Contact Zone Series

Building on the success of last year’s House and Home series, Director Sichel has organized a 2011-2012 series entitled “Revisiting the Contact Zone:  Postcolonial Responses to American Exceptionalism”: A yearlong interdisciplinary study project funded by the Boston University Humanities Foundation. “Contact Zone” will be a series of interdisciplinary seminar talks, some with invited outside scholars and some with paired BU professors. Based on scholar Mary Louise Pratt’s model for the two-way, doubly enriching, and hybrid relations between powerful cultures and those that they colonize, “Contact Zone” is a new model for a richer look at post-colonial discourses.  We will expand the term to include contact zones within American culture – between European American and immigrant communities, between different media, and between the academy and the commercial worlds.

Contact Zone Lecture Series

Imperialism, Sports Culture and Tourism

Imperialism, Sports Culture and Tourism

Monday, April 2, 5:30pm / CAS 200 / 725 Commonwealth Avenue

Charles Lindholm Professor of Anthropology, Boston University “Adventure, Danger, and Authenticity”


William Moore Associate Professor of American Material Culture, Boston University

“Gidget and the Waikiki Beachboy:  Assimilation, transgression, and Polynesian culture in postwar American youth fiction”

Imperialism, Sports Culture and Tourism Poster



Transnationalism and the Question of Empire

Transnationalism and the Question of Empire

Monday, March 19, 5:30pm  / CAS 200 / 725 Commonwealth Avenue

Anita Patterson, Associate Professor of English, Boston University “Henry James, John La Farge, and Impressionist Japonisme


David Brody, Associate Professor of Design Studies, The New School “Greenwashing in Hawaii: Design, Hotels, and Postcolonial Contact”

Transnationalism and the Question of Empire Poster


Chinese Exclusion

Chinese Exclusion

Thursday, December 1, 5:30pm / CAS 200

Anna Pegler-Gordon, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

“Chinese Exclusion and Photographic Arts of Contact and Evasion”

Audio Recording of the “Chinese Exclusion” Lecture

Chinese Exclusion Poster



Wampanoag Cultures

Wampanoag Cultures

Monday, November 7, 6:30pm / CAS 313

Anne Makepeace, film director and producer, We Still Live Here, Âs Nutayuneân

Film screening and discussion on Wampanoag cultural revival

For more information about the film, please visit:

Audio Recording of  “Wampanoag Cultures” Lecture, Part 1Part 2

Wampanoag Cultures Poster




Wednesday, October 19, 5:30pm / Room 110, 226 Bay State Road

Marilyn Halter, Professor of History, Boston University “African and American:Post-Colonial West Africans and the Remaking of the Atlantic World in the U.S.”


Cynthia Becker, Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture “From the Backstreets to Mainstreet: the Changing Aesthetics of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians”

Audio Recording of “Diasporas” Lectures

Diasporas Poster



Susan Kern, Vernacular Studies

Vernacular Studies

Monday, September 26, 5:30pm / Gabel Museum, Stone Science Building 253

Susan Kern, Asst. Visiting Professor, American Studies, College of William & Mary

“Thomas Jefferson, Vernacular Studies and Contact Zones in Late Colonial Virginia”

Audio Recording of the “Vernacular Studies” Lecture

Vernacular Studies Poster



Fall Reception

Fall Reception

Tuesday, September 20, 12-2pm / Room 110, 226 Bay State Road

Introduction to the Contact Zone Lecture Series followed by a social hour for graduate students and faculty

Audio Recording of the Fall Reception and Contact Zone Introduction

Fall Reception Poster