ALS Professor Named Distinguished Lecturer

Professor of American Literary Studies and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Jesse Alemán has been named the 2022 Willa Cather Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Sponsored by the Cather Project, the UNL English Department, and endowment funds designated for teaching and research on Willa Cather and related topics, the Distinguished Lecturer offers an intensive, one-week graduate summer seminar and delivers a public lecture while in residence at the university where Cather earned her BA in English in 1895. Selected for his distinguished career of scholarship and teaching in American Literary Studies, Alemán will run a graduate seminar titled “Southwest of Cather.” The class will focus on twentieth-century Mexican American and indigenous literary, visual, and expressive cultures of the greater southwest that challenge Cather’s view of the region as a place of ruins, shards, priests, and picturesque primitive pasts. Instead, for indigenous and Chicanx writers of Cather’s time and after, the life and landscapes of the place comprise a decolonial cultural rhetoric of survival that persists despite the long-standing tourist gaze that Cather and her Anglo contemporaries brought to the southwest in the early twentieth century. The seminar and the public lecture will draw on archival, periodical, photographic, literary, and fugitive print pieces that signal the logics of anticolonial aesthetics, indigenous survivance, and Chicanx resistance to dispossession and displacement during the critical era of American regional writing. Alemán will be in residence at the University of Nebraska throughout the third week of May.