School of Interdisciplinary Studies American StudiesCollege of Liberal Arts

Graduate Student Research Showcase

The graduate students in the American Studies program at Purdue produce forward-thinking original scholarship and creative productions that push the boundaries of American Studies as a field, as well as that of the various disciplines with which they engage. This page regularly showcases these young scholars and their current interdisciplinary research. 

Esmé Barniskis

I’m starting my second year in American Studies, and I’ve found that my recurring thoughts coalesce around questions of belonging, materiality, and everyday life. My specific project now, just begun, looks at nonproductive, marginal, interstitial urban spaces that complicate our binary understandings of urban and rural. These spaces also ask how people, plants, and non-human animals can lay claim to these potential sites of public space through everyday actions and the material traces left behind. I’m invested in critiquing the notion of a gap in the built environment as inherently a “void” that serves no purpose, and in writing a narrative of place that holistically looks at the material reality of daily life as it transects these marginal spaces.



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