Brier, Evan - Department of English
Evan Brier, assistant professor, Department of English, published his book A Novel Marketplace: Mass Culture, the Book Trade, and Postwar American Fiction which examines the impact of the emergence of television on the making, marketing, and reception of American novels in the 1950s. Analyzing a range of mid-century novels by writers such as Paul Bowles, Ray Bradbury, Sloan Wilson, Grace Metalious, and Norman Mailer, this book reveals the specific strategies used by novelists and publishers to carve out a cultural and economic space for the American novel just as it seemed most under threat.ISBN-10: 0812242076
Laderman, Scott - Department of History
In Tours of Vietnam, Scott Laderman demonstrates how tourist literature has shaped Americans’ understanding of Vietnam and projections of United States power since the mid-twentieth century. Laderman analyzes portrayals of Vietnam’s land, history, culture, economy, and people in travel narratives, U.S. military guides, and tourist guidebooks, pamphlets, and brochures. Whether implying that Vietnamese women were in need of saving by “manly” American military power or celebrating the neoliberal reforms Vietnam implemented in the 1980s, ostensibly neutral guides have repeatedly represented events, particularly those related to the Vietnam War, in ways that favor the global ambitions of the United States.
Tracing a history of ideological assertions embedded in travel discourse, Laderman analyzes the use of tourism in the Republic of Vietnam as a form of Cold War cultural diplomacy by a fledgling state that, according to one pamphlet published by the Vietnamese tourism authorities, was joining the “family of free nations.” He chronicles the evolution of the Defense Department pocket guides to Vietnam, the first of which, published in 1963, promoted military service in Southeast Asia by touting the exciting opportunities offered by Vietnam to sightsee, swim, hunt, and water-ski. Laderman points out that, despite historians’ ongoing and well-documented uncertainty about the facts of the 1968 “Hue Massacre” during the National Liberation Front’s occupation of the former imperial capital, the incident often appears in English-language guidebooks as a settled narrative of revolutionary Vietnamese atrocity. And turning to the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, he notes that, while most contemporary accounts concede that the United States perpetrated gruesome acts of violence in Vietnam, many tourists and travel writers still dismiss the museum’s display of that record as little more than “propaganda.”
“In this rich and nuanced work, Scott Laderman shows us how tourism and the making of empire have been inextricably linked during and after the American war in Vietnam. Whether exploring the curious efforts of the former South Vietnamese state and the American military to promote tourism as the war unfolded or interrogating how that ubiquitous traveling bible of the backpack set, the Lonely Planet guide, obscures more than it reveals about the Vietnamese past and present, Tours of Vietnamoffers a powerful model for writing a new transnational history of the United States and its engagement in the wider world.”—Mark Bradley, University of Chicago
“Not a rehash of old arguments, Tours of Vietnamis a stunningly original and truly twenty-first-century exploration of America’s war in Vietnam. Combining vast research, profound insights, and lucid prose, Scott Laderman gives us a multilayered, nuanced, and brilliant vision of interrelations among history, memory, foreign policy, and culture.”—H. Bruce Franklin, author of War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination
Tobin Stanley, Maureen & Zinn, Gesa - Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures
In Exile and Alienation: Otherness through a Gendered Lens. Women in 20th and 21st Century European Cinema, History and Literature, American and European scholars document and analyze the displacement of an eclectic group of women, all considered to be transnationals, ranging from (both legal and illegal immigrants to refugees and citizens of one or more countries; from (semi) fictional women in books to alienated and/or exiled women on the screen; from political and historical figures to filmmakers and writers; and from those who are alienated within their homes to those alienated within their homeland or host culture. The essays address experiences resulting from the Spanish Civil War and ensuing Francoist Regime; the Second World War; the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany; Argentina’s Dirty War, as well as transnational movements (migration, immigration) into and out of the European Union.
Walls, Mellisa - Department of Sociology/Anthropology
Assistant Professor Melissa Walls recieves prestigious Grant-in-Aid award. The Grant-in-Aid received is entitled "Contemporary North American Indigenous Families: Conceptualization and Measurement Issues."
The proposed research focuses on a critical measurement issue in cross-cultural research: measuring family influence on children within cultures where extended families are the traditional family form. European measure tends to be parent-centered and miss the potential influence of extended family, including its inclusion in prevention and intervention programming. This proposal seeks funding to better understand Indigenous extended family influence and create a culturally-specific, adaptable measure of the construct(s) for use in translational/applied research settings.
Melissa L. Walls (PhD) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her research interests include American Indian/First Nations behavioral health, community based participatory research, the sociology of mental health and deviance, substance use/abuse, and quantitative methods. Inspired in part by her own heritage and familial enrollment in the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota, Melissa is working on several National Institute of Mental Health sponsored projects and applications for funding. Her most recent activities include collaborative efforts to fund culturally specific Indigenous youth suicide prevention programs. In addition, she is PI/co-PI on two recently submitted NIH grant applications aimed at understanding how mental health factors impact self-care behaviors among North American Indigenous diabetic patients. Melissa’s collaborative research includes work with several regional reservation/reserve communities, the Center for Rural Mental Health Studies at the UMN School of Medicine (Duluth Campus), and researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.