- Editor’s Letter
We’re pleased to be in the second year of our revamped Dialogues: Blog of the American Studies Journal, which kicked off last April in the wake of the pandemic. Our 2020 summer issue (59.2) highlighted just a small selection of the essays published on Dialogues, and we are thrilled to invite you back to read our featured essay from late 2020, as well as essays forthcoming in 2021.
In October 2020, sociocultural anthropologist Maurice Rafael Magaña’s “Giving Form to Black and Brown” illuminates Latinx and Black artists making new forms of solidarities through creative expression. His book, Cartographies of Youth Resistance Hip-Hop, Punk, and Urban Autonomy in Mexico (University of California Press), was published last fall. Mangaña shared his research in Lawrence as a keynote speaker for the 2016 KU Commons symposium “Trans/forming Activist Media in the Americas.”
At the end of 2020, Dialogues published “Our Resiliency with Destruction: fronteristxs Artist Collective and the Politics of Protest” by a collective art crew in New Mexico. They work with community advocates to end migrant detention and to transform the state’s relationship with prisons and all carceral institutions. And Debadrita Chakraborty’s “Indian Migrant Solidarities and Futures,” published in September, takes a close look at the politics of racial, classed, and gendered solidarities within Indian diasporic communities in the United States.
We have several in-progress pieces by contributors thinking across the fields of American studies. Forthcoming essays highlight our “On Teaching” series, as well as a new series called “On Writing.” Vineeta Singh’s “On Grading” takes a critical look at the history of grading in higher education and reflects on evaluating students during the pandemic. Crystal Mun-Hye Baik — whose 2018 article “Sensing Through Slowness: Korean Americans and the Un/making of the Home Film Archive” was published in American Studies (56.3/4) — narrates the long arc of writing in academia in “On Promiscuous Writing.” Josen Masangkay Diaz, Emily Hue, and Davorn Sisavath’s collective essay “‘Working in Friendship’: Writing in the time of Coronavirus” meditates on why “communing”— being together virtually in ritual writing sessions — matters now more than ever.
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Editor of Dialogues: Blog of the American Studies Journal