American Culture Studies Announces Director of Graduate Studies Transition
posted by Iver Bernstein
May 2th, 2016
Clarissa Hayward, Associate Professor of Political Science, steps down from her role as AMCS Director of Graduate Studies this spring, completing her three year term. In addition to her superb mentorship of an expanding group of Harvey Fellows/Graduate Certificate Students, Clarissa has provided crucial leadership in a variety of AMCS initiatives, courses, and activities--Modern Segregation (particularly as grant writer and investigator on the original Modern Segregation Workshops collaborative research grant, as well as reading group coordinator); the successful AMCS Graduate Intro to American Culture Studies "Democracy in America" course, which she taught in fall 2015; the Americanist Dinner Forum, which she convened; the postdoctoral fellowships in Inequality and Identity, and Family and Intimate Relations, to which she made key contributions at every level, from conceptualization, to selection and recruitment, to mentoring; Harvey Fellowship selection; and the AMCS Dissertation Writers' Workshop, which she created and ran. It is impossible to imagine AMCS's growth and intellectual leadership across the Humanities/Social Sciences divide over the last three years without Clarissa's rigorous approach to cross-disciplinary study and wide-ranging influence on the program. Thank you, Clarissa!
AMCS welcomes Peter Benson to the role of Director of Graduate Studies, beginning July 1!
Peter Benson is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. His main research has been a study of the history and ethnography of tobacco agribusiness in North Carolina, focused on issues of race, labor, corporate power, anti-smoking politics, and the conservative cultural politics of white tobacco farmers amid the long southern strategy, rampant farm loss, and the globalization and industrialization of agriculture. This project culminated with Tobacco Capitalism: Growers, Migrant Workers, and the Changing Face of a Global Industry (Princeton UP, 2012), which was awarded the 2013 Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Prize for the Critical Study of North America from the Society for the Anthropology of North America as well as the 2012 James Mooney Award from the Southern Anthropological Society. Now researching paradoxes and complexities related to the "corporate social responsibility" campaigns of Big Tobacco and other industries, including American football, Benson's scholarship and teaching interests draw on medical anthropology and critical studies in global health and engage conversations in social theory and cultural studies. His goal has been to produce anthropological work that is richly informed by historical and archival research, critically attendant to political economy and biopolitics, and deeply appreciative of human experience as inspired by his fascination with existentialism and phenomenology. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2007 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University in 2007-2008.
AMCS is excited to work with Pete in this new leadership role!