BENJAMIN ALPERS is Reach for Excellence Associate Professor in the University of Oklahoma’s Honors College, whose faculty he joined in 1998. His primary teaching and research interests concern twentieth-century American intellectual and cultural history, with special interests in political culture and film history. Among the courses he offers in the Honors College are colloquia on World War II in history and memory and film noir, and Perspectives courses on American social thought and politics and culture in the Great Depression. Alpers is also affiliated with the History Department and the Film and Media Studies Program. He is the author of Dictators, Democracy, and American Public Culture: Envisioning the Totalitarian Enemy, 1920s-1950s (UNC Press, 2002).
ERAN ZELNIK is a History PhD candidate at UC Davis, working on a dissertation tentatively entitled “The Comical Style in America: Humor and the Making of a White Man’s Democracy.” In it he traces the rise to dominance of a democratic comical style and the demise of a genteel style in the early years of the US. Most significantly, his work contends that vernacular humor stood at the center of the cultural project that established common white men as a ruling caste. He received his BA at Tel-Aviv University and arrived in the US from Israel in 2009 to study American history.
KURT NEWMAN is a Ph.D candidate in History at UC Santa Barbara. He is working on a dissertation entitled “The Multiplication of Everything: Cultural Workers, the Law, and Pragmatist Thought in the Golden Age of Analog,” and a project on the history of popular music in the US South since the 1960s. He is a founding co-editor, with James Livingston, of Politics/Letters, a new quarterly journal and web zine. As an intellectual historian, Kurt is most interested in the question of what it might mean to properly frame the relation between the production of new knowledge and the history of capitalism. This project would seem to require meditation upon canonical political economy, the Marxist tradition, and as wide a variety of critical theories (psychoanalytic, feminist, queer, critical race-oriented, and continental-philosophical) as can be assimilated given the constraints of time and space. Thus, in his contributions here, Kurt will try to work the “Theory beat,” with an eye to what might be most useful to students an practitioners of US intellectual history.
ANDREW HARTMAN 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’s second book, A War for the Soul Of America: A History of the Culture Wars, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in April 2015. Hartman was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark for the 2013-14 academic year.
TIM LACY is an assistant professor and academic advisor at Loyola University Chicago. Recently, from 2010 to 2012, he was a visiting assistant history professor at Monmouth College. Lacy’s specialties are intellectual history, cultural history, and the history of education. He co-founded both the U.S. Intellectual History blog and the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. Articles by Lacy have appeared in the Journal of the History of Ideas, American Catholic Studies, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, U.S. Catholic Historian, and various encyclopedias. He recently finished a book titled The Dream of a Democratic Culture: Mortimer J. Adler and the Great Books Idea (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
ROBIN MARIE AVERBECK has a PhD in American history from UC Davis and studies post-war liberalism. Her dissertation – “‘Want in the Midst of Plenty': Social Science, Poverty, and the Limits of Liberalism” — and future book focuses on the contribution of liberals and some leftists to what is known as “the culture of poverty.” She argues that the post-war liberal discourse about poverty helped set the stage for the political culture of the New Right by shaping and contributing to many of its key assumptions and tendencies. Robin also contributes to a variety of blogs and public history projects.
RAYMOND HABERSKI, JR. Professor of History and Director of American Studies at IUPUI, Haberski is the author of five books, including God and War: American Civil Religion Since 1945 (Rutgers, 2012) and the forthcoming Evangelization to the Heart. For the 2008-2009 academic year, he was the Fulbright Danish Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the Center for the Study of the Americas (CSA) at the Copenhagen Business School. He is presently working on a book that considers Catholic thought on war and peace in American history.
ANDREW SEAL is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Yale University. He is currently writing his dissertation, tentatively titled “Exporting the Common Man: Midwestern Intellectuals and U.S. Global Power, 1910-1960,” which critically examines the emergence and decline of an ideal of American character and civilization running parallel to the American Century and sharing its outward thrust, but derived from the histories and experiences specific to the Midwestern middle class. The project focuses on three domains of intellectual production–fiction, historiography, and journalism–and speaks to current debates in the histories of foreign relations, education, racial and class formation, and popular or mass culture. Andrew is especially interested in blogging on both current trends and forgotten legacies in US intellectual history, toggling between recovery projects and analyses of recently published scholarship and criticism.
L.D. 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.
ROBERT GREEN II is a second year graduate student in the doctoral program at the University of South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Georgia Southern University in 2008 in Creative Writing, and a Masters of Arts in History in 2012. Currently, his research interests are African American intellectual history in the 20th century, political history, and the United States after 1965.