McKayla Sluga

I am a first year Ph.D. student with a special interest in twentieth-century American radical movements of both the Left and Right. The radicalization processes individuals and groups undergo as well as the ways in which they mobilize to connect theory and action are the underpinnings of my work, but I am particularly attentive to how art is used to support or combat social-political movements. I also enjoy exploring the relationships between art and politics, artists and society, in addition to how intellectuals engage with culture, society, and politics. Alongside traditional approaches to historical research, I believe that art and theory can assist in analyzing and narrating history in ways that are oftentimes neglected.

In a broad thematic sense, my research will explore the intersections among cultural, social, political, and intellectual movements. Geographically, I will focus on radicalism in the United States, but I have become increasingly concerned with transnational connections and disjunctures between radical movements of the United States and Europe.

I double majored in History and American Studies and minored in Philosophy at Elmira College, where I earned my B.A. with Summa Cum Laude Latin Honors and completed the Honors Program. I was also a 2017 Gilder Lehrman American History Honors Scholar Award recipient. My undergraduate research projects often focused on the relationship between radical social-poltical movements and radical artistic-intellectual movements of both the United States and Europe. Some examples include US Leftism/Marxism and Social Surrealism of the 1930s; Italian Fascism and Futurism; German Nazism and Modernism; the 1968 French uprisings, Situationist International theory, and Atelier Populaire poster art; the 1960s-1970s Black Power and Black Arts Movements; and Afro-Cuban/Martiniquean Marxism and Surrealism.

Year in Program: 1st year

Fields: Modern United States History, Modern European History, Cultural and Intellectual History

Advisor: TBD

Committee: TBD

Research Languages: French

Educational Background: B.A. with Honors, Elmira College (2017)

Email: slugamck@msu.edu