Carnegie Mellon University
September 17, 2012

Literary and Cultural Studies Program Celebrates 25th Anniversary

By Madelyn Glymour

The Carnegie Mellon English department’s literary and cultural studies program is celebrating 25 years of graduating classes this September.

The festivities begin on Thursday, September 20, with the airing of Tributaries: 25 Years of Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, a short documentary by LCS grad students Sheila Liming and David Haeselin.

“We’re using it as a moment to look back at the history of the program and also to address some ideas and concerns about the state of literary and cultural studies as a discipline and where it might be going,” Liming said. “So we’re hoping that the film is going to incite a conversation among the faculty and students in our program during the anniversary.”

The film features interviews with LCS founders and current academics in the field of cultural studies. It will be followed by a panel discussion about cultural studies in real life, which alumni and faculty are welcome to attend.

“We’d love to encourage alumni to come back and tell their own story,” said English professor Kathy Newman, the celebration’s organizer. “How are they using their education at Carnegie Mellon in their real lives?”

Newman, Liming, and Haeselin are excited to explore the past, present and the future of cultural studies. “On the face of it,” Newman pointed out, “you could say that cultural studies is an odd fit with Andrew Carnegie’s university. Carnegie was one of our nation’s most notorious capitalists, and cultural studies has been influenced by Marxism and other radical intellectual traditions.” “On the other hand,” Newman continues, “most of us in cultural studies are interested inspiring our students to make a difference in the world, and, in that sense, we fit into the culture of CMU very well.”

We’d be delighted for you to join English department faculty, other alumni and current students at a reception on Thursday, September 20th from 6:00pm-8:00pm to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the LCS program. Enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres and view research posters put together by our current students.

 A complete schedule of the English Department's 25th LCS anniversary celebration events attend is listed below. We’d be delighted to have you at any or all of them. All events are FREE and open to English department alumni and their guests!

Thursday,  September 20th

3:30 PM      Premier of Tributaries: 25 Years of Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, a film by current LCS PhD students David Haeselin and Sheila Liming.   

Location: Wean Hall 5415    


5:00 PM      “Cultural Studies and Real Life” a panel of seven LCS MA alumni will discuss how they use the ideas of cultural studies in their everyday work lives.   

Location: Danforth Lounge, University Center


6:30 PM      Mixer/reception for alumni of all programs! Invitations to Engage: A Celebration of LCS Doctoral Student Research: Research poster presentations of current PhD students. There will be plenty of food, drink, as well as old friends and mentors!     

Location:  Wean Hall 1320


Friday,  September 21st

11:45 AM      Lunch Baker Hall Swank room, 255 B Baker Hall


*All Friday talks located in the Erwin Steinberg Auditorium, A53 Baker Hall*

1:00 PM    Panel of LCS PhD alums, including Charles Cunningham, Bill Blake, Thora Brylowe, Courtney Maloney, Victor Cohen and Michael Rectenwald.


2:45 PM    Panel of current and/or recent LCS faculty, PhDs and MAs: Marian Aguiar, Peggy Knapp, Jon Klancher, recent MA Steven Gotzler and current PhD Kurt Sampsel.


4:30 PM      Keynote Address presented by Larry Grossberg, Professor of Communication at UNC Chapel Hill and author of Cultural Studies in the Future Tense


7:00 PM      Dinner at Prof Kathy Newman’s home. Please email Professor Newman at to register for the dinner.


Related Articles:

Literary and Cultural Studies Program Celebrates 25 Years With Two Days of Events, Sept. 20-21