Ami Sommariva

Ami Sommariva


Position Title
Graduated 2016


Dissertation: Television for a Better America: Public Feeling, Race, and Privatization from Sesame Street to Roots

Research Interests: Histories of Racism and Liberalism in the U.S., Cold War Culture, U.S. Popular Culture and Media Studies, Feminist Theory and Research Methods, Emotion, Affect, and Public Feeling.


  • B.A. Communications, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1997
  • M.A. American Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2005
  • Ph.D. Cultural Studies, UC Davis, 2016 Profile

Fellowships, Grants, and Awards:

  • Conference Travel Grant, Program in American Studies, UC Davis, 2014
  • Chancellor's Teaching Fellowship, UC Davis, 2008-2009
  • Tuition Scholarship, Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory, UC Humanities Research Institute, 2008
  • Baxter Travel Award, American Studies Association, 2007, 2009
  • Outstanding Thesis Award, KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2005
  • Davis Humanities Institute Recruitment Fellowship 2005


  • “David H. Breaux: Action for Compassion,” Boom: A Journal of California, University of California Press, Fall 2013.
  • “Pepper Spray and Politics,” with Louis Warren, Boom: A Journal of California, University of California Press, Fall 2012.
  • “Looking at Trash,” XCP: Streetnotes, Summer 2008.
  • "Gifts and Giving" and "Heirlooms," Encyclopedia of American Material Culture, eds. Helen Sheumaker and Shirley Wajda, ABC-CLIO, 2007.


  • "Should All Hell Break Loose?: Return and Rupture in Ester Rebeca Shapiro Rok's 'From Belarus to Bolondron.'" Nuestra America in the U.S.?: A U.S. Latino/a Studies Conference, February 2008.
  • "Overwhelmed and Confounded: Historical Research in 'House on Loon Lake.'" 10th Annual Graduate Conference on History and Theory, UC Irvine, April 2007.
  • "Getting to the Bottom of Things: Vernacular Historical Production in 'House on Loon Lake' and Everything Is Illuminated." UC Davis Humanities Institute Seminar, June 2006.
  • "'You Can't Throw It Away': A Case Study in Heirlooms, Reciprocity, and Social Status in the United States." Graduate Student Ethnography Conference, Stony Brook University, March 2006.
  • "Saving Family Artifacts" Social Science History Association Conference, Portland, OR, November 2005.