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Charles McGovern

Director of American Studies; Associate Professor, American Studies and History

Office: Samuel E. Jones House, 219
Phone: 757-221-1296
Email: [[cfmcgo]]
Regional Areas of Research: United States
Thematic Areas of Research: Cultural/Intellectual, Economic History and Capitalism, Popular Culture and Media


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 & 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