We are pleased to announce a great academic
opening to 2020 – a lecture by
Stefan Rabitsch 
(Universität Graz)

“I Like Big Hats and I Cannot Lie”:
Petasus Americanus or a Cultural
History of Cowboy Hats

Thursday, January 16, 2020
at 4:00 p.m.

Where?

American Studies Center, room 317
al. Niepodległości 22, Warsaw.

What?

Cowboy hats matter. Unlike other headwear, western hats—*petasus
americanus*—have retained their potency and recognizability as a
wearable signifiers of Americanness. They are significant, signifying,
wearable, and thus nomadic cultural shapes whose history is as complex as the materials they are most commonly made of: Felt and straw.  This lecture will be guided by two arguably polemic albeit profound observations: i) A hat goes where its wearer goes. ii) Cowboy hats have been worn by everybody regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or age. Consequently, they lend themselves to problematizing the very concept of borders which supposedly separate cultures, communities, spaces and knowledge(s) into easily identifiable units. Since they are inextricably enmeshed in the United States’ homegrown racist, misogynistic, genocidal, exploitative and destructive imperialist narrative of Westward Expansion, western hats are worthwhile objects for doing critical whiteness studies.

Who?

Stefan “Steve” Rabitsch is a fixed-term assistant professor in American Studies in the Department of American Studies and a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz.

 

A self-declared “Academic Trekkie,” he is the author of Star Trek and the British Age of Sail (McFarland 2019) and co-editor of Set Phasers to Teach! Star Trek in Research and Teaching (Springer 2018). He is co-editor of Fantastic Cities: American Urban Spaces in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (UP Mississippi 2020) and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook to Star Trek. Rabitsch is a founding editorial board member of JAAAS: Journal of the Austrian Association of American Studies. In his endeavors, he focuses on American Cultural Studies, Cultural History, and Science Fiction Studies across media. His professorial thesis project—“I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool!”: A Cultural History of Western Hats—received the 2019 Fulbright Visiting Scholar Grant in American Studies which allowed him to work at the Center for the Study of the American West at West Texas A&M University. Working at the behest of ViacomCBS, Rabitsch serves as the organizer and curator of the Teaching with Trek program at Destination Star Trek.

News

Changes in the mode of operation of the ASC Library, Students’ Office, and Financial Office related to the COVID-19 outbreak

May 29, 2020

The UW Ksawerow building is no longer shut down, and the ASC faculty and staff can use their offices. Still all the ASC instruction continues remotely. The ASC administration will be working remotely until further notice.  It is possible to arrange an in-person appointment via email. Though the ASC Library’s reading rooms will be closed, the Library’s checkout counter will be open on Tuesdays 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm and Fridays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

News

ASC promo clip

May 29, 2020

The ASC offers a unique, interdisciplinary American Studies program and is is one of the biggest American Studies institutions in Europe. Check out what to expect as the student of the ASC!

News

Important issues for the end of the spring semester

May 27, 2020

As there are new developments and rules for our academic life and activities, I believe I should relate them to you to keep you updated. The most important issues for now are: Language exams, Exam session, Registration, End-of-semester questionnaire, OSA Library operation.

News

Latest information and advice for the UW community during the coronavirus pandemic

May 22, 2020

On 21st May, the UW rector issued a new order on rules for studying and working at UW. Online teaching and learning will continue, except classes which cannot be conducted remotely. It is possible to work from home, according to a duty system or flexible working hours. The health, safety and well-being of members of the UW community remain the university’s priority.

American Studies Colloquium Series

May 28, 2020 at 6pm, ONLINE; An Erotic Toolkit: Asexual and Aromantic Critiques of Heteronormativity

May 21, 2020

This talk will explore the feminist, queer, and anti-racist tradition of the erotic, drawing on Audre Lorde’s work in particular. Ela Przybylo will discuss how the erotic provides a distinct model for theorizing relating that creates space for the inclusion of asexuality and challenges compulsory sexuality.