The Cultural Studies Colloquium: Timely research on urgent issues.

Always free and open to the public, the Cultural Studies colloquium has been called a key contributor to the intellectual life of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It is designed both to augment students’ vesting in the cultural studies tradition with recent scholarly developments, and to expand knowledge of those developments to an audience at Mason and beyond. Thus the colloquium brings scholars of diverse methodological, theoretical, and topical expertises to Fairfax campus to share influential and innovative interdisciplinary projects--projects that, whether historical or contemporary, aim to generate critical discourse concerning the current moment.  Past speakers have included Lauren Berlant; bell hooks; Andrew Ross; Wendy Brown; Cornel West; Gayatri Spivak; Chris Newfield; Alexander Weheliye; Rita Felski; Alexander Galloway; and Nitin Govil.

21-22 Colloquium (Paul Smith, fall 2021; Alison Landsberg, Spring 22)


September 16
Visit from Dr Megan Bruening, Assistant Director of Graduate Fellowships, to give info on available funding opportunities for CS students.
And also: Workshop on Fields

September 30 (JC Meeting Room D)
Iccha Basnyat

CSC Guest Iccha Basnyat
Professor Basnyat is a new faculty member at Mason, having been hired with tenure in Global Affairs and Communication last year. She specializes in health inequalities and health communication, and has conducted most of her work in Nepal, Singapore and China, focussing on the interplay of health and gender in marginal groups such as sex-workers or low income women, or on gender specific problems such as women’s reproductive health. Much of her work also involves issues about gendered access to health information and she is generally concerned with questions of effective communication about health. She has published in Communication Theory, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Culture, Health & Sexuality, Qualitative Health Research, Health Education & Behavior as well as other journals and books. Professor Basnyat will introduce herself and her work and answer our questions.

October 14 (Merten 1204)
Vanessa Wills
"Black Woman Marxists on Race, Gender, and Class"

CSC Guest Vanessa Wills
Vanessa Wills is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University. Her areas of specialization are moral, social and political philosophy, 19th-century German philosophy (especially Karl Marx) and the philosophy of race. She is a founding member of the editorial board of Spectre: a biannual journal of Marxist theory, strategy, and analysis.

October 28 (Merten 1204)
Bernice Hausman
“Vaccine Dissent: Mistrust and the Politics of Race and Gender”

CSC Guest Bernice Hausman
Dr Hausman is Professor and Chair in the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey. She specializes in medical controversies in the public sphere and her research areas include medical technology and ideas about gender, breastfeeding and infant feeding debates, HIV transmission through breastfeeding, and vaccination controversies. Her scholarly articles have been widely published in journals such as Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Journal of Medical Humanities, New Literary History, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, and others. Her books include Anti/Vax: Reframing the Vaccination Controversy; Viral Mothers: Breast feeding in the Age of HIV/AIDS; Mothers Milk: Breastfeeding Controversies in American Culture; Changing Sex: Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender.

November 11 (Merten 1204)
Waverly Duck
“There Were Black People Here in the Past”: Gentrification, Displacement and the Making of a “Food Oasis”

CSC Guest Waverley Duck
Professor Duck is an urban sociologist and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Center on Race and Social Problems at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of No Way Out: Precarious Living in the Shadow of Poverty and Drug Dealing (University of Chicago Press, 2015), a finalist for the Society for the Study of Social Problem 2016 C. Wright Mills Book Award. His new book Tacit Racism, co-authored with Anne Rawls, also with the University of Chicago Press, is the 2021 winner of the Charles Horton Cooley Book Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He also co-authored and curated a new book with Anne Rawls and Kevin Whitehead, titled Black Lives Matter: Ethnomethodological and Conversation Analytic Studies of Race and Systemic Racism in Everyday Interaction (Taylor and Francis, 2020).Like his earlier work, his current research investigates the challenges faced by socially marginal groups. However, his work is more directly concerned with how residents of marginalized communities identify problems and what they think are viable solutions to those problems.

December 2 (JC Meeting Room D)
Dissertation Proposal presentations (if needed).

This fall, The Cultural Studies Program is grateful to our co-sponsors for their generous support, which helps make colloquium programming possible: the Departments of English, Global Affairs, and Sociology and Anthropology; and the Interdisciplinary Programming Support Fund from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

For questions or more information, please contact Fall 2021 colloquium coordinator Paul Smith,, or contact the Cultural Studies office at 

Talks start at 4:30 but feel free to show up early to mingle with faculty and students and enjoy light refreshments and coffee