Research and Teaching

Chandos M. Brown

Chandos M. Brown received his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University (1987). He specializes in American intellectual and cultural history, literature, history of science, and the history of medicine from the seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries. He is author of Benjamin Silliman: A Life in the Young Republic (Princeton, 1989), which won the Forum on the History of Science in America's prize for "best" book in 1990, and of articles on science and gender in the early republic. He is currently at work on a collection of essays that examine the construction of social identity in antebellum America within the transforming contexts of law, medicine and science.

Jamel K. Donnor

Jamel K. Donnor earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A leading scholar on race and inequality in education, Dr. Donnor’s research explores how race and race-neutral policies disparately impact African American students’ collective access to quality schools throughout the nation’s K-16 education system. Dr. Donnor is currently conducting two major research projects exploring the legacy of slavery on the learning opportunities of African American students in the 21stcentury. Professor Donnor teaches courses on Critical Race Theory and Education, Intercollegiate Athletics and the American University, and the Socio-Historical Foundations of Education in the United States. He is the co-editor of the following books: Scandals in College Sports: Legal, Ethical, and Policy Case Studies, Critical Race Theory in Education: All God's Children Got a Song (2nd, ed,), The Charter School Solution: Distinguishing Fact From Rhetoric, The Resegregation of Schools: Race and Education in the Twenty-First Century, and The Education of Black Males in a 'Post-Racial' World, all are on Routledge Press.

Grey Gundaker

Grey Gundaker received an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from Yale University. She is the author of Signs of Diaspora / Diaspora of Signs: Literacy, Creolization, and Vernacular Practice in African America, and (with Judith McWillie) No Space Hidden: The Spirit of African American Yards (forthcoming); and editor of Keep Your Head to the Sky: Interpreting African American Home Ground. Her teaching interests include material culture, religion, arts, and education in the African diaspora; West and Central African arts and religions; the Applachian south; as well asl theory and method in cultural studies and anthropology. Her research investigates literacy and self-publication in African America; and sacred landscape in African and the diaspora.

Jenna Hunnef

Jenna Hunnef, Visiting Assistant Professor of English & American Studies, received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2016 where she previously taught courses in American literature and culture. Professor Hunnef's work has appeared in such venues as Western American Literature, Studies in American Indian Literature, and Canadian Review of American Studies. She offers courses on Indigenous literature; law, literature, and culture; and popular imaginings of the American West. Her research interests include the literature and politics of the Indian Territory, critical legal studies, and Indigenous literary activism.

Arthur Knight

Arthur Knight's research focuses on American film and media history and specifically on African Americans in that history. He is currently at work on essays on the many "performance documentaries" Spike Lee has directed and on Netflix's algorithmic ideas and understandings of and interventions in "black film" and its audience(s). His ongoing book project is tentatively titled "Black Star: The African American 'Biopic' and the Uses of Fame." Knight currently offers no graduate courses (past offerings have included "American Performance Cultures" and "History/Film") but often works with students on film, media, and cultural studies related comprehensive exam fields.

Michelle A. Lelièvre

Michelle A. Lelièvre, Associate Professor of Anthropology and American StudiesPhD, Anthropology, University of Chicago (2012); MPhil, Archaeology, University of Cambridge (2000). She specializes in mobility; indigenous sovereignty; political subjectivity; socio-cultural theory; space, place and landscape; heritage and museum studies; history of anthropology and archaeology; decolonizing pedagogies and collaborative research methods; oral history; and Northeastern North America. She is an anthropologist studying the colonial and post-colonial experiences of indigenous peoples in northeastern North America, particularly the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. I use an intra-disciplinary approach to examine how mobility has mediated socio-political relationships between indigenous and settler populations. Her first book, Unsettling Mobility: Mediating Mi'kmaw Sovereignty in Post-Contact Nova Scotia (2017), examines how mobility has complicated, disrupted, and—at times—supported a contradiction at the core of the settler colonial project; namely, that the attempts of settler institutions to assimilate indigenous peoples have served to mark these peoples as “Other” than the settler majority.

Charlie McGovern

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   

Leisa Meyer

Leisa Meyer is the William and Mary Community Studies Professor of History, American Studies, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Director of American Studies at the College of William and Mary. Her research and teaching interests include gender and sexuality studies, LGBTQ history/studies, US women’s histories, American popular culture, and cultural history. She has been the sexuality studies and history editor for the journal Feminist Studies since 2004, is on the editorial board for the Journal of Women’s History, and was the associate editor for the Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History and Culture. She is the author of Creating G.I. Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women's Army Corps During World War II, the co-editor of The Legacies of Matthew Shepard: Twenty Years Later, and she is currently overseeing and participating in an oral and digital history project that she developed: Documenting the LGBTIQ Past in Virginia.

Francesca Sawaya

Francesca Sawaya is a Professor of English and American Studies.  She received a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine; an M.A. from the University of York; and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University .  Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, race, and economics in US literature and culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Her first book, Modern Women, Modern Work:  Domesticity, Professionalism, and American Literature (University of Pennsylvania, 2004) focuses on the ways women writers and intellectuals combined domestic and professional discourses to create new kinds of work for themselves.  Her second book The Difficult Art of Giving:  Patronage, Philanthropy, and the American Literary Market (University of Pennsylvania, 2014) rethinks the standard economic histories of the modern literary marketplace to demonstrate the ongoing importance of patronage and the new significance of corporate-based philanthropy for cultural production at the turn of the twentieth century.  She has received support for her research from the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Robert Scholnick

Robert Scholnick specializes in American literature, literature and science, and history of the book. He received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University. He recently edited American Literature and Science (1992). The founding president of the Research Society for American Periodicals, he has published widely on nineteenth-century American periodicals. He is currently investigating the reception of evolutionary theory in Britain and America is the decades before Darwin. He is the founding director of William & Mary's American Studies program.

Simon Stow

Simon Stow is a Professor of Government and American Studies. He works at the intersection of political theory, American politics, literature, and popular culture, paying particular attention to issues of race in the United States. He is the author of American Mourning: Tragedy, Democracy, Resilience (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Republic of Readers? The Literary Turn in Political Thought and Analysis (SUNY, 2007), and co-editor, with Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh, of A Political Companion to John Steinbeck (University Press of Kentucky, 2013). He has published articles in the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Political ThoughtPerspectives on PoliticsTheory & EventThe Journal of Moral Philosophy,Philosophy & Literature, and Post-45, and elsewhere, as well as chapters in several edited volumes including Between Terror and Freedom: Philosophy and Fiction Speak of Modernity (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), Histories of Postmodernism (Routledge, 2007), Literature After 9/11 (Routledge, 2008), and A Political Companion to Philip Roth (University Press of Kentucky, 2017). 

Alan Wallach

Alan Wallach received his Ph.D. in art history in 1973 from Columbia University. His research interests include nineteenth-and twentiety-century American art, the history of art institutionsin the United States, and the historiography of the history of American art. An early advocate of the "new art history" and critical museum studies, he is the author of "Thomas Cole and the Aristocracy" (Arts Magazine 1981; republished in Reading American Art, Yale, 1998), and co-author with Carol Duncan of "The Museum of Modern Art as Late Capitalist Ritual" (Marxist Perspectives 1978) and "The Universal Survey Museum" (Art History 1980). In 1994, he was co-curator with William Truettner of Thomas Cole: Landscape into History which was seen at the National Museum of American Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Brooklyn Museum. He was also co-editor with Truettner of the accompanying catalogue (Yale University Press and the National Museum of American Art) and author of the catalogue's principal essay, "Thomas Cole and the Course of American Empire." In 1998 his book Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the Art Museum in the United States was published by University of Massachusetts Press. Since then he has written essays on a range of topics including the Norman Rockwell Museum, the art historian Oliver Larkin, and Thomas Cole's River in the Catskills as antipastoral (Art Bulletin, June 2002). He is currently working on a book on landscapee and vision in the Early Republic. From 1996 to 2000, Wallach was an elected member of the board of directors of the College Art Association. He was a member of the American Quarterly's Board of Managing Editors from 2000-2003.

M. Lynn Weiss

M. Lynn Weiss, Associate Professor of English and American Literature, received her doctorate from Brandeis University in 1992. Weiss is the author of Gertrude Stein, Richard Wright: The Poetics and Politics of Modernism (1998), has written introductions to, The Jew of Seville and The Fortune Teller by Victor Séjour, (2000) and wrote the introduction and edited, Creole Echoes: The Francophone Poetry of Nineteenth-Century Louisiana(2003). Offers courses on African America literature, American ethnic literature. Interests include race, ethnicity, transnationalism, multilingualism.