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Our faculty are dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and have been recognized for achievements in teaching and scholarship. They have received several fellowships and have been recognized with awards for outstanding publications. Further, members of our faculty have served on editorial or advising boards for many respected journals, series, and organizations.

Core Faculty

Name Contact Specialty
Department Chair
Associate Professor
104 Scott Hall (Chair Office)
206 Scott Hall
Indigenous communities and cultures, migration, anthropology of work, Chicana/o studies, Latin America, transnationalism, gender studies, consumption
Brenda Child
Professor of American Studies and American Indian Studies
104 Scott Hall
American Indian history, multiculturalism, native culture
Kale B. Fajardo
Associate Professor of American Studies
208 Scott Hall
Philippine Studies, Filipino/a American Studies, Asian/Asian American Studies, American Studies, masculinity studies, gender studies, feminist studies, queer studies, migration/immigration/ transnationalism/diasporas/ globalization, maritime studies, Pacific World, port cities
Beth Hartman
307 Scott Hall
David Karjanen
Associate Professor of American Studies and Global Studies
211 Scott Hall
Political economy, labor markets, migration, urbanization, inequality, employer-employee relations
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
107 Scott Hall
Sexuality and gender, race and ethnicity, immigration and globalization, cities and modernity, affect, senses and embodiment, food and culture, science and technology studies, critical theory, Filipino global diaspora, Asian Americans, Southeast Asia, Philippines
Elaine Tyler May
Professor of American Studies and History
318 Scott Hall
20th century U.S. history, women and family, women's social history, the cold war era, gender, sexuality, politics
Kevin Murphy
Professor of History

Jennifer Pierce
Professor of American Studies
204 Scott Hall
Workplace and labor studies, gender, feminist theory, race relations, affirmative action, ethnography, social theory, sociology of emotions, research using personal narratives
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Assistant Professor of American Studies
203 Scott Hall
American popular music and culture, critical race theory and comparative ethnic studies, feminist and queer studies, African American and Asian American studies, music and politics, music and globalization, jazz, hip hop, sound studies
Terrion Williamson
Associate Professor of African-American and African Studies and American Studies
852 Social Sciences Building
Black feminist theory, black cultural studies, twentieth and twenty-first century African America literature, media studies, racialized gender violence

Affiliate Faculty

Name Contact Specialty
Aren Aizura
Assistant Professor
Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
456 Ford Hall
Queer theory, transnational studies, transnationality and immigration, political economy, labor
Bruce Braun
478 Social Science
Eco-politics, political ecology, geopolitics of biosecurity, social and political theory, green urbanism, biopolitics and the city, Anthropocene in social, political and ecological thought
Timothy Andres Brennan
Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
204 Nicholson Hall
Continental literary and cultural theory, 19th and 20th-century comparative literature, postcolonial theory, music of the African diaspora, problems of world literature and globalization, intellectuals and the media
Rose M. Brewer
African American & African Studies
810 Social Sciences
African American women's studies, Black family life, class, gender, intersection of economy, race, racism, sociology, women's studies, critical theory, social transformation
David A.Y.O. Chang
1143 Heller Hall
American Indian history, Native Hawaiian history, race and nationalism, United States, 19th and 20th century history, comparative indigenous history, United States colonialism
Susan L. Craddock
Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
425 Ford Hall
AIDS, disease, health, tuberculosis, public-private networks for neglected disease vaccine and drug production
Karen Mary Davalos
Chicano and Latino Studies
19 Scott Hall
Chicana/o art and culture; Latina/o spirituality; museum studies; midwestern Latino ethnography; oral history and the archive; feminist theory and editorial praxis; community-based learning and decolonial methods; arts organizations and artist collectives.                                                       
Jigna Desai
Associate Professor
Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
425 Ford Hall
Asian American literature and media, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, queer/sexuality studies, South Asian diasporas, critical disability studies, autism, neuronormativity
Tracy Ann Deutsch
Associate Professor
1045 Heller Hall
consumption and consumerism, women's and gender history, history of capitalism, food studies
Gail L. Dubrow
College of Design
32 McNeal Hall
US urban history, US women’s history, Asian American history, public history, historic preservation
Penny Edgell
909 Social Sciences
Culture, gender, religion
Michael Gallope
Assistant Professor
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
210 Nicholson Hall
Music and sound, continental philosophy and critical theory, peripheral modernisms, Black/African diaspora, popular culture
Vinay Gidwani
333 Social Sciences
Post-socialism and justice, labor geographies, Marxism, identity politics and subaltern social movements, geographies of work, agroecological transformations, social theory, India
Teresa Gowan
Associate Professor
1080 Social Sciences
Urban sociology, ethnography, poverty and marginality, consumption and branded labor, cultural micro-foundations of alternative economies
Sumanth Gopinath
Associate Professor
100 Ferguson Hall
Music after WWII, avant-garde and experimental musics, music and politics, musical hermeneutics, popular music, sound studies, music and globalization
Ronald W. Greene
Associate Professor
Communication Studies
225 Ford Hall
Political communication, debates, civic education, legal and popular perspectives on free speech, film exhibition, educational uses of film/movies, history of debates on population control
Douglas Hartmann
Associate Professor
1135 Social Sciences
American society, culture, ethnographic studies, field methods, mass media, Midnight Basketball outreach programs, popular culture, race, social change, social movements, social uses of recreational programming, sport culture, theory, poorly understood institution in the modern world
Katherine Hayes
Associate Professor
386 HHH American Indian Studies
Karen Zouwen Ho
Associate Professor
395 Hubert H. Humphrey Center
Cultural studies of finance capital; finance, globalization, and capitalism; ethnography; feminist studies; political economy; United States; comparative race and ethnicity
Elizabeth Sumida Huaman
Associate Professor
Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development
211C Burton Hall
Indigenous knowledge systems and place-based education; Indigenous research methods/comparative Indigenous education research; Indigenous rights education/transformative human rights
Juliana Hu Pegues 
Assistant Professor
American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
19 Scott Hall
Sally Kohlstedt
History of Science and Technology
204B Pillsbury Hall
Science in American culture with an emphasis on contexts for scientific practice including museums, participation in science through education at every level and public engagement, institutional frameworks for science, women in the natural sciences
Scott Laderman
History - University of Minnesota - Duluth
265 A.B. Anderson Hall (Duluth Campus)
Vietnam war and popular culture, U.S. foreign policy, media studies
Erika Lee
311 Anderson Library
Migration, race, and ethnicity; Asian Americans; 20th-century United States; law and public policy
Josephine Lee
English Language and Literature
310D Lind Hall
Dramatic literature, theater history, performance studies, Asian American studies
Richard Leppert
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
226 Nicholson Hall
Art history, critical theory, cultural studies, discourse theory, Frankfurt School, musicology, post-structuralist sociology of popular and high culture, Theodor W. Adorno
Alex Lubet
School of Music
100 Ferguson Hall
Music composition; Jewish, American & Disability Studies; performance; popular culture; music, theatre, film
Jennifer Jane Marshall
Assistant Professor
Art History
372 Heller Hall
Art and visual/material culture of the United States
Keith A. Mayes
Associate Professor
African American & African Studies
827 Social Sciences
African-American history, 19th and 20th century; Kwanzaa and Black holidays; civil rights and Black Power Movement; Black History and educational policy; African American public history
Patrick J. McNamara
Associate Professor
1212 Heller Hall
History and memory in Mexico, comparative revolutions, Latin America, peasantries
Ellen Messer-Davidow
English Language & Literature
22 Lind Hall
Literary, cultural, and social theory; the “new knowledge studies“; modern/contemporary American social movements (Civil Rights, New Left, Feminist, and Conservative); certain areas of contemporary American public policy and law
Kevin Murphy
1047 Heller Hall
History of sexuality, public history, comparative history of women and gender, U.S. history, cultural and intellectual history, urban history
Richa Nagar
Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
425 Ford Hall
Politics of development; feminisms, praxis, and people's movements; intersectionality, translations, and people's theater; blending/interrupting genres and languages in antidisciplinary research
Jean O'Brien-Kehoe
1041 Heller Hall
American Indian/indigenous studies, Native American representations, state and federal recognition, Indians of the northeast, ethnohistory, US colonial history
Yuichiro Onishi
Associate Professor
African American & African Studies
874 Social Sciences Building
African American history, Asian American studies, African diaspora studies
Laurie J. Ouellette
Associate Professor
Communication Studies
254 Ford Hall
Television studies, documentary and reality TV, media and citizenship, media and consumer culture, media historiography, feminist media and cultural studies
Lena C. Palacios
Assistant Professor
Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
425 Ford Hall
Critical carceral studies and abolitionist feminisms; transformative justice and community accountability; racialized, gendered, and sexualized violence within carceral, settler states; Black, Indigenous, Chicana & Latina queer and trans feminisms; girls' and girlhood studies; research justice and critical participatory action research; media justice and social movement media; critical disability studies; health justice and structural determinants of health
Jimmy C. Patino Jr.
Assistant Professor
Chicano & Latino Studies
210 Scott Hall
Race/class/gender; Chicano/a and Latino/a history, culture, and politics; immigration and the U.S.-Mexico Border; Latino/a civil rights and the Chicano/a Movement; African American and Latino/a relations
Daniel Philippon
Associate Professor
Writing Studies
21 Lind Hall
Environmental literature, history, and ethics; ideas of nature, culture, and place; human dimensions of conservation biology
Steven Ruggles
50 Willey Hall
US census research, US social history, historical demography, history of the family
Jani Scandura
Associate Professor
English Language & Literature
210D Lind Hall
Cultural studies and critical theory, esp. theories of modernity, materiality, subjectivity; 20th century North American literatures, film, visual and mass culture; European, American and (recently) Japanese modernisms; theories of space and place; stuff--theories of matter, objects, things, refuse, trash; sound and acoustic culture, memory; history of science, medicine and its intersections with philosophy; writing in cultures impacted by US imperialism (especially Cuba)
Robert Silberman
Associate Professor
Art History
310 Heller Hall
Film studies, history of photography, contemporary art
Katherine M. Solomonson
Associate Professor
Architecture & Landscape Architecture
151K Rapson Hall
History of American and European architecture, ca. 1700-present; History of suburbia; American housing
Hoon Song
Associate Professor
395 Hubert H. Humphrey Center
Ontology of power, the materiality of sovereignty; psychoanalysis; biopolitics; philosophical anthropology; animality; US/North Korea; early French anthropology
Eden Torres
Associate Professor
Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
425 Ford Hall
Race, class & gender; Chicana/o cultural studies; Chicana/Chicano history and politics; Chicana feminist theory; feminist & critical pedagogies; gender, labor & politics
David Valentine
Associate Professor
364 Hubert H. Humphrey Center
Cultural and linguistic anthropology, social justice movements, gender and sexuality, queer theory, the idea of the future, commercial space exploration
Barbara Welke
1039 Heller Hall
American legal and constitutional history, US women's history, modern US history

Emeriti Faculty

Name Contact Specialty
Lary May
Professor Emeritus Film and popular culture, popular culture, post-WWII American history, Twentieth Century political and cultural history
Carol Miller
Professor Emerita American Indian women's narratives, American literatures, intercultural studies, multicultural pedagogy
David Noble
Professor Emeritus American studies, dominant male Anglo-Protestant culture, history, intellectual history, literature and language, loss of cultural hegemony since WWII
Riv-Ellen Prell
Professor Emeritus Anthropology of America, popular culture in the United States, gender and ethnicity in the United States, cultural studies of American Jews and Judaism
Gayle Graham Yates
Professor Emerita 20th century American women's literature and cultures, American South, American studies, British and American feminism, contemporary American religions, current issues in U.S. culture and society, women's spirituality, women's studies