Research

Faculty Research Interests

book covers on display in a hallwayAmerican Studies is organized into seven subfields:

  • Popular culture
  • Ethnic studies
  • Southern studies
  • Media studies
  • Gender studies
  • Social activism/protest movements
  • Modernism/modernity

This page provides brief overviews of our faculty members’ research interests. For more detailed information, including lists of publications, browse our directory.

Popular Culture

Studying popular culture means analyzing images, ideas, events, and institutions that appeal to a wide audience, including music, sports, tourism, fashion, film and TV, video games, and more.

Professor Lynne Adrian‘s research interests in popular culture include American disasters.

Professor Mike Innis-Jiménez‘s research interests include sports and leisure.

Professor Rich Megraw‘s research interests include baseball, public art, and historical landmarks.

Professor Jeff Melton‘s research interests include tourism, travel writing, road culture, and humor/satire.

Professor Stacy Morgan‘s research interests include visual arts.

Professor Mairin Odle‘s research focuses on Native American representations in popular culture.

Professor Edward Tang‘s research interests include postwar societies/arts.

Professor Eric Weisbard‘s research interests include popular music, cultural industries, media studies, criticism and theory.

Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies looks at the intersections of race, ethnicity, and national identity, including how minority groups and individuals define themselves, or how others define them, within historical and cultural contexts.

Professor Mike Innis-Jiménez‘s research interests include Latinx studies, such as immigration, urban culture, foodways, labor, and sports.

Professor Stacy Morgan‘s research interests include African American studies, such as art and literature and folklore.

Professor Mairin Odle‘s research interests include Native American studies, such as early Euro-Native interactions and history of the body.

Professor Edward Tang‘s research interests include Asian American studies, such as the arts, the Cold War, and transnationalism.

Southern Studies

Southern Studies scholars examine the U.S. South through its cultural forms and social interactions, as expressed through literature, arts, history, politics, rural and urban landscapes, and foodways.

Professor Jack Carey‘s research focuses on Jim Crow segregation, race/ethnicity, and citizenship.

Professor Jolene Hubbs’s research interests include William Faulkner, poor whites, foodways, and gender/sexuality studies.

Professor Rich Megraw‘s research interests in Southern Studies include New Orleans arts.

Professor Jeff Melton‘s research interests include Mark Twain.

Professor Stacy Morgan‘s research interests include folk art.

Professor Eric Weisbard‘s research interests include country music.

Media Studies

Media Studies focuses on film, television, radio, journalism, advertising, digital culture and other mass media forms, their producers and audiences, and their impact on cultural landscape.

Professor Lynne Adrian‘s research interests include new media and student learning.

Professor Jeff Melton‘s research interests include popular film.

Professor Stacy Morgan‘s research interests include popular film.

Professor Eric Weisbard‘s research interests include the radio and record labels.

Gender Studies

Gender Studies assesses representations and identities based on sex distinctions by looking at how their social meanings intersect with race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class.

Professor Lynne Adrian‘s research interests include women’s rights/movements and bachelor subcultures.

Professor Jolene Hubbs’s  research interests include Southern literature and gender relations.

Social Activism/Protest Movements

Social activism and protest movements refer to the study of mass organizing from diverse populations and approaches to challenge political, social, and racial orders.

Professor Lynne Adrian‘s research interests include labor movements and turn-of-the-century radicalism.

Professor Mike Innis-Jiménez‘s research interests include civil rights and labor movements.

Modernism/Modernity

Modernism and modernity address how experimentation in the arts during the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries overlapped with developments in advanced technology, mass production and consumerism, and mass media.

Professor Jolene Hubbs’s research interests in this subfield include art and literature.

Professor Rich Megraw‘s research interests include history, literature, and public art.