Comparative American Studies
Department Chair:
Wendy Kozol, Chair

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8390
Fax: (440) 775-8644

King 105
10 N. Professor Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1095

Faculty News

Faculty News

Professor Gina Pérez awarded honorable mention!

The A
ssociation of Latina and Latino Anthropologists has awarded Gina Pérez's 2016 book, Citizen, Student, Soldier: Latina/o Youth, JROTC, and the American Dream the ALLA Book Award Honorable Mention.


“Ornamenting the Unthinkable: Visualizing Survival Under Occupation,” Women’s Studies Quarterly

13177187_1205865979425506_2152809280090761508_nIn spring 2016, Rebecca A. Adelman and Wendy Kozol published “Ornamenting the Unthinkable: Visualizing Survival Under Occupation,” Women’s Studies Quarterly, Special Issue on Survival, 44, 1&2 (Spring/Summer 2016): 171-187. This article considers the interweaving of survival, catastrophe, and ordinariness in the needlepoint artwork of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, who lived through the Nazi occupation of Poland. Krinitz juxtaposes the luscious materiality and pastoral settings of 36 fabric collage and embroidered panels with a visual narrative of surviving genocidal violence.  Arresting both for its virtuosic level of detail and frank rendition of the occupation and attendant traumas, Krinitz’s needlework ornaments the conjunction of the horrific and the quotidian. This jarring combination confronts viewers even as the haptic richness and sensory elegance of her craft pulls towards spectatorial pleasures.

Distant Wars Visible: The Ambivalence of Witnessing
by Wendy Kozol (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

Wendy Kozol brings a new perspective to questions about conflict photography and visual advocacy, whether in support of U.S. military objectives or in critique of the nation at war. She reveals how factors such as gender, race, and sexuality construct competing visualizations of identity in media—and how contingencies and contradictions in visual culture shape the politics and ethics of witnessing.

“In addition to its provocative analysis across visual cultural practices, Distant Wars Visible makes an especially significant contribution at the level of theory. Wendy Kozol offers important new ways to conceptualize what she calls ambivalent witnessing in the spaces between spectacle and empathetic positions of seeing.”

Carrie Rentschler, McGill University

A New History of Asian America 
By Shelley Sang-Hee Lee (Routledge, 2014)

A New History of Asian America is a fresh and up-to-date history of Asians in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. Drawing on current scholarship, Shelley Lee brings forward the many strands of Asian American history, highlighting the distinctive nature 

of the Asian American experience while placing the narrative in the context of the major trajectories and turning points of U.S. history. Covering the history of Filipinos, Koreans, Asian Indians, and Southeast Indians as well as Chinese and Japanese, the book gives full attention to the diversity within Asian America. 

"Shelley Lee has woven together foundational texts and newer scholarship to produce a critically engaging and elegant narrative. A New History of Asian America deserves a wide readership and will be especially helpful for instructors and students in ethnic studies, American studies, and United States history."

David K. Yoo, author of Contentious Spirits: 
Religion in Korean American History, 1903-1945

Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America's Civil Rights Murders
By Renee Romano (Harvard Univ. Press, 2014)

Renee Romano's new book, Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America's Civil Rights Murders, was published by Harvard University Press in September 2014. She has recently given talks about the book at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee and on the NPR program, "The Takeaway." She has an article about civil rights anniversary celebrations that will appear in the November issue of the magazine The American Historian. In the past year, she gave papers at the meetings of the Organization of American Historians and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, delivered the Martin Luther King Day Keynote Address at Kenyon College, and did an online exhibit on the Loving v. Virginia decision for the Brooklyn Historical Society. She was promoted to full professor in Spring 2014.

History of Latinos: Exploring Diverse Roots

By Pablo Mitchell (Greenwood Press, 2014)

Pablo Mitchell. Professor of History and Comparative American Studies, has published History of Latinos: Exploring Diverse Roots (Greenwood Press, 2014).  The textbook explores the heritage and history of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Central and South Americans in the United States and is one of the first historical overviews of the history of Latina/os.  Pablo is also the new chair of the department of History.