Shirley Samuels

Professor of English and American Studies at Cornell University

Shirley Samuels is Professor of English and American Studies at Cornell University. Among other books, she is the author of Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War and Romances of the Republic: Women, the Family, and Violence in the Literature of the Early American Nation. Samuels edited The Culture of Sentiment: Race, Gender, and Sentimentality in Nineteenth Century America and, more recently, the Companion to Abraham Lincoln.

Sandra M. Gustafson

Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Notre Dame

Sandra M. Gustafson, Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, is author and editor of several books, including Eloquence is Power: Oratory and Performance in Early America and Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic, as well as numerous academic articles on American literature, politics, and culture. She edits Volume A of the Norton Anthology of American Literature and is past editor of the MLA-affiliated journal Early American Literature. A native of western New York and a Cornell alumna, she is completing a book on "Politics and the American Novel," which begins with a discussion of James Fenimore Cooper's The Deerslayer.

Alyssa Mt Pleasant

Assistant Professor of Transnational Studies at the University at Buffalo

Alyssa Mt Pleasant specializes in Native American and Indigenous Studies, with a focus on Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) history during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her broader teaching and research interests include early American history, American Indian social and intellectual histories; settler colonialism, especially as it relates to legal and educational systems; conceptualizations of space, place, and land tenure in Indian Country; and public history. Her work has or will be published in American Indian Quarterly and several collections of scholarly work. She is currently revising a manuscript titled, "After the Whirlwind: Haudenosaunee People and the Emergence of U.S. Settler-colonialism, 1780-1825."

Jason Frank

Professor of Government at Cornell University

Jason Frank is the Robert J. Katz Chair of Government and his primary field is political theory. Jason’s research and teaching interests include democratic theory, American political thought, modern political theory, politics and literature, and political aesthetics. He received his MA and PhD in political science from the Johns Hopkins University, and a BA in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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View of the Erie Canal by John William Hill (1829)