News Archive

Chloe E. Taft, Author
Yale University
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once synonymous with steel. But after the factories closed, the city bet its future on a new industry: casino gambling. On the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant, thousands of flashing slot machines and digital bells replaced the fires in the blast furnaces and the shift change whistles of the industrial workplace. From Steel to Slots tells the story of a city struggling to make sense of the ways in which local jobs, landscapes, and identities are transformed by global capitalism.
Postindustrial redevelopment often makes a clean break with a city’s rusted past. In Bethlehem, where the new casino is industrial-themed, the city’s heritage continues to dominate the built environment and infuse everyday experiences. Through the voices of steelworkers, casino dealers, preservationists, immigrants, and executives, Chloe Taft examines the ongoing legacies of corporate presence and urban development in a small city―and their uneven effects.
Book signing following lecture.
Co-sponsors: South Side Initiative and Department of History

John Pettegrew, associate professor of history and director of American studies, recently wrote an editorial that appeared in Salon. Pettegrew argues that  with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we can point to a new digitized “eye for battle” in the U.S. military and American culture overall. Springing from the intersection of the post-Sept. 11, 2001, wars with the digital revolution, the eye for battle couples high-tech sensors for killing from ever-greater distances with a visual culture of motion pictures and video simulations that eroticized and modeled the action and violence of ground war.  You can read it here.

Come join us online to talk about Lehigh University's American Studies program.
Richly interdisciplinary, the MA degree in American Studies at Lehigh University expands examination of the nation's culture beyond any one framework, methodology, or geographical area.  Students move freely between history, Africana Studies, literary studies, sociology, political science, religion studies, and journalism-communication, while paying close attention to different theoretical models for understanding the meaning, politics, and power of cultural expression.
Join us November 11 and meet our faculty and current students in the program. If you can’t attend the virtual fair,  students can attend an on-campus open house, please feel free to contact me directly ( for more information or to arrange a personal visit.

Documentary filmmaker Kirby Dick doesn’t pull any punches when addressing sexual assault on college campuses. “We’re in a crisis situation here,” said Dick, following a screening of his film, The Hunting Ground, at Lehigh last week. “This should be at the top of the agenda for schools, and they shouldn’t just be trying to slide by—which most are.” The Hunting Ground shares the stories of sexual assault survivors and the efforts of two women in particular to bring national attention to the problem and handling of sexual assault on college campuses. The film addresses survivors’ experiences with administrators suppressing information about sexual assault in an effort to protect their schools’ reputations.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year’s campaign, facilitated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), focuses on the prevention of sexual violence on college campuses. In conjunction with the month-long focus on the issue, Lehigh will host a screening of the documentary film The Hunting Ground, which highlights the extensive scope and institutional handling of campus sexual assault through real-life stories and statistics.

From the Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team behind THE INVISIBLE WAR, comes a startling exposé of sexual assault on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families.

American Studies,South Side Initiative,Visiting Lecture Series, Student Affairs,Residential Housing Authority, Office of Graduate Life, Communication & Journalism, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Political Science, Dean of Students/Student Life, Gender Violence Education & Support, Women's Center and Zoellner Arts Center.

Kirby Dick is a and two-time Academy Award®-nominated and a two-time Emmy Award®-winning documentary film director. His most recent film, THE HUNTING GROUND, a monumental expose about sexual assault on college campuses, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. His prior film, THE INVISIBLE WAR, a groundbreaking investigation into the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military, won two 2014 Emmy® Awards for Best Documentary and Outstanding Investigative Journalism, Long Form; a 2013 Peabody Award; and the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. It was also nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.

In 2009, he directed OUTRAGE, a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of powerful, closeted politicians and the institutions that protect them, which was nominated for an Emmy Award® for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. In 2006 he directed THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, a breakthrough investigation of the highly secretive film-ratings system that compelled the MPAA to make long-overdue changes. In 2004, he directed TWIST OF FAITH, the story of a man confronting the trauma of his past sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, which received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

Dick’s other films include DERRIDA, a complex portrait of the world-renowned French philosopher Jacques Derrida, which won the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival, and the internationally acclaimed SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Prize at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Dick is the recipient of the 2012 Néstor Almendros Prize for Courage in Filmmaking, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary of 2013, and the 2013 Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize.

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