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2010 - American Studies Association Annual Meeting Words: 446 words || 
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1. Kretchmar, Kerry. "Teaching For America: Critical Life Histories of Teach For America Alumni" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt, San Antonio, TX, Nov 18, 2010 <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p408764_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the spirit of Diniz-Pereira’s (2006) study of activist educators in the Landless Worker’s Movement (MST) and Keniston’s (1968) study of youth leaders in the New Left, this study uses critical life histories to examine the identities of twenty Teach For America (TFA) alumni. TFA is a two-year program that recruits recent college graduates to teach in urban and rural communities and attempts to train corps members to become committed to the organization’s broader goal “to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders.” Thus far, this mission has gone unexamined. In-depth, semi-structured interviews covered two areas of focus: 1) factors which “paved the way” for participants to become involved in Teach For America, and 2) the ways in which alumni perceive TFA influenced their identity, in particular, political identity, and current career trajectory.

This paper examines the ways alumni conceptualize social justice and use those definitions to inscribe purpose on their current role in education. Specifically, semi-structured two-hour interviews highlighted differences between conceptualizations of social justice among alumni working public schools and alumni working in neo-liberal reforms movements, such as charter schools. Understanding individuals’ life histories and political socialization required a critical life history methodology. This holistic perspective addressed the many inner-connected elements that impact identity and situated individuals’ stories within the larger socio-historical and political context.

This critical, holistic perspective is a departure from previous research on Teach For America. Scholars’ debates about TFA have primarily focused on the effectiveness of Teach For America teachers and have produced mixed results. (Darling-Hammond, 1994, 2002, 2005; Decker, P.T., 2004; Laczko-Kerr, I. & Berliner, D.C., 2002; Murnane, R.J. & Steele, J., 2007). With the exception of one ethnographic study of Teach For America’s first year (Popkewitz, 1999), there has been limited research on the identity of TFA corps members. Given increased evidence that TFA alumni are involved in many of the current market-based reform efforts, and given evidence the program has changed significantly since Popewitz’s ethnography, a study of alumni’s identity development is timely and adds a new dimension to the debate over teacher education. Examining the stories of TFA alumni directly dialogues with literature in teacher education, however it also explores much larger questions about why some people are committed to a “greater good,” and whether or not programs explicitly setting out to instill a commitment to social change make any impact. In order to make progress towards educational change and harness the energy of others in this fight, it is crucial to consider larger questions about “what makes people care,” as well as to listen to and analyze the voices of educators and youth passionate about change.

2006 - American Sociological Association Pages: 43 pages || Words: 16448 words || 
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2. Cliath, Alison. and Hooks, Gregory. "Calculated, Scripted or Strategic State Action? The School of the Americas and Extra-Constitutional Violence in Latin America, 1955-2001*" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Aug 11, 2006 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-12-09 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p103955_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Using data made available by School of Americas Watch, we present a quantitative and longitudinal examination of the School of Americas (SOA), a United States training program for military officers from nations throughout the Western Hemisphere, and its relationship to extra-constitutional violence in Latin America from 1955 to 2001.While virtually all sociological theories would expect the United States to claim SOA reduces human rights abuses, nearly all sociological theories would take these claims with a grain of salt. Three theories -- rational choice institutionalism, world society, and geopolitical theory -- give us very different understandings of changing state-citizen relationships over broad time frames. An emphasis on the utilitarian calculations of individual states, or the scripting of political action by global culture, makes it difficult to understand strategic actions – and when talking about human rights abuses, the culpability – of states in an era of globalization where states balance internal governance and international norms and conventions. We employ event history techniques to examine 1) factors contributing to spells of extra-constitutional violence, and 2) if SOA training and United States intervention contribute to the onset of violence. In sum, even as social scientists attend to and attempt to understand the tactical calculations of rational actors and the process of rationalization that occurs across long time horizons, it is important that social theory and research come to terms with the structured context and the culpability of states and hegemonic powers, when states resort to reliance on extra-constitutional violence.

2006 - American Studies Association Words: 498 words || 
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3. Yeh, Chiou-Ling. "Making Multicultural America: Cold War Politics, Ethnic Celebrations, and Chinese America" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p113945_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: When Communist China entered the Korean War and engaged American troops in 1950, Chinese Americans became targets of anti-Communist hysteria. In 1953, the Chinese American community in San Francisco staged the first modern Chinese New Year Festival to defuse political persecution and mitigate the business downturn that accompanied the American embargo against China. The festival’s organizing committee proclaimed that the ethnic celebration was a way to fight Communist China -- wrongly accusing the Communist regime of eliminating many traditions, including the Chinese New Year. Moreover, the committee claimed that the festival defended American democratic practices because it was a demonstration of cultural diversity. In subsequent years, the organizing committee continued to situate the ethnic festival within the Cold War context and to insist on its right to preserve ethnic traditions.

Scholars have assumed that contemporary multiculturalism emerged in the 1970s, as a product of the civil rights movement. This paper, however, argues that in complex ways, Cold War politics helped to foster an early version of multiculturalism in the 1950s, one that took shape in the presentation of the New Year Festival. The paper builds on the work of scholars such as Elaine Tyler May and Mary Dudziak, who link U.S. Cold War foreign polices to domestic cultures, and extends their argument to the realm of multiculturalism. Using community and mainstream newspapers, festival publications, and oral history interviews, the paper traces how Chinese American leaders in 1953 and after positioned the festival as a vehicle for fighting the Cold War. They drew on Cold War rhetoric to equate freedom and democracy with the continuation of ethnic diversity. In their view, the festival represented a claim that American democracy allowed Chinese and European Americans alike the right to retain their ethnic heritages, putting those heritages on an equal footing. This bid for equal recognition, manifested in organizers’ rhetoric and the performance of the festival itself, anticipated later multiculturalism’s embrace of a pluralism founded on a recognition of non-European groups.

Significantly, the Chinese American leadership’s pluralist understanding reached and, at times, resonated with a set of non-Chinese American audiences. These included not just the tens of thousands of European Americans who attended the festival in the 1950s, but also San Francisco’s city government and the U.S. State Department. The city sought to market the festival to generate tourism. The State Department saw the celebration as an opportunity to publicize domestic racial equality in order to defuse criticism from the People’s Republic of China of the discrepancy between democratic ideology and the actual practice of race relations in the United States. Paradoxically, conservative Cold War politics intersected with the ambitions of festival organizers and the needs of the Chinese American community to create a public rhetoric of pluralism, one bearing a striking resemblance to the multiculturalism that would arise nearly two decades later on the left.

2009 - NCA 95th Annual Convention Pages: unavailable || Words: 8828 words || 
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4. Pearson, Jacob. "Commies, Khrushchev and Captain America: The Cold War according to Captain America, Commie Smasher!" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the NCA 95th Annual Convention, Chicago Hilton & Towers, Chicago, IL, Nov 11, 2009 Online <PDF>. 2019-12-09 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p365935_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In comparison with other decades in the 20th century, the popular culture texts of the 1950s have been relatively overlooked in terms of academic scrutiny. This paper attempts to understand how the ultra-patriotic World War II era super hero Captain America was adapted to conform to the ideology of 1950s McCarthy America, and how this conformity to the dominant hegemony ultimately backfired, causing Captain America, Commie Smasher! to become a commercial failure.

2010 - American Studies Association Annual Meeting Words: 220 words || 
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5. Dotter, Anne. "America Pro Forma: Performing America in Translation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt, San Antonio, TX, <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p417567_index.html>
Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: Whether before or after the world's financial crisis, the twenty-first century, more than any other, is characterized by an increasingly faster flow of objects, ideas, images and people, whose identities are the fruit of a never-ending process of negotiations across space and place; that is, they are in constant change, they are in translation. One such locus of translation is the promotional artifact for Hollywood films in France: far from imposing American culture on Europe, film distributors throughout Europe translate posters and trailers linguistically and culturally. In the process, much is gained but in this cross-cultural calculus, much has been adapted of the US message once believed to be dominant and all-pervasive. The purpose of this paper is to uncover US film distribution companies' vested interests in the performance of translated US identities; to this end, I will focus on the promotion of teen-girl films with African-American protagonists or culture from Bring it on! (Peyton Reed, 2000) to Step Up 2 (Jon Chu, 2008). Beyond the necessary acknowledgement that pro forma visions of US cultures is all there is once the national territory's borders are crossed, these cross-cultural negotiations also reveal France's own identity crisis: what room is there, within a desired homogenous whole (a pro forma France), for black performances in which much has been invested?

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