies
  2. Education histories and education policies
  3. Culturally sustaining pedagogies
  4. Indigenous activism
  5. Community-engaged research
  6. Oral histories

Michael McNally – Religion

  1. Cultural and Intellectual history of American Religions
  2. Native American Religious and Cultural Traditions
  3. Relationship between culture, especially religious culture and the American landscape
  4. Cultural history American healing traditions
  5. Religion, Culture, and Law

Serena Zabin – History

  1. Cross-cultural contact
  2. Colonialism and empire in early America
  3. Race in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century
  4. Political culture
  5. Early American theater and literature
  6. Print culture and knowledge
  7. The intersection of race and gender in the British colonies
  8. America in the early modern Atlantic world
  9. American Empire