GW’s American Literature and Culture Organization (ALCO)

ALCO is the “American Literature and Culture Organization,” a group in which graduate students and faculty participate in discussions about language and culture from an Americanist perspective attentive to national, transnational, and hemispheric questions.  The goal of ALCO is to open discussions across the various areas of study in GW’s English Department, as well as between departments within the university, across the DC consortium, and elsewhere. 

Graduate Student Maia Gil’Adi is a Latino/a studies scholar participating in ALCO. She says, “we are comprised of scholars who focus on a variety of fields. This is what makes our organization so wonderful – the variety of voices, opinions, resources, etc.”  Besides Latino/a Studies, ALCO includes 19th  and 20th century African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Modernism and Postmodernism, Queer Theory, and Disability Studies.  ALCO is always hungering for new perspectives and opinions. 

D.Gilson, a graduate student and a Queer Theory scholar, said, “One thing ALCO has really done for me so far is making me feel at home here in the English Department at GWU. Already, I know these are folks I can engage in not only relevant and smart, but also fun, conversations as we help move each other’s scholarship forward.” 

One of the goals of ALCO is to develop the kind of close knit community of scholars that made D feel so at home. Already, the organization has made a big impact on campus and was a main factor in Professor Jack Halberstam’s recent residency at GW. While here, Halberstam visited classrooms, organized seminars, and promoted his new book. It was an amazing opportunity for graduates, undergraduates, and faculty alike.

This year, ALCO will be breaking out into DC seeing plays, attending conferences, screening films, and all the while critiquing what these things say about literature and culture. They will also be working on developing their own American literature. Already the ALCO has reached out to George Mason’s cultural studies PhD program and hopes to further expand the community.

The American Literature and Cultural Organization recently launched a new blog where you can follow them and don’t forget to like them on Facebook! ALCO welcomes any graduate or faculty member interested in adding their voice to the discussion. 

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