Susan Smulyan is Professor, Department of American Studies, at Brown University and recently stepped down as the Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage. She is the author of Selling Radio: The Commercialization of American Broadcasting and Popular Ideologies: Mass Culture at Mid-Century, and co-editor (with Kathy Franz, NMAH, Smithsonian) of Major Problems in American Popular Culture. She regularly teaches courses in public humanities, including the Methods in Public Humanities class, as well as courses in American cultural history, American advertising, and the public sphere. As Director of the Center for Public Humanities, she ran an MA Program in Public Humanities and collaborated with a range of community partners on projects including Rhode Tour, a set of stories about Rhode Island. She is a past board chair of New Urban Arts, a nationally-recognized community arts studio for high school students and emerging artists in Providence, Rhode Island.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Professor Smulyan is a cultural historian interested in the United States in the 20th century , particularly media and advertising. She got interested in public humanities work through an NSF funded curriculum project early in her career, by service as a pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellow at the National Museum of American History, and by volunteering at New Urban Arts, an after-school arts mentoring program in Providence, RI (which is the object of her essay in Doing Public Humanities).