Joy S. Kasson


Greenlaw 515
(919) 962-4064

Professor of American Studies and English


My work investigates the intersection of American literature, visual studies, and cultural history. My most recent publication, Buffalo Bill's Wild West: Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History (New York: Hill & Wang, 2000), examines popular culture, its texts and images, at the turn of the twentieth century. It explores issues relating to national memory and the blurring of the boundaries between entertainment and history.

Previously, I have written on nineteenth-century visual culture and issues of family and gender (Marble Queens and Captives: Women in Nineteenth-Century American Sculpture, Yale, 1990) and on the friendships between American painters and writers in the first half of the nineteenth century (Artistic Voyagers: Europe and the American Imagination in the Works of Irving, Allston, Cole, Cooper, and Hawthorne, Greenwood, 1982).

My undergraduate teaching includes courses on American culture in the era of ragtime, introductory courses in American studies, and courses on American art and culture. Graduate courses include studies of sentimental culture, the visual arts in American culture, and American memory. I have also worked as a consultant with secondary schools in the field of American Studies.

Teaching Awards

Thomas Jefferson Award, 2012
Women’s Leadership Council Mentoring Award, 2006
Johnston Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2002
Bowman and Gordon Gray Chair for Distinguished Teaching, 2000-05
Max Chapman Family Fellowship, Institute for Arts and Humanities, 2005
Bowman and Gordon Gray Chair for Distinguished Teaching, 1992-95
Chapman Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1998
Tanner Award for Undergraduate Teaching, 1991
Katherine Kennedy Carmichael Teaching Award, 1985



Hire Date: 1971

Ph. D., Yale University, 1972
B.A., Radcliffe College, 1966

Research Groups and Interests

Group VI - American Literature to 1900