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Calendar of Events


Fall 2021 Calendar

all events are virtual & open to the public

Faculty are invited to bring their classes to and all events.
Please let Maria Karafilis, ACP Director, know if you plan to do so to ensure space on the zoom links (
[email protected])

Monday, September 13/12:15pm
American Communities Program Fellows Symposium

Zoom Meeting ID: 858 6921 0715
Please join us as the 2021-22 ACP fellows discuss humanities-based modes of inquiry and ways of theorizing our theme, RESISTANCE. The fellows are John Kennedy (Music), Birte Pfleger (History), and Sara Pugach (History).

Monday, September 27/2pm (we will focus on the Introduction and Ch. 2)
Wednesday, October 6/6pm (we will focus on Chapters 3 and 5)
ACP Reading Group—Dr. Sianne Ngai’s The Theory of the Gimmick
(free copies of the book available—see below)

Reading Group Zoom Meeting ID: 851 9717 4896
All are welcome to the ACP reading group. We will meet twice during Fall semester to discuss Sianne Ngai’s latest book, The Theory of the Gimmick. Dr. Ngai will be giving a virtual talk on campus on October 4th at 6pm, so let’s read her work together. Contact Dr. Juan Lamata ([email protected]) as there is a limited number of free copies of her book that we can distribute to attendees on a first ask, first served basis. Note that Zoom ID above is for reading group only and the October 4th talk requires webinar registration at link listed below.

Monday, October 4/4:30pm
Resistance, Immunity, and the Uses of the Humanities:
A Virtual Conversation with Essayist and Critic Eula Biss

Webinar Link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 839 5628 8072
Please join us for an interactive discussion with essayist and critic Eula Biss, whose book On Immunity: An Inoculation (Graywolf 2014) is a wide-ranging investigation of the myths and metaphors surrounding vaccination that explores questions raised by parenting, privilege, feminism, environmentalism, science fiction, and political power. On Immunity was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. Her most recent book, Having and Being Had (Penguin 2020), explores the value system behind property ownership and the terms we use to understand, or misunderstand, our relationship to money and class.

Monday, October 4/6pm
The Gimmick as Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form: A Virtual Talk
by Sianne Ngai

Webinar Registration Link:
Dr. Ngai’s (University of Chicago) recent work analyzes the “gimmick” as a form that, both repulsive and yet strangely attractive, can be found virtually everywhere in capitalism. Above all, she argues, gimmicks provoke questions about value bound to labor and time—misgivings that indicate broader anxieties about the measurement of wealth in capitalism. The theory of the gimmick represents a crucial contribution to aesthetic theory from a thinker lauded by The Chronicle of Higher Education as the “most influential literary theorist of her generation.” Dr. Ngai’s talk is the 2021 David L. Kubal Memorial Lecture sponsored by the Cal State LA Department of English.

Wednesday, October 13/12:15pm
Afghanistan and Theatres of War

Webinar Link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 816 8401 1585
Historically, theatre has played a crucial part in processing the trauma of war, which applies with immediate relevance to Afghanistan today. Five esteemed contributors to a landmark new book titled Theatres of War (Bloomsbury, 2021) provide contemporary perspectives on how theatre can help us understand the past and present situation in Afghanistan. These interdisciplinary experts will address topics including cultural diplomacy, the role of Islam, self-rule, women’s rights, soldiers and families, and how and why literature can play critically important social and political roles.

Tuesday, November 16/6pm
New Research on the History of Cal State LA:
A Virtual Exhibit Launch

What do you know about the history of your own university? Discover the controversies, visions, and transformations that have shaped today's Cal State LA. Join us for an interactive launch of an online exhibit featuring research by History Department students, in cooperation with the University Library's Archive and Special Collections.

“Like” the American Communities Program on Facebook for the latest information on our programming, pop-up events, and LA happenings relevant to our mission.

Co-sponsors include the College of Arts and Letters; Pat Brown Institute; Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities; the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Cal State LA John F. Kennedy Library.

Presented by the American Communities Program, and co-sponsored by Cross Cultural Centers; College of Arts & Letters; Dr. Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.; University-Student Union; and student fees.

For more information, or to request accommodations for a disability, please contact Maria Karafilis, Director, American Communities Program, at [email protected].

To view past American Communities Program events, click here.