International Forum for U.S. Studies

A Center for the Transnational Study of the U.S.

Jane Desmond and Virginia Dominguez founded IFUSS in 1995. Desmond is also past President of the International American Studies Association. Dominguez is also past President for the American Anthropological Association. Pictured to the right is an IFUSS Writing Workshop
(from left to right, standing) Soraya Castro Marino, Giorgio Mariani, Jane Desmond, Virginia Dominguez, Nicola Paladin, Alice Balestrino, Jasmin Habib, David Schrag, (seated) Charles Varela

News

The African Center for the Study of the United States, Webinar Series

IFUSS is happy to share an interesting initiative organized by The African Center for the Study of the United States, University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg: The OLD and NEW AFRICAN DIASPORA NETWORKS: BEFORE and AFTER COVID19 WEBINAR SERIES which will be running until September.

The next event “GLOBAL HEALTH IN THE TIME OF CORONA” will take place on Thursday, August 6th at 6-7.30 pm (South Africa Time)/ 12-1.30 pm (Central Time). To register, please email Adam Levin at adam.levin2@wits.ac.za and CC ACSUS.research@wits.ac.za. Alternatively, you can also register via this Google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-QbvY8z7XMQTWOw74vdgQrYnuGNWy5wqQcjH30r-agVpRHA/viewform

 

 

 

Being Black in America: UI Chancellor Robert Jones

A powerful, personal statement from our UIUC Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones on “Being Black in America”. You can read the article here

 

The African Center for the Study of the United States, Webinar Series

IFUSS is happy to share an interesting initiative organized by The African Center for the Study of the United States, University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg: The OLD and NEW AFRICAN DIASPORA NETWORKS: BEFORE and AFTER COVID19 WEBINAR SERIES which will be running until September. A central focus of the webinar series has been interactions between African and African-American communities, as well as African migrants’ experiences of the United States.

The next event “IMAGINED IDENTITIES, BOUNDARIES AND RELATIONS AMONG PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT” will take place on Thursday, July 9th at 3pm (South Africa Time)/ 8am (Central Time). To register, please email Adam Levin at adam.levin2@wits.ac.za and CC ACSUS.research@wits.ac.za. Alternatively, you can also register via this Google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-QbvY8z7XMQTWOw74vdgQrYnuGNWy5wqQcjH30r-agVpRHA/viewform

For more information, please see the event’s poster here: ACSUS Poster_ June 2020

 

 

Prof. Desmond’s Latest Op-Ed is out!

“It’s Time for Silent Fireworks”

Prof. Desmond’s Op-Ed on silent fireworks has just been published on The Hill and can be read here. This article, so timely in terms of debates about setting off fireworks across the nation this year, as celebration and as protest, places the issue in a larger context of effects on children, animals, veterans with PTSD, and so on.

This piece is Prof. Desmond’s fourth and final Op-Ed; a series that resulted from her UIUC Public Voices Fellowship of this year.

 

IFUSS Endorses “Juneteenth”

 

IFUSS enthusiastically endorses UIUC statement by Sean C. Garrick, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, on the occasion of “Juneteenth,” that you can read here: Sean Garrick’s Statement on Juneteenth

Juneteenth is gaining propulsion not solely as a day of commemoration in the African-American community but also potentially as a national holiday to recognize the announcement of the end of slavery across the nation.

 

 

UPDATED

 

Dear IFUSS Fellows and Friends,

Greetings to our colleagues and friends around the world. We know that as US specialists many of you are concerned about what is happening in the US with regards to both COVID-19 and the protests erupting over the past few weeks in response to the murder by Minneapolis police of African American George Floyd. We mourn George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others like Michael Brown and Eric Garner who have died at the hands of police in this country where African Americans are killed by police at a rate double that of whites. We mourn too the one hundred and ten thousand USAmericans who have so far lost their lives to Covid-19. Clearly the nation is struggling mightily on many fronts, and I hope that this moment of intersecting crises and activism will result in fundamental, systemic, structural and lasting change—in our policing, in our health system, in our support for and justice for our most vulnerable and disenfranchised populations, so many of whom have lost their lives through police violence or through the ravages of the pandemic, which has hit disproportionately in the African-American and Latinx communities, in Native American communities, and among older Americans.

In this terrible time, it has been heartening not only to see the extent of the activism here at home, but also the protests in solidarity and against local racisms in so many other parts of the world—for example, in Dublin, Warsaw, Rome, London, and many places beyond Europe as well. In Indonesia, for instance, the #BlackLivesMatter has been placed in conversation with Papuan campaigns against racism by human rights activists there with the #PapuanLivesMatter, as reported in the Jakarta Post. We recognize too that this transnational activism comes at a time when many of your countries are dealing with their own substantial losses due to the pandemic. Thank you for your support and your activism and your deep knowledge of the U.S. If you haven’t yet seen it, I want to direct your attention to the statement recently issued by the International American Studies Association, of which I am a Past-President, and in which so many of you are active. We at IFUSS endorse the knowledge, passion, and urgency of this statement, which can be found here.

Many of you have spent time with us in Champaign, Illinois, and have asked how things are here, so I post above a photo of a peaceful protest for racial justice in Champaign, in conjunction with “Black Lives Matter” organizers that took place on Tuesday, June 2nd, after a night that saw some minor looting of stores. More protests have unfolded since then, including one beautifully organized by high school students. All this is happening while many parts of the US are still under pandemic restrictions, with openings just a few days ago in Illinois of public services like dentists and outdoor restaurants.

While the scale of most of these US protests has not yet approached those of the UK and Amsterdam, and Berlin, nor of earlier massive civil rights protests from the late 1960s to 2016, they are growing each day, and are incredibly wide-spread, covering nearly 200 U.S. communities—both large and small cities. Many of these protesters are young, and those older citizens who might normally attend are often sequestered due to COVID 19 limitations, or we would expect even larger crowds. But what is most important, in my opinion, is that these widespread protests against police violence and racism are happening, and that this moment of crisis for so many of our democratic institutions and so many of our populations are both revealed in their failures and re-affirmed in their aspirations as fundamental to our vision of

democracy and justice. There is so much work to do. Thank you for your care, your concern, your support, your deep knowledge of the U.S. IFUSS values your presence and your engagement all the more at this time when the US feels so isolated internationally by its government, but not by its academics who share a sense of community with so many across the globe.

We look forward to speaking with you virtually, soon, and will send info about our ideas for potential cyberspace conversations soon, with the help of our Programming Coordinator Dr. Alice Balestrino, so please keep an eye out for her email, and check for updates on our website and Facebook pages.

With Warm Wishes to all,

Jane Desmond, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Executive Director, IFUSS

Professor of Anthropology, UIUC, USA

 

 

“How Do You Protest in a Pandemic?”

IFUSS Director Jane Desmond on crucial questions for our democracy in this state of crisis.

Have you recently published a piece on life in the pandemic? Share it with us!

 

From IFUSS Director, Jane Desmond

A LETTER TO OUR IFUSS FAMILY ALL AROUND THE WORLD IN THE PANDEMIC

Publications

Calendar

 

  • Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, the International Student and Scholar Services of UIUC has canceled all the visiting programs for the Spring Semester 2020. Unfortunately, IFUSS won’t be able to host the scholars scheduled for this semester but we are very much looking forward to hosting them at a future date, possibly in the next Fall Semester. 

 

  • IFUSS/Dept. of French and Italian Cosponsored Talk

Nicola Paladin, “Discovering America: The Publication of US Literature in Post-WWII Italy”

Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 4-5 pm, Lincoln Hall 1065 

  • SPRING 2020 Resident Fellows

Dr. Nicola Paladin, University of Chieti-Pescara “G. D’Annunzio”, Italy

Dr. Adam Levin, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Prof. Merle Williams, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Prof. Gilbert Khadiagala, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Prof. Lars Kaijser, Stockholm University, Sweden

 

  • FALL 2019 Resident Fellows:

Tiziano DeMarino, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

Prof. Dr. Babette B. Tischleder, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany
Cristina Di Maio, University of Macerata, Italy

See past events