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. 

Maria Mears

Moving into my second year in American Studies, I find myself asking questions about how Americans think about their relationship to history. Who owns the past? Who profits off of interpreting the past? I'm interested in historical narratives that celebrate white supremacy and patriarchy within the United States. I'm looking at museums, living history and/or reenactments, and sports mascot performances as spaces where we interpret and perform a mythical past. These are all areas where we tell stories claiming to represent "us" as "Americans." I'm concerned with who is represented in that "us" and who decides what stories are included in these places and events. Who are these spaces for? Why do we feel the need to perform or relive "historical" events? 



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