Rogues is a cultural history of the political scoundrels with whom the United States has struggled from the start. Focusing on infamous Americans who have pressed the limits of American democracy with behavior crooked and corrupt from early nation formation through globalization, the largely overlooked villains brought together here reveal a nation at war with itself, struggling with the various quandaries that complicated its democratic message to the world.
At a moment when the nation builds a wall to keep perceived evil-doers out and threats to the American way of life at bay, it is important to understand the longstanding place of miscreants in our national past, terrifying us with what they might be telling us about who we are, what we value, and what, deep in our gut, lurks inside us.
Caroline Levander is the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Digital Education at Rice University, where she leads the digital learning and scholarship endeavor, including overseeing all online curricula as well as K-20 digital initiatives.
An award-winning cultural and literary critic and Carlson Professor of Humanities and English at Rice University, Levander teaches, talks, and writes about American life and culture. Her writing has recently appeared in Slate, The New York Times, and Business Insider, and her latest book, Hotel Life: the Story of a Place Where Anything Can Happen, is about the everyday work of one of the world’s most fascinating and strange institutions. In addition to authoring three other books including Where is American Literature? (2013) and co-editing many others such as Hemispheric American Studies (2008) and Companion to American Literary Studies (2011), Levander spends time thinking about the future of higher education. She writes and speaks regularly in venues such as Inside Higher Ed and at international higher education and innovation summits. Levander is currently at work on a book about adventure in American life that features figures like Nikola Tesla, Margaret Bourke-White, and Matthew Henson, among others.
Levander is currently a 2017 Fulbright Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and a 2016 Senior Fellow at the Freie Universität Graduate School, Berlin. She is the recipient of additional grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Huntington Library, the Brown Foundation, the Moody Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Science's National Leadership grant.
The event is free and open to the public.
This lecture is organized by the Department of American Studies in cooperation with the Center for Inter-American Studies (CIAS), and co-sponsored by Fulbright Austria and the Office of International Relations (BIB), University of Graz.
Department of American Studies Graz
Institut für Amerikanistik