Overview

The Trowbridge Initiative in American Culture—formally known as the Trowbridge Office of American Literature, Culture, and Society—was established in 2004 by Professor Gordon Hutner at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Trowbridge Initiative is the only campus entity specifically focused on organizing and facilitating activities—including symposia, lectures, and special events—of interest to Americanists from various disciplines. In the intervening years, it has offered programs from an exciting array of scholarly resources and served as an indispensable vehicle for communication on matters of intellectual interests around the college and across the University.  Its most recent program,“A New Deal for the Humanities: The Liberal Arts and Public Higher Education,” drew support from more twenty campus units, with professors participating from College of Education, the Graduate School, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, and the Unit for Theory and Interpretive Criticism, among others.

Past Trowbridge and Trowbridge Co-Sponsored Events:

2021-20

  • The Second Book Project Symposium, VII (September 2020)

2020-19

  • The Second Book Project Symposium, VI (March 2020)
  • Elizabeth Duquette, “Colloquium on Publishing” (November 2019)
  • The Second Book Project Symposium, V (October 2019)

2019-18

  • Nicole Krauss, “Lecture” (April 2019)
  • Genealogies of Black Modernity in the Long Nineteenth Century (April 2019)
  • The Second Book Project Symposium, IV (March 2019)
  • 21st-Century Jewish Writing and the World (March 2019)
  • Capital, Credit, and American Literary History (October 2018)
  • The Humanities in the Age of Big Data (October 2018)

2018-17

  • Amanda Gailey, “How to Edit When the World is Burning” (November 2017)
  • Speculative Futures (November 2017)
  • Reenvisioning Reconstruction (October 2017)
  • George Saunders at the Pygmalion Festival (September 2017)

2017-16

  • Suzanne Ryan (January 2017)
  • Secrecy and Publics (October 2016)
  • Glenn C. Altschuler, “Justice Amidst a Media Frenzy” (October 2016)
  • Josh Lambert, “Goodbye Roth: American Literature in the 21st Century” (September 2016)

2016-15

  • Saul Zaritt, “A World Literature to Come: Modern Jewish Writing and Untranslatability” (April 2016)
  • Kristin Kopp, “Engaging Race Relations in the U.S. by Teaching the History of Blacks in Germany” (March 2016)
  • African-American Writing in the 21st Century (November 2015)

 2015-14

  • Richard Blanco (April 2015)
  • World War I and the Origins of Modern American Culture (October 2014)
  • Making the Creative City (September 2014)

2014-13

  • Critical Inequalities (May 2014)
  • New Deal for the Humanities (September 2013)

2013-12

2012-11

  • Emily Auerbach, Odyssey Lecture (May 2012)
  • The Second Book Project Symposium, III (March 2012)
  • Kathryn Bond Stockton (February 2012)
  • The Ends of History (February 2012)
  • The Second Book Project Symposium, II (October 2011)
  • Jonathan Elmer (September 2011)

2011-10

  • The Second Book Project Symposium, I (February 2011)
  • Mad Men (February 2011)
  • R.J. Ellis (February 2011)
  • Donald Pease (February 2011)
  • Sustainability in America; Henry Henderson (February 2011)
  • The Uses of Pragmatism (September 2010)
  • Michael Isikoff (September 2010)

2010-09

  • Human Rights in America (February 2010)
  • 21st-Century American Fiction (February 2010)
  • Medieval America (October 2009)
  • Projecting Early American Studies (September 2009)

2009-08

  • Lincoln and Cultural Value (November 2008)
  • Eva Illouz (November 2008)
  • Leonard S. Marcus, Millercomm (September 2008)
  • New Directions in American Literary History, III (September 2008)

2008-07

  • New Directions in American Literary History, II (April 2008)
  • Chang-rae Lee, Novelist (March 2008)
  • Lynne McKechnie, Gryphon Lecturer, Center for Children’s Books (February 2008)
  • New Directions in American Literary History, I (September 2007)

2007-06

  • Steven Mailloux (March 2007)
  • Steven Weisenburger (February 2007)
  • The Midterm Elections (November 2006)
  • Print Culture and American Literary History (September 2006)

2006-05

  • Brent Edwards (April 2006)
  • Kenneth Warren/Ross Posnock:  A Conversation (March 2006)
  • Rudine Sims Bishop, Gryphon Lecturer, Center for Children’s Books (February 2006)
  • David L. Bergman, Poet-Critic (February 2006)
  • Alan Thomas (November 2005)
  • Joel Pfister (October 2005)

2005-04

  • Juana Maria Rodriguez (April 2005)
  • Transnational Citizenship and the Humanities (March 2005)
  • Perry Nodelman,  Gryphon Lecturer, Center for Children’s Books (February 2005)