Serena Zabin


I would be interested in directing comps projects on a variety of topics dealing with early America. I would be particularly happy to direct comps dealing with:

  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

Deborah Appleman

Educational Studies

I am willing to advise American Studies students in four general topic areas:

  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


I am able to help comps students with projects involving social psychological phenomenon, in particular, those that deal with social cognition, stereotyping and prejudice.

I am also able to supervise comps that focus on the psychological aspects of the Asian American experience.

Nancy Cho


I am prepared to advise American Studies students in the following areas:

  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

I am prepared to advise in the following areas:

  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


I am prepared to advise comps in the following areas:

  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

Rich Keiser

Political Science

I am prepared to advise students who have taken previous courses with me. Topics would include:

  1. Poverty, wage policy, health care, economic development, as well as others.
  2. African American politics since WWII
  3. Suburbanization, American suburbs
  4. Comparative analyses of white ethnic groups and/or people of color in the struggle for political and economic advancement in the U.S.
  5. Conceptualization of politics in 20th century a/m

Michael Kowalewski


I am prepared to advise American Studies students in the following topic areas:

  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 

Elizabeth McKinsey

English and American Studies

  • I am prepared to advise comps students on topics concerning literature, art and cultural history of America, particularly in the early national period and the 19th century.
  • I have also taught or researched colonial American literature and history, the South in the 20th century, women’s literature, and regionalism.
  • The history of the idea of America, the landscape, religion, education, the West, and the role of the artist in American society have also captured my interest at various times.

Michael McNally


I am able to advise comps topics that relate to the following research interests and teaching competencies:

  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

Melinda Russell


Kim Smith

Political Science

I am willing to advise comps in the following general areas:

  1. American environmental policy, history and values, including the agrarian tradition and the history of American agriculture.
  2. American political thought.
  3. American constitutional law and constitutional development.  However, if you are planning a comps on constitutional law, I strongly advise you to take a constitutional law course with me.