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American Studies Lecture Series: Christopher Shultis

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:00 PM
Dane Smith Hall - Room 129

Christopher Shultis is an internationally known for his expertise on composer John Cage. He was the youngest fulltime professor ever hired at UNM.

Why (I think) what I do is American Studies

Returning to my beginnings as a scholar, I will revisit my response to the "General Studies" question of my comprehensive exam titled "Inclusion/Exclusion," where I advanced the idea, now I'm sure commonplace, that American Studies historically (maybe not any longer) was always about including things not addressed in other disciplines but then excluded those same things when they became part of the disciplines that previously didn't include them. My book Silencing the Sounded Self recently reprinted (UPNE 2013), is essentially my defense in practice--showing how a study of composer John Cage opens up a radical look at canonical texts. In so doing, I did something radical for the canonical authors, which in turn, placed that radical composer Cage as "traditional." In so doing, I did something radical for the canonical authors, which in turn, placed that radical composer John Cage as "traditional." Does American Studies still do this sort of work? If so then what I do is American Studies. If not? Well that's why I've parenthetically included "I think." Because what I thought in 1991 when I wrote my comprehensive exam, is still true in 2014: (I think) what I do is American Studies.

For more information contact Michael Trujillo at MLTruj@unm.edu or 505 688 5737

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