Current Students

ACS Student Aju James

“I am international student from India. I joined the ACS program at BGSU because I found faculty members interested in my research area. A couple of semesters into my time here, I found out that the program is consistently rated one of the best in American studies, so that was a pleasant surprise! My research topic has changed considerably since I joined the program and the ways in which I think about it has diversified so much that I can sincerely repeat the cliché that ACS has helped me grow as a researcher and a scholar. The best thing about this program is the friends and connections I made, among the students and faculty, whose warmth keeps me going in a cold Northwest Ohio.”
-Aju James, Ph.D 2020

Rene Ayala

Dani Eafford

William Griffin
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
A.A. in Cinema Studies, Bucks County Community College
BA in Media & Communications, Certificate in Corporate Community Relations & Minor in Japanese Literature, University of Pittsburgh
Research Interests: Film Culture, Music Culture, 80’s Culture, especially how music artists of the 80’s impacted the decade, Film History, Hollywood Golden Age, Pop Culture, Women in Sports & Japanese Culture.

Justin Kindelt

Frankie Krutsch
Hometown: Columbus, OH
BA in Education, Individualized Studies, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: Evolution and ethnography of digital communities; Production and circulation of Internet memes; Media fan culture, 1966-present; Political movements in digital spaces

Jon-Jama Scott

Taylar Stagnar

Kevin Higashikubo
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
BA-Philosophy, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Interests: American Intellectual History, Modernism, Pragmatism, Film, Aesthetics

Jacqueline Adams ABD
Hometown: Bowling Green, KY (Home Place: Western Kentucky University)
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A., History, Western Kentucky University (WKU); M.A., Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities (WKU); Graduate Certificate, Gender & Women’s Studies (WKU)
Research Interests: Healing pedagogies, physical and temporal spaces through time (philosophy of space and time), definitions of home places, transnational feminisms, women’s work, feminist pedagogy, cultural trauma, ecofeminism and sustainability, visual and material cultures; overlapping relationships between work, globalization/industrialization, nationalism, American masculinities, and militarism.

Courtney Bliss ABD
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A. ,Speech and Hearing Science, The Ohio State University; M.A., Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: Popular Culture, Comic Studies, Disability Studies, Deaf Culture, Fandom Studies

Eric Browning ABD
Hometown: Wooster, Ohio
Undergraduate/Graduate Institutions and Degrees: B.A. Film Production, Bowling Green State University; M.A. Film Studies, University of Miami
Research Interests: Horror Films, Gender Studies, Cult Films, the Hollywood Golden Era, Audience Reception Studies, the French New Wave, and Film Restoration.

Alissa Butler ABD

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ and Boston, MA
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A., History, Arizona State University; M.A., American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston
Research Interests/Dissertation Topic or Title: Fandom Studies, Audience and Consumer Reception, Producer/Consumer Relationships, Collecting, The Walt Disney Company, Comic Books and Comic Con Culture

Nick Canada
Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A. Criminal Justice, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, M.A. Sociology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Research Interests: Art cinema, film history, movie-going, new wave movements, physical media, and photography

Judy Clemens-Smucker
Hometown: Ottawa, OH
AA in Liberal Arts, Hesston College; BA in Theatre, Goshen College; MA in PopC, BGSU
Research Interests: Gender, Sexuality, and Television; Star Trek; Contemporary Television Comedy

Adam Cohen ABD
Hometown: Long Island, NY
B.A. and M.A., English Literature, Criticism and Analysis, Hunter College
Research Interests: Social identity in comic books and pop culture, Performativity and spectacle in mass media, Consumerism and Neoliberalism in the United States

Elizabeth Collins ABD
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
B.A., English and Anthropology, University of Northern Iowa, Minors in Creative Writing and Film Studies;
M.A., English, University of Northern Iowa
Research Interests: Film History, Television, Comedy, Local and Public History

Vern Cooper ABD
Hometown: Jellico, TN; Williamsburg, KY (by birth)/ Richmond, KY (by association)
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A. Creative Writing and M.A. Literature/Rhetoric and Composition at Eastern Kentucky University
Research Interests/Dissertation Topic: Liminal Stigma. Queer subcultures and the marginalization of liminal bodies and identities such as bisexual, switch (BDSM), and genderqueers. Internalization and mimesis of heterocentrism by Queer culture in order to reproduce asymmetrical power hierarchies which mimic the straight/gay false binary, with the purpose of authenticating certain bodies or identities as Queer, which necessitates the marginalization of Other, “deviant,” bodies or identities.

William Daniels ABD
Hometown: Rochester, MI
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A., English, Ferris State University; M.A., Literature, Eastern Michigan University
Dissertation Title: Out of Place: Racializing Surveillance in Public Space along the Detroit RiverWalk
Research Interests: Black Studies, Urban Studies, Surveillance Studies, Black Geographies, and Literary Studies

Emily Edwards
Hometown: Waterville, Maine
Undergrad/Graduate Institutions and Degrees: B.A. in History from Loyola University, New Orleans; M.A. from New York University's Center for European and Mediterranean Studies
Research Interests: Diasporas, globalization, white identities, American physical and cyberspaces.

Cornelius Fortune
Hometown: Detroit, MI
B.S., Biblical & Educational Studies, Liberty University
M.A., English Literature, Mercy College
Research Interests: Modernism, Hemingway Studies, Literary Theory, Postmodernism

Marlena Graves
Hometown: Perrysburg, OH
Master's of Divinity, Northeastern Seminary, BGSU American Cultural Studies PhD program
Research Interests: Evangelicalism in the US, race, immigration, and gender - how those intersect and why US Evangelicals who claim to follow Jesus and read their Bibles do not do what Jesus taught. Instead, they often marginalize and oppress the very people Jesus commanded them to love. Collectively, why do U.S. Evangelicals live and vote contrary to what they profess to believe?

Naykishia Head
Hometown: Forest, MS
B.A.-English, Jackson State University
M.A.-English, Jackson State University
Research Interests: Gender and Women’s Studies, African American Literature, the LGBTQ experience, particularly in the South, and anything related Historically Black Colleges and/or Universities

Robin Hershkowitz
Hometown: Long Island, NY and Oakland, CA
B.A. in Psychology and Women's Studies, University of Delaware
M.A., Higher Education Administration, New York University
M.A., Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: Postfeminism, trauma in popular culture, horror studies, folk drama, popular romance

Jacqueline Hudson ABD
Hometown: Pascagoula, MS
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.S., Mass Communications, Jackson State University; M.A., Arts Management, Columbia College Chicago
Research Interests: black popular culture, black popular music, black feminism, and museum studies

Becky Jenkins ABD
Hometown: Lucasville, Ohio
Undergrad: Miami University: Organizational Leadership / Visual Media Culture
MA: BGSU: ACS and Public History (Certificate)
PhD: ACS and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Certificate)
Research Interests: My interests lie at the intersection of history and culture, especially those stories that have been erased, white-washed, overlooked, or forgotten because of race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Dissertation research is a feminist reading of the relationship between women and Major League Baseball, and of baseball as an American cultural institution / mirror of the larger American society.

Hali Kivari
Hometown: Holly, MI
B.A., Spanish, B.A., Linguistics, Oakland University
M.A., Spanish, Bowling Green State University
Research interests: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Gender Studies, Latinx Culture, Critical Race Theory, Post-Colonialism & Decolonization, and US-Latin America Relationships

Joanna Line ABD
Hometown: Chico, CA
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A., French & B.A. Biology, Oberlin College, M.S. Exercise and Sport Studies, Smith College
Dissertation Title: Expanding the narrative of leadership: Exploring student-athletes' on NCAA DI collegiate women’s teams understandings of leadership
Research interests: sport for social justice, leadership development, and critical pedagogies

Michail-Chrysovalantis Markodimitrakis ABD
Hometown: Iraklion of Crete, Greece
2014, B.A. in English Language and Literature, Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece
2016, MA in English with a Specialization in Literary and Textual Studies, Bowling Green State University
Research interests: the Gothic, Graphic Novels, Adaptation Theory, Postmodernism, Theatre of the Absurd, Symbolism, Propaganda in literary works, Science Fiction, Intermodality and Intermediality, Decadence, Psychogeography, Neoliberalism, Children's Literature, Nonsense Fiction, Minorities, Violence, Sociolinguistics, Semiotics.

Clitha Mason ABD

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois (Bronzeville)
Undergraduate/Graduate Institutions: B.S., Business Administration concentration Marketing Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC; M.A., English concentration Film Studies, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Research Interests: Short-subject documentary film and video; digital humanities; archival studies; fatness studies; Black and queer bodies in popular culture; inner city studies; Chicago’s historic Bronzeville Community; music and celebrity; fashion and style.
Dissertation Topic: The Social History of Chicago’s Historic Bronzeville Community 1980-2000-told through oral histories.

Dylan Reid Miller
Hometown: Seattle, WA
B.F.A. - Film and Television Production, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts
M.A. - The Queer Posthumanism of Star Trek, NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Research Interests: The political dimension of temporality in science and speculative fiction & propaganda, queer temporality, digital hauntology

Stevie Scheurich
Hometown: Albion, IN
B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology, Earlham College
M.A. in Gender Studies, Central European University
Research Interests: The construction, reception, and circulation of identity narratives with an emphasis on the intersection of marginalized sexualities and spiritual practices.

Riddhima Sharma
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: M.A., LL.B - University of Mumbai
Research Interests: Social Media, Contemporary Feminist Movements in South Asia, Cyberfeminisms

Tobias Spears ABD
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Undergrad/Grad Institution and Degrees: B.A., History, Binghamton University; M.A., Women’s Studies, Georgia State University
Research Interests/Dissertation Topic or Title: Black queer geographies, urban geography, space and sexuality; community studies

Benjamin Thomason
Hometown: Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Institutions and Degrees: Bachelor's degree in history from Wayne State University, and Master's in history from Central Michigan University
Research Interests: Punk rock subcultures of the United States from the 1970s to the present, and the social networks and radical left and right political conflicts developed within their communities. I draw my sources from music recordings, live performances, oral histories including interviews done myself, and printed fan publications. I have written on how punk rock both reflects and rebels against larger social, cultural, and political patterns of the US, and how they created an alternative production, distribution, and marketing model for their music largely outside the mainstream record industry. I've also looked at transnational issues, specifically regarding the developments of skinhead culture and later far-right white power rock between the US and the United Kingdom. Besides having a rich history and culture within the punk rock community itself, the genre provides a great lens for understanding larger political struggles, cultural shifts, and economic dislocations.

Thi Hai Ly Tran ABD
Hometown: Vietnam
Undergraduate Institutions: Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Bachelor's Degree in English.
Graduate Institutions: Vietnam National University, Hanoi - Master's Degree in English; Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, Germany - Master's Degree in American Studies
Research Interests: Vietnamese Refugees, Asian Americans, Ethnic Studies

Tabetha Violet ABD

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A English, Miami University, B.A. Literature, Eastern Michigan University
Research Interests: (Dis)ability studies, cultural trauma, post colonial studies, diaspora, migration, and higher education

Kaitlyn Wauthier ABD
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A. History and American Studies, American University; M.A. American Culture Studies, Ethnic Studies Graduate Certificate, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: National imaginaries, travel and tourism, disability studies, 20th century literature and film