Prof Charlie McGovern was educated at Swarthmore College and Harvard University. HIs interests include modern American history, 20th century popular culture; popular music; the culture of American capitalism, especially consumerism; formations of American nationalism and transnationalism, citizenship, race and ethnicity; history of American media, oral history, and modern material culture.
He has written Sold American: Consumption, and Citizenship, 1890-1945 (University of North Carolina Press, 2006). He co-edited the collection Getting and Spending: Twentieth Century European and American Consumer Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1998). He is at work now on a book tentatively titled Only in America: Race, Citizenship and Popular Music, 1930-1977. He has written essays on the politics of folk and popular culture, the electric guitar, Woody Guthrie, advertising, and other subjects. Before coming to William and Mary in 2003, he was a curator of American culture at the National Museum of American HIstory, Smithsonian Institution, where he curated or co-curated many exhibits, most notably Rock & Soul: Social Crossroads (2000 - ) and "This is Your Childhood, Charlie Brown": Children and American Culture 1945-1970. He co-edits a new series for Duke University Press, Refiguring American Music