Our Faculty/Students in News

American Studies Senior Janine Puhak Reveals Other identity

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At Senior Night, Janine Puhak ended her four-year career as the first female Scarlet Knight in history. During her time at Rutgers, she kept her identity a secret, living a high profile double life beneath the armor.

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From China to Russia to the U.S. and Western Europe

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"The New Jersey Department of State recognized 113 ethnic groups in New Jersey," Gillespie said. "What many people don't realize is that the receiving station for immigrants was Ellis Island, so New Jersey was a port of entry for immigrants - that's why New Jersey is one of the most ethnically diverse states."

Each year, the New Jersey Folk Festival highlights the culture and traditions of one of those 113 ethnic groups. The festival board of directors chose in 2011 to feature the Kalmyks and celebrate their multipronged expedition from Western Mongolia to a republic within the Russian federation called Kalmykia - and finally to Europe and the United States.

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Crocker Memorial Lecture


Prof. Jeff Decker publishes The Other Rights Revolution: Conservative Lawyers and the Remaking of American Government

Oxford University Press Feature

In 1973, a group of California lawyers formed a non-profit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to defending conservative principles in court. Calling themselves the Pacific Legal Foundation, they declared war on the U.S. regulatory state--the sets of rules, legal precedents, and bureaucratic processes that govern the way Americans do business. Believing that the growing size and complexity of government regulations threatened U.S. economy and infringed on property rights, Pacific Legal Foundation began to file a series of lawsuits challenging the government's power to plan the use of private land or protect environmental qualities. By the end of the decade, they had been joined in this effort by spin-off legal foundations across the country.

The Other Rights Revolution explains how a little-known collection of lawyers and politicians--with some help from angry property owners and bulldozer-driving Sagebrush Rebels--tried to bring liberal government to heel in the final decades of the twentieth century. Decker demonstrates how legal and constitutional battles over property rights, preservation, and the environment helped to shape the political ideas and policy agendas of modern conservatism. By uncovering the history--including the regionally distinctive experiences of the American West--behind the conservative mobilization in the courts, Decker offers a new interpretation of the Reagan-era right.


12 Bars Can't Hold Me: Incarceration and Commercial Blues Recordings of the 1920s and 1930s

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Seabrook Farms Exhibition

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"Shaking It in the Morning": Contestation and Congregation in Harlem during the New Negro Era

shannonking photo1 During Prohibition era New York, slumming whites flooded Harlem nightspots, where they lived out their desire for the exotic and the "uninhibited" souls of black folk. Exploring intraracial contestation over Harlem's geography of vice and leisure, this lecture explores how black Harlemites responded to this "white invasion" and how their responses constitute an aspects of New Negro politics. In the midst of this sea of whiteness, many black people suddenly found themselves to be treated as strangers within their own neighborhoods. Black Harlemites were pushed out, priced out, and even excluded from speakeasies and nightclubs in their own neighborhood. As Harlemites refashioned residential places for pay, play, and pleasure, seeking cultural authenticity and autonomy, others policed private space to recreate as sites of respectability and safety. By foregrounding intraracial conflict and cooperation, I endeavor to not only decenter Harlem as a site of interracial comity but also locate intraracial gender and labor conflict in public and private space as a way to think about how black folks understood the "political" in Harlem during the New Negro Era.

Guest Speaker: Shannon King, Associate Professor of History, College of Wooster

Date: Feb. 25, 2016
Time: 2:15-3:35PM
Location: Ruth Dill Crockett Johnson (RDCJ) conference room, 162 Ryders Lane, 1st floor
Open to the Public

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