American Identities

Iver Bernstein, in Stripes and Scars

Bernstein is professor of the Department of History and Graduate Director of the American Culture Studies Program at Washington University. His research focuses on the United States politcal regime. He holds several degrees, including a PhD from Yale University.


Eula Biss, in Notes from No Man's Land

Eula Biss holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her second book, Notes from No Man's Land, received the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.



Patrick Burke, in Rock and Revolution

Burke received his PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2004, he has been a professor of music at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on such topics as the history of jazz and popular music, music of the African diaspora, and the methods and theories of ethnomusicology.


Adrienne Davis, in Irregular Intimacies

Davis is professor of law at Washington University. She is renowned for her scholarship and teaching on gender and race relations; theories of justice and reparations; feminist legal theory; and law and popular culture. Professor Davis directs the Black Sexual Economies Project at the law school’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital. She also founded and runs the Law & Culture Initiative.


Todd Decker, in Who Should Sing "Ol' Man River?"

Decker received his PhD in historical musicology at the University of Michigan in 2007 and was selected for an Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Fellowship by the American Musicological Society in 2006-07. He joined the faculty of Washington University in 2007, and teaches courses on twentieth-century American popular music, film music, and eighteenth-century European art music.


Clarissa Rile Hayward, in How Americans Make Race

Clarissa Rile Hayward is associate professor of political science at Washington University. Her research focuses on questions central to understanding and evaluating political life. Hayward is the author of De-Facing Power (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and coeditor (with Todd Swanstrom) of Justice and the American Metropolis (University of Minnesota Press, 2011).


William J. Maxwell, in FB Eyes

Maxwell is associate professor of English at Washington University. He teaches courses in twentieth-century American and African-American literatures. His scholarly research, rooted in both modernist and African-American studies, addresses the ties among African-American writing and modern poetics, political theory, and transatlantic culture. 


Angela Miller, in Art and Nationhood

Miller is associate professor of history at Washington University. Miller's teaching and research interests are the cultural history of 19th and 20th century American arts. More specialized areas of research and teaching include 19th and 20th century visual culture; visual constructions of nationhood; the Atlantic world during the period of first European encounters; early American modernism, and the cultural histories of arts between the two world wars.


Sowande' Mustakeem, in Confronting the Middle Passage

Mustakeem is assistant professor of African and African-American studies at Washington University. Her research interests include: Middle passage studies; Gender and slavery in the Americas; Diaspora/black atlantic studies; Medical history; Violence; Maritime history; Sexuality; and Historical memory.



Leigh Erick Schmidt, in Restless Souls

Leigh Eric Schmidt is the Edward C. Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics in 2011. Schmidt earned his undergraduate degree in history and religious studies from the University of California, Riverside, in 1983 and his PhD in religion from Princeton in 1987.