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


The following talks will be hybrid, unless otherwise specified. Please note that external speakers will all present via zoom.

February 10 (Horizon Hall, 6th floor, #6325)
Julietta Singh
“Lives of Brick and Mortar”

CSC Guest Julietta Singh

Professor Singh is Associate Professor of English & Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Richmond. She is the author of No Archive Will Restore You (Punctum Books, 2018), Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements (Duke UP, 2018), as well as The Breaks (Coffee House Press and Daunt Books Originals, 2021). She teaches courses on decolonial literature, the ecological humanities, and queer studies. She has published her academic work in South Atlantic Quarterly, Women & Performance, Social Text, Cultural Critique, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality, among others. She is also the recent recipient of a 2019-2020 ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship, held at Columbia University’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality. Her new book, The Breaks, takes the form of a letter to her young daughter about race, inheritance, and mothering at the end of the world.

February 17 (Horizon Hall, 6th floor, #6325)
Amaka Okechukwu
"Bop and Break: Tracing Black Urban Life in the 20th Century through a Genealogy of Freddy Brathwaite (Fab 5 Freddy)."

CSC Guest Amaka Okechukwu

Professor Okechukwu is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology here at George Mason University. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her work is engaged in research on social movements, race, community studies, public history, and Black archives. She was the 2020 Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow, and a 2020 African American Digital Humanities Scholar at the University of Maryland-College Park. Her book To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions (Columbia University Press, 2019) was recognized with the Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Book Award from the Association of Black Sociologists. Her latest digital humanities project Black Belt Brooklyn aims to historicize and visualize Black practices of vitality, mutual-aid, and institution building in Brooklyn during a period of widespread neglect by formal political institutions at every level.

March 10 (Online Location)
David Arditi
"Record Contracts: Ideology in Action"

CSC Guest David Arditi

Cultural Studies alum David Arditi is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Theory at the University of Texas at Arlington. As a gigging drummer, David became interested in the livelihoods of musicians. His research is at the intersection of music, culture, and technology. David’s newest book is Streaming Culture: Subscription Platforms and the Unending Consumption, which explores the changing nature of capitalism in a society that places subscriptions above material commodities. David is author of iTake-Over: The Recording Industry in the Streaming Era and co-editor of The Dialectic of Digital Culture with Jennifer Miller. His research has appeared in Critical Sociology, Popular Music & SocietyJournal of Popular Music StudiesMedia Fields Journal, and Civilisations. He also serves as Editor of Fast Capitalism.

March 31 (Horizon Hall, 6th floor, #6325)
Katherine Hite
"Memory Activism and the Battle for the Story of Texas"

CSC Guest Katherine Hite

Katherine Hite is Professor of Political Science on the Frederick Ferris Thompson Chair and Faculty Director of Research Development at Vassar College. Her recent work focuses on the politics of memory, as well as issues in higher education, access and equity. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Ford Foundation. Her teaching interests include the politics of the Americas, social movements, the politics of memory, and the legacies of violence for states and societies around the globe. She is also a co-founder of Celebrating the African Spirit, a Poughkeepsie-based community organization.

April 7 (Online Location)
Kara Keeling
"'Marvels of ... Inventiveness': The Times of Black Studies"
Keynote for the George Mason Center for Humanities Research's first annual symposium, "Pasts/Presents/Futures."

CSC Guest Kara Keeling

Kara Keeling is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Professor Keeling's research areas include African American film, representations of race, sexuality, and gender in cinema, critical theory, and cultural studies. Keeling is the author of Queer Times, Black Futures (NYU Press, 2019), The Witch's Flight (Duke UP, 2007), as well as scholarly articles published in the journals GLQThe Black ScholarWomen and Performance, among others. Professor Keeling currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies, and is part of the editorial collective of boundary2.

April 21 (Horizon Hall, 6th floor, #6325)
Christopher Nealon
"Afterlives of Anticommunism"

CSC Guest Christopher Nealon, photo by Ryan Collerd
Christopher Nealon is John Dewey Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on the relation between literary and economic understandings of value, and their implications for academic antihumanism. He is the author of The Matter of Capital: Poetry and Crisis in The American Century (Harvard, 2011), and Foundlings: Lesbian and Gay Historical Emotion before Stonewall (Duke, 2001), as well as four books of poems, The Joyous Age (Black Square Editions, 2004), Plummet (Edge Books, 2009), Heteronomy (Edge Books, 2014), and The Shore (Wave Books, 2020). He currently serves as Senior Editor of ELH.

April 28 (Horizon Hall, 6th floor, #6325)
SOC Interdisciplinary Conference: Society in the Time of COVID-19
Please note varying start times.

SOC Interdisciplinary Conference: Society in a Time of COVID

Join us at 12pm and 4:30pm for two different panels that reflect on the experiences of living through the Coronavirus pandemic.

12pm Panel: “Covid in the Caribbean”
w/ Shauna Rigaud, Ayondela McDole, and May Santiago

4:30pm Panel: “Chronicling and Coping in the Pandemic”
w/ Pavithra Suresh, Carl Leak, and Terilee Edwards-Hewitt

This spring, The Cultural Studies Program is grateful to our co-sponsors for their generous support, which helps make colloquium programming possible: the English Department and the Department of History and Art History.

For questions or more information, please contact Spring 2022 colloquium coordinator Alison Landsberg,, or contact the Cultural Studies office at 

Talks will start at 4:30. Feel free to show up early in-person to mingle with faculty and students and enjoy light refreshments and coffee