Core Faculty

Maura Jane Farrelly
Maura Jane Farrelly
Associate Professor and Chair, American Studies
Undergraduate Advising Head, American Studies
Brown Social Science Center, 303
Office Hours: Wednesday, 2-5 p.m.

Maura Jane Farrelly, a scholar of colonial and early-American history, is the author of "Anti-Catholicism in America, 1620-1860" (Cambridge University Press). Her current research project, "Compliments of Hamilton and Sargent: A Story of Mystery and Tragedy and the Closing of the American Frontier," uses the lives of three people in Wyoming at the turn of the 20th century to explore the right to be forgotten.

Leigh Bloch
Leigh Bloch
Lecturer in American Studies

Leigh Bloch is an anthropologist trained in sociocultural and archaeological subfields. Their book project focuses on the unfinished histories of mound landscapes: earthwork constructions built by diverse Native American peoples across eastern North America over the past 5,500 years.

Daniel Breen
Daniel Breen
Senior Lecturer in Legal Studies
781-736-3024 Brown Social Science Center, 324
Office Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Daniel Breen is an expert on American law and the history of the early Republic. He teaches courses in American studies and legal studies, including The Legal Boundaries of Public and Private Life; Louis Brandeis: Law, Business and Politics; and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: Constitutional Debates.

Thomas Doherty
Thomas Doherty
Professor of American Studies
781-736-3032 Brown Social Science Center, 315
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 4-6 p.m. and by appointment

Thomas Doherty's special interest is American film and culture. As a Fulbright scholar, he has lectured in New Zealand, South Korea, Albania, and the Netherlands. His most recent book is  Little Lindy Is Kidnapped: How the Media Covered the Crime of the Century (Columbia University Press,  2019).

Brian Donahue
Brian Donahue
Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies (on the Jack Meyerhoff Fund)
781-736-3091 Rabb Graduate Center, 348

Brian Donahue, an expert on the farm and forest history of New England, co-authored a study that found that New England is losing 65 acres of forest per day to land conversion. The study, called "Wildlands and Woodlands: Farmlands and Communities," urges the region to rethink its land use practices, protect more forest and farmland and increase local food and wood production.

Richard Gaskins
Richard Gaskins
Joseph M. Proskauer Professor of Law and Social Welfare
Director, Legal Studies Program
781-736-3028 Brown Social Science Center, 313

Richard Gaskins is a scholar of comparative law and social welfare, global justice and human rights, economic philosophies, and legal argumentation. His research interests connect the fields of torts, social welfare and environmental regulation, along with comparative studies in Iceland and New Zealand.

Jonathan Krasner
Jonathan Krasner
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Associate Professor of Jewish Education Research
781-736-2372 Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex, 123
Office Hours: Monday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and by appointment

Jonathan Krasner's research interests include American Jewish history, the history of American Jewish education, and Jewish gender and sexuality studies. His current projects include a volume on Hebrew at Jewish residential summer camps (with Sarah Benor and Sharon Avni), which is forthcoming in 2020, and a history of Jewish day schools in North America.

Eileen McNamara
Eileen McNamara
Professor of the Practice of Journalism
Director, Journalism Program
781-736-3049 Brown Social Science Center, 321
Office Hours: By appointment

Eileen McNamara is the author of “Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World” (Simon & Schuster, 2018). A former reporter and columnist for The Boston Globe, she won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary and contributed to the coverage of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston. Her writing continues to appear there and on Cognoscenti, the commentary pages of WBUR.org, Boston's National Public Radio station.

Paula Jo Musegades
Paula Jo Musegades
Assistant Professor of American Studies
Assistant Professor of Music
781-736-3337 Slosberg Music Center, 224
Office Hours: Via Zoom: Monday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Paula Musegades is a musicologist and specializes in American film music and popular music. She recently published Aaron Copland’s Hollywood Film Scores (University of Rochester Press, 2020). Her courses explore a wide range of American music topics, including Psalms to Hip Hop, Protest Through Song, Music in Film, and History of Rock.

Jerome Tharaud
Jerome Tharaud
Assistant Professor of English
781-736-2140 Rabb 138

Jerome Tharaud teaches courses on American literature and culture from the colonial period through the contemporary period. His current book project, "Apocalyptic Geographies," explores how 19th-century Americans used the landscape to help understand spiritual life, from the state of their souls to the fate of the globe. He is beginning work on a second research project that examines the modern American West in order to think about how human cultures adapt to scarcity.

Affiliated Faculty

john burt
John Burt
Paul E. Prosswimmer Professor of American Literature
781-736-2158 Rabb 141
james mandrell
James Mandrell
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Comparative Literature and Film Studies
Director, University Writing Program
781-736-3215 Rabb Graduate Center 130
Office Hours: By appointment


Sascha Cohen
Brown Social Science Center 326
Office Hours: By appointment

Sascha Cohen is a historian of 20th century U.S. social movements and popular culture, currently completing her dissertation, "The Comedy of the Culture Wars: American Humor, Feminism and Gay Liberation, 1969-1989." Her writing can be found in TIME, Smithsonian, The Washington Post, NPR, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. She also teaches for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis.

photo fo Mark Feeney
Mark Feeney
Lecturer in American Studies
Brown Social Science Center, 312
photo of Karen McGinity
Keren McGinity
Lecturer in American Studies
Brown Social Science Center, 326

Faculty Emeriti

Joyce Antler
Samuel J. Lane Professor Emerita of American Jewish History and Culture
Professor Emerita of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Jacob Cohen
Professor Emeritus of American Studies
Laura J. Goldin
Professor of the Practice Emerita of Environmental Studies
Stephen J. Whitfield
Max Richter Professor Emeritus of American Civilization
781-736-3035 Brown Social Science Center, 314