S-UISH OFFICERS: 2015-2016
KEVIN SCHULTZ, President. A native of Los Angeles with a PhD from UC Berkeley, Kevin M. Schultz is an associate professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). An award-winning author and teacher, his essays have appeared in the Journal of American History, American Quarterly, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and Labor History. Always interested in ideas in action, his first book, Tri-Faith America: How Postwar Catholics and Jews Held America to its Protestant Promise (Oxford University Press, 2011), charted the decline of the idea that the United States was a “Christian nation” and the subsequent rise of the notion that the country was premised on something called “Judeo-Christianity.” His second book, Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship that Shaped the Sixties (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015), examined the intertwined lives of William F. Buckley, Jr. and Norman Mailer as a way of offering a new understanding that pivotal decade. He is also the author of a bestselling textbook of American history from Cengage Learning, called HIST.
CARA BURNIDGE is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She researches and teaches classes related to the history of religion and politics in the United States and its global context as well as the history of world religions. She is currently finishing her first book, A Peaceful Conquest: Woodrow Wilson and the Great War of the Protestant Establishment, which is under contract with the University of Chicago Press. A Peaceful Conquest re-narrates the development of Wilsonian internationalism according to changes in the American religious landscape during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Burnidge also serves as an editor and contributor for Religion in American History and Religion in the American West.
NATALIA MEHLMAN PETRZELA is a scholar, writer, teacher, and activist. As Assistant Professor of History at The New School, she studies the politics and culture of the modern United States and am especially fascinated by issues of gender, race, identity, and class. Her first book, Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture (Oxford, 2015), explores the roots of the culture wars in American public schools, specifically amid heated battles over sexuality and bilingual education. Her latest research traces the rise of “wellness culture” since the 1950s, asking how and why Americans have increasingly linked food and fitness regimes to the pursuit of self-fulfillment. These scholarly pursuits are closely linked to her activist work as co-founder of HealthClass2.0, an experiential health education program that bridges a wellness gap in public school education and connects university mentors with K-12 students.
Her writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Slate, and The Huffington Post and she has been featured as an expert historian in diverse media venues such as Brian Lehrer TV, The History Channel, and The Atlantic. Her work in wellness has been covered by many publications including The Guardian, Well and Good, Univision and Fox 5 NY. She received a BA from Columbia College and a MA and Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in History.
TIM LACY, Chair of Publications. A founding member of the USIH blog and the Society, Lacy recently finished a book on the history of the great books idea and philosopher-educator Mortimer J. Adler entitled, The Dream of a Democratic Culture: Mortimer J. Adler and the Great Books Idea (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Tim is a graduate adviser in Northwestern University’s School School of Professional Studies. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Loyola University, Chicago in history. Lacy’s investment in the intellectual history as a field has been the single most significant factor in the development of the USIH blog and conference. Future projects include a manuscript on great books cosmopolitanism for a co-authored book, and then a long-simmering study of anti-intellectualism.
ANDREW HARTMAN, Chair 2015 Conference (Washington, DC). An associate professor at Illinois State University, Hartman focuses on twentieth-century United States intellectual history. His first book, Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2008. Hartman is currently writing another book, A War for the Soul Of America: A History of the Culture Wars (University of Chicago Press), which is contracted to be published by the University of Chicago Press. A War for the Soul of America will be the first comprehensive, full-length historical treatment of the culture wars, a series of public controversies that emerged from the polarized 1960s, dominated headlines during the 1980s and 1990s, and remain with us today.
JENNIFER BURNS, Chair 2016 Conference (Stanford University). Burns is a historian of the twentieth century United States working at the intersection of intellectual, political, and cultural history, with a particular interest in ideas about the state, markets, and capitalism and how these play out in policy and politics. Her first book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford, 2009), was an intellectual biography of the libertarian novelist Ayn Rand. She has published articles about the history of conservatism in a number of academic and popular journals, including Reviews in American History, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of Cultural Economy, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Dissent. Burns will sit on the executive committee for the 2015-2016 session as an officer.
L.D. BURNETT, Chair 2017 Conference (Dallas, TX). Burnett is a PhD candidate in Humanities/History of Ideas at the University of Texas at Dallas; she has an undergraduate degree in English from Stanford. Her dissertation explores an infamous, emblematic but still inadequately understood battle in the so-called ‘Culture Wars’ of the 1980s: the ‘Great Books’ / ‘Western Culture’ debate at Stanford University. Burnett will sit on the executive committee for the 2016-2017 session as an officer.