American Studies majors and minors study with faculty from a range of academic disciplines. Affiliated faculty teach courses in the program on a regular or occasional basis, and collaborate with core faculty in the work of the academic program, whether developing new courses, team teaching, organizing events, or providing academic and/or extracurricular opportunities for American Studies majors and minors.
Sander H. Lee, professor of Philosophy, received his PhD in Philosophy from Georgetown University in 1978. He teaches logical argumentation, Philosophy & the Holocaust, Existentialism and Literature, Existentialism and Film, and Aesthetics. Dr. Lee is the author of Woody Allen’s Angst: Philosophical Commentaries on his Serious Films (2013) and Eighteen Woody Allen Films Analyzed: Anguish, God and Existentialism (2002). He has also written numerous essays on issues in aesthetics, ethics, Holocaust studies, social philosophy, and metaphysics. In 2006, Lee received a Keene State College Faculty Award for Distinction in Research and Scholarship.
Gina Velasco is Assistant Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. She completed her Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz and was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Bryn Mawr College from 2008-2010. From 2010-2011, she served as Visiting Assistant Professor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon and was a Visiting Scholar in the Beatrice Bain Research Group at the University of California at Berkeley. From 2012-2013, she was visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University.
Dr. Velasco’s research and teaching explore how gender and queer sexuality inform notions of nation, diaspora, and transnational belonging in a contemporary context of globalization. Her research, writing, and teaching encompass a range of fields, including queer studies, feminist theory, transnational feminisms, women of color feminisms, diaspora studies, ethnic studies, and Asian American/Filipina/o American studies. Her writing has appeared in Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, the Review of Women’s Studies, and the International Feminist Journal of Politics. Her first book manuscript, Queering the Transnational Filipina Body: Gendered and Sexual Nationalisms in the Filipino Diaspora, “queers” the ubiquitous figure of the transnational Filipina body through an analysis of this several figures of Filipina/o transnationalism – the Filipina “mail order bride,” the “trafficked” woman, the Filipina/o American balikbayan (expatriate), and the cyborg – within Filipina/o American performance, video/film, and websites. Her second project explores the relationship between nationalisms, diasporas, and queer genders and sexualities, with a focus on the performance and video art of queer artists of color in the U.S. She is currently collaborating with YaliniDream, a queer Sri Lankan American artist, on an essay that describes how nationalism, experiences of war, gender, and queer sexuality inform both the content and form of her performance art.
Jack Bouley, New Hampshire native, has been teaching at Keene State College for almost fourteen years. He has taught in the English and American Studies departments, and has supported Keene’s incoming freshman through the Aspire and Links programs. He received his MA in English from Northern Arizona University where he studied Native American Literature and Culture, African American Literature, Rhetoric, and Linguistics. He has worked closely with the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni while in Arizona developing an American Studies model which he teaches at KSC. He is currently working on a degree in Biology that he hopes to incorporate into his interdisciplinary method at Keene State.
Michael J. New earned his PhD in English at Penn State University. His interdisciplinary research focuses on the relationship between literature and music in African American and black diasporic cultures. Currently, he is at work on a book manuscript that examines poets who recorded with jazz musicians during the Black Arts Movement. His courses on multi-ethnic American literature emphasize performance, multimedia, and digital forms. For more information about Dr. New’s teaching and scholarship, visit Instrumental Voice: Poetic Experiments in Jazz.
Professor Emeritus Lawrence Benaquist has a doctorate in Renaissance Studies from Syracuse University. He is the founder of the Keene State College Film Studies Program in the 1970s and has cross-listed courses with the American Studies Program since the 1980s. He continues to teach courses on film in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program.
Dr. Benaquist is the producer of several documentaries that have been on public television and he developed the film archive at Keene State College. He has also been responsible for several discoveries of lost films, including the only known footage of the 1930 Rogue Song, a lost Alice Guy Blache film, a lost Francis Ford film, and the lost 1911 Mary Pickord film, Their First Misunderstanding. Dr. Benaquist curates film series, lectures frequently on film, and is a member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists as well as the University Film and Video Association. In addition, he has been a consultant on the accreditation of an Italian university film program for the state of New Hampshire. One of his responsibilities is to oversee the Louis de Rochemont archive at the College. His research (along with others) on the KSC faculty was responsible for the first American woman, Martha Sharp, to be given the honor of Righteous Among Nations by the state of Israel for her work rescuing Jews during the second world war.
Marie Duggan is a professor in the department of Economics at Keene State College. She received her BA in International Relations and German at Tufts University and her MA and PhD in Economics at the New School for Social Research, where she studied with Robert Heilbroner, Lance Taylor, Anwar Shaikh, Janet Abu-Lughod, Bill Roseberry. Dr. Duggan is a global economic historian and historian of economic ideas. Her areas of expertise are include the History of Economic Ideas; Econometrics; Economic History; International Finance, Development Economics; Statistics; Race, Class, Gender; and Marxian Economics.
Dr. Duggan’s publications include the Evolution of a Relationship: The Chumash and the Presidio of Santa Barbara, 1782-1823 published by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (2004); “Laws of the Market versus Laws of God: Scholastic Doctrine and the Early California Economy in History of Political Economy (2005); and “Taking Back Globalization: A China-US Counterfactual Using Keynes’ 1941 International Clearing Union” in the Review of Radical Political Economy (2013). Dr. Duggan is currently working on a book, Behind the Veil of 1848: Piety and Profits in Alta California’s Economy, and a long-term project with students on deindustrialization and reindustrialization in Keene, a center of the precision manufacturing sector.
Chitra Akkoor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications and Philosophy where she teaches courses in Intercultural Communication, World Cultures & Communication, Diversity in the American Family, and Research Methods. Dr. Akkoor received a BA in English Literature at the University of Madras, India, in 1982, an MA in Communication Studies from Western Michigan University in 2004, and a PhD in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa in 2011. Her research focuses on cross-cultural adaptation challenges, identity, and communication of immigrants from South Asia in Europe and United States. Her publications include the forthcoming “Recreating family in the diaspora” in Remaking Family Communicatively, “Topic expansiveness and family communication patterns in the Journal of Family Communication (2011) and “Aesthetic love and romantic love in close relationships: A case study in East Indian arranged marriages” in Communication ethics: Between cosmopolitanism and provinciality (2008).