We are greatly saddened by the news of the demise of Mary McGann, professor of English and native of Rhode Island, who had been directly engaged in founding the American Studies Center at the University of Warsaw and of its twin institution, the Polish Studies Center at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Mary McGann served as associate director of the American Studies Center in 1981 – 1982. Mary and her husband Timothy J. Wiles, who was Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Institute of English Studies at the University of Warsaw at the time, were among the very few international visiting scholars and the very few Americans who remained in Poland when martial law was declared in December 1981. They made many friends here during these turbulent months. Upon returning, Tim served as director of the IU Polish Studies Center for more than ten years. The hospitality with which Mary and Tim welcomed Polish scholars visiting Bloomington has been legendary.

Mary and Tim have returned to Poland on multiple occasions. Mary has also visited Poland alone and with their son David after Tim passed away in 2003. Most recently, Mary McGann was Fulbright Visiting Professor at the American Studies Center in 2012-2013. At the time of her death, on April 27th, 2022, aged 76, she was retired from her post at the University of Indianapolis.

Year 2021/2022

May 30: The (Early) Literature of COVID-19. Session V

May 24, 2022

This open seminar will explore initial literary responses to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, offering participants opportunities to talk through this world-changing event. By the end of the seminar, participants should be able to not only identify but also to interpret and evaluate common features of early COVID literature within and beyond the United States.

American Studies Colloquium Series

June 2: Eat, Migrate, Love: Gastronomic and Sexual Desire as Identity

May 24, 2022

This talk, whose title plays off the Julia Robert’s film “Eat, Pray, Love,” will explore queer films and queer immigrants’ relationships to food as part of the cultural identity, and how the rituals around food preparation and consumption informs their negotiations in the US.

Year 2021/2022

June 8: Sounds of Dune(s): Music-landscaping in Cinema

May 24, 2022

In this workshop we’ll talk about Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and its many adaptations (both real and unrealized), in order to see how music and sound are used to bridge sensory gaps in cinematic experiences, and how to write about such synaesthetic encounters in our research.

Year 2021/2022

May 23: Gender/Sexuality Conference ASC

May 23, 2022

ASC’s Gender/Sexuality Research Group invites all students and faculty members to the first ASC’s Student Conference on gender and sexuality in American studies. We have an exciting day planned, with a keynote by Dr. Richard Reitsma and four panels of student presentations, on everything from feminist theories to representation of trans characters on TV and challenging the norms of masculinity.

American Studies Colloquium Series

May 19: ‘bits of agitation on the body of the whole’: Animals in COVID-19 Literature

May 19, 2022

Given its origins in horseshoe bat populations, the SARS-CoV-2 virus offers many opportunities to re-think our relationships with the nonhuman world around us. In this talk, Raymond Malewitz will explore emerging cultural narratives embodied in COVID poetry and fiction, which tend to reinforce the stiff differences between the human and the nonhuman as physically and conceptually separate from one another.