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American Studies


Kevin Rozario
Associate Professor and Director of the AMS Program

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Kevin Rozario teaches courses in American popular culture, media studies and cultural theory. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Warwick and a master's degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom. After receiving his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1997, he taught at Oberlin and Wellesley colleges before coming to Smith.

Although trained as a historian, his interdisciplinary interests keep pulling him into such other fields as literary criticism, media studies, philosophy, economics, environmental history, gender studies, politics and cultural theory. He endeavors to incorporate many of these approaches in his writing. Among other works, he is the author of The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America (University of Chicago Press, 2007), which won the 2008 Lois P. Rudnick best book prize awarded by the New England American Studies Association; an article in American Quarterly (2003) on mass culture, sensationalism and the history of American humanitarianism; the lead essay in the book The Resilient City (edited by Larry Vale and Tom Campanella); and an essay "Rising from the Ruins," in the Wall Street Journal (2010).

Rozario is currently writing Whatever Happened to the Underground? The Culture of Capitalism and the Paradoxes of Dissent. He makes occasional ventures into the media, including interviews with NPR, the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education and new media outlets like Alternet. In addition to critiquing culture, he sometimes attempts to produce it: writing, playing guitar and singing for Merchant Bankers—a local band that performs melodic, country-inflected, occasionally dissonant, alternative pop. He also plays guitar in the American Studies band The Distractions.