Brown-Peterson | Curriculum Vitae




University of Minnesota, PhD, American Studies, April, 2013. Dissertation: Anarchy, Individualism, and American Literature.

Pennsylvania State University, MA, American Studies, 2006. Thesis: What Cold War Canon?: Anarchy, Socialism, and the American Renaissance in an Age of Anti-individualism.

San Jose State University, BA, English, 2001.

San Jose State University, BA, Comparative Religious Studies, 2001.

Research Interests                                                                                                                                  

My highly interdisciplinary research focuses on the politics of individualism in American thought, particularly on how immigrants to the United States in the late ninetieth and early twentieth centuries used ideas about American individualism rhetorically to “naturalize” their politics and explain their experiences in the American civic sphere. Engaging with topics and methods across the disciplines, my research draws from literature, history, sociology, political science, media studies, and popular cultural studies to demonstrate how early American writing about liberty impacted twentieth century social movements and their popular representations. Topics and periods examined include Gilded Age transnational migration, media representations of working class immigrants and social movements, American cultural identity formation, class conflict in twentieth century America, influences of American literature and thought on public discourse, and interreligious syncretism in American cultural life. Examining these topics, my research also discusses the historical formation of interdisciplinary studies in American colleges and universities beginning in the post-World War II period, showing how interdisciplinarity in American Studies (among the first interdisciplinary endeavors in the United States) served to question dominant academic paradigms that otherwise reinforced departmental, as well as national and cultural, boundaries and fundamentally changed the college atmosphere in the United States by the late 1960s.


2013     “The Buddhist Anarchism of Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen,” in Encountering Buddhism in Twentieth-Century British and American Literature (London: Bloomsbury, 2013).

2010   “The Troubled Ocean: Charity, Sentiment, and Thoreau’s Global Consciousness in Cape Cod,” Concord Saunterer (Spring 2010).

2009   “The Zen of Anarchy: Japanese Nationalism and the Anarchist Roots of the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance,” Religion and American Culture 19.2 (Fall 2009)

2008   “Canons of Dissent: Anarchy, the ‘Cold War’ Canon, and the Anti-Statist Left in the United States,” Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 8.1 (Jan. 2008). <>

2007     “The Disobedience of John William Ward: Myth, Symbol, and Political Praxis in the Vietnam Era,” American Studies 47.2 (Summer, 2006).

2006     “Voodoo and Santeria” and “Orthodox Christianity.” Entries in Encyclopedia of American Folklife, ed. Simon Bronner (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2006).

Conferences & Presentations                                                                                                              

2010     “Anarchism and American Traditions: Emma Goldman’s Emerson and Thoreau.” American Studies Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

2008   “The Troubled Ocean: Social Justice, Sentimental Charity, and the Ethics of Globalism in Cape Cod,” Modern Language Association, San Francisco, CA.

“Interdisciplinary American Studies and the Cold War: A New, Archival History from the Record of the Library of Congress,” Best Student Paper, American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM.

Teaching Experience                                                                                                                            

Visiting Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, St. Olaf College. Developed a course, “Varieties of Ecological Experience,” with an emphasis on Environmental Communication and inter-faith understandings of ecological ethics. Spring, 2014.

Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN. Literature 349: “American Nature Writers,” Adjunct. Fall 2011; Summer, 2012; Spring, 2013.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. First Year Writing, Fall and Spring 2008; American Studies 3252W, Popular Culture and Politics 1900-1940: Summer and Fall 2009, Spring and Summer 2010, Summer and Fall 2011, Spring 2013; American Studies 3253W, Popular Culture and Politics 1940 to the Present: Fall 2012.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Writing Studies 1301: First Year Writing. Fall 2008 and Spring 2009.

Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA. American Studies 223: American Thought and Culture. Adjunct, Spring 2006.

Related Experience                                                                                                                                        

Student Assistant, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. Graded and TAd courses in Death, Dying, and Religion and Introduction to Comparative Religious Studies for life-long mentor Kenneth Paul Kramer. (August 24th 2000-August 30 2001)

Composition Tutor, Writing Center, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA. Tutored English 1A and 1B students, primarily ELL, in a diverse educational environment that included traditional and non-traditional students; motivated these students to become independent writers by providing them with draft-editing strategies and related feedback; taught small groups of three to six students; kept student progress files. January 1997June 1999.

Fellowships and Awards                                                                                                                          

2010     Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

2008     Gene Wise – Warren Susman Prize for the Best Student Paper at the Annual Convention of the American Studies Association.

2006     Samuel and Sylvia Kaplan Social Justice Fellowship, UMN.

2006     Sue Samuelson Award for Academic Excellence in American Studies, PSU.