Professor Emeritus
CB #3195
jfkasson@email.unc.edu

AB Harvard University, 1966
PhD Yale University, 1971


Research Interests

John Kasson is a cultural historian, a field that encompasses a rich variety of materials, both “high” and “low,” as well as disciplines ranging from literature and the visual arts to psychology and anthropology. His research has been persistently concerned with the rich variety of American cultural expression in a dynamic society. Several books have emerged from this work. Professor Kasson’s forthcoming book continues the investigations of the origins of modern commercial culture and its attendant new structures of feeling. Forthcoming by W. W. Norton in 2014, The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America, tells the story of Shirley Temple’s career as America’s most adored—and commercialized—child during a pivotal decade in American history.


Some Notable Publications

  • The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America (W. W. Norton, forthcoming April 2014)
  • Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man: The White Male Body and the Challenge of Modernity in America (Hill & Wang, 2001)
  • Rudeness and Civility: Manners in Nineteenth-Century Urban America (Hill & Wang, 1990)
  • Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century (Hill & Wang, 1978)
  • Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America, 1776–1900 (Viking Press, 1976; Hill & Wang, 1999)