Education Notes: Early U.S. History and Culture Experts

Americans annually celebrate the Fourth of July, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with fireworks, picnics and family gatherings. Scholars at The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss their research on early American history, literature and culture, as well as perspectives on contemporary Independence Day traditions.

The American Presidency
H.W. Brands
Professor, Department of History

Brands is the author of more than 20 books on American history and culture, including "Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times," "Woodrow Wilson," "The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin" and "TR: The Last Romantic." His latest book, "Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt," is forthcoming in November 2008.

Bruce Buchanan
Professor, Department of Government

Buchanan studies presidential and American politics, political institutions and political behavior. His books include "Electing a President," "Renewing Presidential Politics," "The State of the Presidency," "Presidential Campaign Quality" and "The Policy Partnership."

American Literature and Identity
Evan Carton
Professor, Department of English; Director, Humanities Institute

Carton's publications include "Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America," "The Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 8: Poetry and Criticism" and "The Rhetoric of American Romance: Dialectic and Identity in Emerson, Dickinson, Poe, and Hawthorne."

American Popular Culture
Janet Davis
Chair, Department of American Studies

Davis teaches courses on American popular culture, social and cultural history, including social movements and working class culture. She is the author of "The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top." Learn more in the feature story "Under the Big Top."

Intellectual History of Early America
Carolyn Eastman
Assistant Professor, Department of History

Eastman studies the intellectual history of early America, focusing on gender and political culture. She is the author of the forthcoming book "A Nation of Speechifiers: Print, Oratory, and the Making of a Gendered American Public, 1780-1830," which examines the formation of American identity after the revolution.

American Food Culture and Traditions
Elizabeth Engelhardt
Associate Professor, Department of American Studies

Engelhardt studies American food culture and is a contributor to, which documents the history, tradition and culture of barbecue in the southern United States. She is the author of "The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature" and contributed to the anthology "Cooking Lessons: The Politics of Gender and Food." Learn more in the feature story "You Are What You Eat."

Rhetoric in Early America
Mark Longaker
Assistant Professor, Department of Rhetoric and Writing

Longaker studies early American rhetorical theory, education and public address. He is the author of "Rhetoric and the Republic: Politics, Civic Discourse, and Education in Early America."

American Religious History
Howard Miller
Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, Department of History

Miller studies the history of religion in America. He teaches courses such as "Religion in U.S. Popular Culture" and "Jesus in American Culture." He is the author of "The Revolutionary College: American Presbyterian Higher Education, 1707-1837."

Colonial British America and Slavery
Robert Olwell
Associate Professor, Department of History

Olwell studies the 18th century British-Atlantic world and the early American South. He is the author of "Masters, Slaves, and Subjects: The Culture of Power in The South Carolina Low Country, 1740-1790." He co-edited "Cultures and Identities in Colonial British America" with Alan Tully, chairman of the History Department.

Alan Tully
Chairman, Department of History

Tully is a scholar of early American history. He is the author of "Forming American Politics: Ideals, Interests and Institutions in Colonial New York and Pennsylvania." He co-edited "Cultures and Identities in Colonial British America" with Robert Olwell.

U.S. Political History
David Oshinsky
Professor, Department of History

Oshinsky specializes in 20th century U.S. political and cultural history. His books include "Polio: An American Story," which earned the Pulitzer Prize, "A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy," "Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice" and "American Passages: A History of the United States."

Political Philosophy of the Founding Fathers
Lorraine Pangle
Associate Professor, Department of Government

Pangle studies early modern and American political philosophy, and problems of social justice and moral responsibility. She is the author of "The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders" and "The Political Philosophy of Benjamin Franklin."

Gender and the U.S. Constitution
Gretchen Ritter
Professor, Department of Government; Director, Center for Women's and Gender Studies

Ritter studies American politics and gender from a historical perspective. She is the author of "The Constitution as Social Design: Gender and Civic Membership in the American Constitutional Order." Learn more in the feature story "Citizen Jane."

Early African-American History
James Sidbury
Professor, Department of History

Sidbury teaches courses on early African-American history. He is the author of "Becoming African in America: Race and Nation in the Early Black Atlantic," which examines early African-American culture in the United States, and "Ploughshares Into Swords: Race, Rebellion and Identity in Gabriel's Virginia, 1730-1810."

Juliet Walker
Professor, Department of History

Walker researches African-American business and intellectual history and is the author of "The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship" and "Free Frank: A Black Pioneer on the Antebellum Frontier." To learn more about her research, read the feature "Black Business is Her Business."

History of the Book in America
Michael Winship
Professor, Department of English

Winship studies the history of the book in America and teaches courses such as "The American Bestseller." He is the co-editor of "A History of the Book in America, Vol. 3: The Industrial Book, 1840-1880," which focuses on a period that dramatically changed the publishing industry and how Americans read books. Learn more in the feature story "Books that Changed America."