Alumni News

If you are an Alum of Department of American Studies at UNM, please send us an email to let us know what you're up to:

Jen Alvarez Dickinson (PhD 2008) is currently living in Round Rock, TX (just north of Austin). She completed her dissertation on contemporary Chicano humor this spring and will be teaching two courses in Communication Studies as an adjunct at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX in the fall. She presented a paper at the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) conference in Austin this March, "George Lopez and the Mainstream Media." Anyone visiting the Austin area should feel free to get in touch with her:

Wesley Chenault, (PhD 2008) defended his dissertation in April of 2008, co-authored Gay and Lesbian Atlanta, Images of America, a pictorial history set for publication early June 2008. Based on the collections of the James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center, where Chenault works as Archivist, the book explores the lived experiences of generations of gay and lesbian Atlantans during the twentieth century, a little-known portion of the city's past. Set in Atlanta's changing urban life, it depicts how gay women and men maneuvered in ways both large and small, public and private, to find personal happiness, professional fulfillment, and eventually a political voice.

Miriam Fife received her MA from the American Studies department at UNM (2002); she is currently working on her doctoral dissertation in Language and Literacy Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (Department of Education). She is focusing on elementary English Language Learners from Mexico and their experiences with literacy learning in school. Miriam conducted a qualitative research study (using ethnographic methods) in a Latino diaspora town in PA.

Alicia Gaspar de Alba, professor and chair of the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana & Chicano Studies, has won the prestigious 2008 Faculty Prize from Gold Shield, Alumnae of UCLA — a $30,000 award given annually to a mid-career faculty member who has achieved excellence in teaching, research and community service. Read the full article online from UCLA Today. Alicia was a 1994 PhD in American Studies at UNM. Her dissertation was titled: "Mi Casa no es Su Casa": The Cultural Politics of the Chicana Art Resistance and Affirmation Exhibit, 1965-1985." Her dissertation won the Rafael Henry Gabriel Award in American Studies for 1994 and was published as a book, Chicano Art: Cultural Politics and the Cara Exhibit by the University of Texas in 1998.

Kate Lehman (Ph.D. 2007) has accepted a position as assistant professor of Communications at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, where she will teach media studies and contribute to interdisciplinary film and women's studies programs. She has taught at the University of Miami in Florida this year as a visiting assistant professor in American Studies and Women's/Gender Studies. She has enjoyed the sun and sand in Miami, and looks forward to living near Philadelphia, but still misses New Mexico dearly! She hopes to see everyone at the ASA in October and welcomes correspondence at

Lena McQuade (PhD 2008) received a tenure track position in Women's and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University. She completed a year-long residential predoctoral fellowship at UC Santa Barbara this Spring.

Robert Teigrob (Ph.D.2005),Assistant Professor of History at Ryerson University, sends word that his book Cold Comfort: Canada, the United States, and the Quest for Security from Hiroshima to Korea will be published by University of Toronto Press in early 2009. Promotional material states:

This study provides a comparative analysis of the creation of the Cold War consensus in the US and Canada, and of the influence of American culture on Canadian consensus formation, pointing to the ways in which 'nation' interacted with other markers of identity as citizens negotiated their responses to the emerging world order. The book focuses on the period from 1945-1950, and compares national responses to a series of vital international issues: the atomic bomb, espionage, decolonization, the creation of NATO, and the Korean War.