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Karen Halttunen

Professor of History

Contact Information
E-mail: halttune@email.usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-1682
Office: SOS 164

 

Education

Ph.D. , Yale University, 1/1979
B.A. History and Religious Studies, Brown University, 1973
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Professor of History, University of Southern California, 2004-  
Professor of History, University of California, Davis, 1991-2004  
Professor of History and American Culture, Northwestern University, 1990-1991   
Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University, 1983-1990  
Assistant Professor of History, Northwestern University, 1979-1983  
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Karen Halttunen is a professor of U.S. cultural and intellectual history. She is the author of "Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870" (1982) and "Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination (1998)." Her current work is on landscape and antiquity in 19th century New England.
 

Research Keywords

U.S. Cultural History, U.S. Intellectual History, 19th Century U.S. History, Early American History
 

Research Specialties

19th Century Cultural and Intellectual History of the US, Early American History.
 

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Wild Apples: Nature and History in Thoreau's New England", Lecture/Seminar, University of Michigan, American Studies and the History Department, Invited, Fall 2009   
"Chocorua's Curse: Indians, Native Place, and the Making of the New England Landscape", Lecture/Seminar, Pomona College, Hart Institute, Invited, Spring 2009   
"Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Detective Fiction", Talk/Oral Presentation, Philadelphia, PA, Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site, Invited, Spring 2009   
"Shaking Hands with the Cave Man: A Comment", Capturing the Moment: Visual Evidence and Eye Witnessing, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, UCLA, USC Visual Studies and UCLA History Department, Invited, Spring 2009   
"A Practiced Eye in the Survey of Places: Natural Histories of the New England Town", Lecture/Seminar, UC Santa Cruz, Institute for Humanities Research, Invited, Spring 2008   
"Extramural Support for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences", Talk/Oral Presentation, UC Santa Cruz, Institute for Humanities Research, Invited, Spring 2008   
 

Publications

Book

Boyer, P. S., Clark, C., Halttunen, K., Kett, J. F., Salisbury, N., Sitkoff, H., Woloch, N. (2010). The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. Wadsworth Cengage.
Halttunen, Karen (Ed.). (2008). A Companion to American Cultural History. Blackwell Publishers.
Halttunen, K. New England Groundwork: Nature, History, and Local Place 1790-1876.
Halttunen, K. (1998). Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the Gothic Imagination. Harvard University Press.
Halttunen, K., Perry, L. (1998). Moral Problems in American Life: New Essays on Cultural History. (Halttunen, Karen, Ed.). Cornell University Press.
Halttunen, K. (1983). Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870. Yale University Press.
 

Book Chapter

Halttunen, K. (2009). Groundwork: American Studies in Place in American Studies Association Presidential Addresses. Peter Lang Publishers.
Halttunen, K. (2009). The Art of Listening. Chicago, IL: The Cultural Turn in US History: Past, Present, Future.
Halttunen, K. (2008). American Tintypes and the Decline of Victorian Middle-Class Gentility. pp. 27-33. New York, NY: American Tintypes.
 

Conference Proceeding

Halttunen, K. (2005). Where did the "Vanishing Indian" Go? Race, Geology, and the Making of Indian Rock. Los Angeles.
Halttunen, K. (2005). Where did the "Vanishing Indian" Go? Race, Geology and the Making of Indian Rock. Corvallis, OR.
Halttunen, K. (2005). Where did the "Vanishing Indian" Go? Race, Geology, and the Making of Indian Rock. Los Angeles, CA.
 

Essay

Halttunen, K. (2008). K12 Outreach or K16 Collaboration?. George Mason University. US Department of Education Clearinghouse for American History Education. Link to Online Article
 

Journal Article

Halttunen, K. (2011). Grounded Histories: Land and Landscape in Early America. William and Mary Quarterly. Vol. 68 (4), pp. 513-532.
Halttunen, K. (2010). Shaking Hands with the Cave Man. Journal of Visual Culture. Vol. 9 (3), pp. 304-306.
Halttunen, K. (2008). The American Historical Association and K-16 Collaboration. Perspectives: the News Magazine of the American Historical Association.
Halttunen, K. (2007). Transnationalism and American Studies in Place. Japanese Journal of American Studies.
Halttunen, K. (2006). Groundwork: American Studies in Place. American Quarterly.
Halttunen, K. (2006). Groundwork: American Studies in Place—Presidential Address to the American Studies Association, November 4, 2005. American Quarterly (March 2006). Vol. 1-15
Halttunen, K. (2004). That Great Natural Curiosity: The Old Man of the Mountain as Lusus Naturae. Common Place. Vol. 4 PubMed Web Address
Halttunen, K. (2004). The Rust of Time, the Patina of Place: Recent Studies in New England Regionalism. New England Quarterly. pp. 122-35.
Halttunen, K. (2002). Self, Subject, and the ‘Barefoot Historian. Journal of American History .. pp. 20-24.
Halttunen, K. (2002). Mountain-Christenings: Landscape and Memory in Edward Hitchcock’s New England. New England Celebrates: Spectacle, Commemoration, and Festivity.. pp. 166-77.
Halttunen, K. (1999). Cultural History and the Challenge of Narrativity. Beyond the Cultural Turn: New Directions in the Study of Society and Culture/University of California Press.. pp. 165-181.
Halttunen, K. (1998). Gothic Mystery and the Birth of the Asylum. Moral Problems in American Life: New Essays on Cultural History./ Cornell University Press.. pp. 40-57.
Halttunen, K. (1996). Divine Providence and Dr. Parkman's Jawbone: The Cultural Construction of Murder as Mystery. Ideas from the National Humanities Center. Vol. 4, pp. 4-21.
Halttunen, K. (1995). Humanitarianism and the Pornography of Pain in Anglo-American Culture. American Historical Review. Vol. 100, pp. 303-334.
Halttunen, K. (1993). Early American Murder Narratives: The Birth of Horror. The Power of Culture: Critical Essays in American History /University of Chicago Press. pp. 67-101.
Halttunen, K. (1992). Domestic Differences: Competing Narratives of Womanhood in the Murder Trial of Lucretia Chapman. The Culture of Sentiment: Race, Gender, and Sentimentality in 19th-Century America / Oxford University Press.. pp. 39-57.
Halttunen, K. (1989). From Parlor to Living Room: Domestic Space and the Culture of Personality. Consuming Visions: Accumulation and Display of Goods in America(W.W.Norton). pp. 157-189.
Halttunen, K. (1988). 'Through the Cracked and Fragmented Self': William James and The Turn of the Screw. American Quarterly. pp. 472-490.
Halttunen, K. (1986). Gothic Imagination and Social Reform: The Haunted Houses of Lyman Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. New Essays on Uncle Tom’s Cabin/Cambridge University Press.. pp. 107-134.
Halttunen, K. (1984). The Domestic Drama of Louisa May Alcott. Feminist Studies. Vol. 10, pp. 233-254.
Halttunen, K. (1984). The Devil's Progress: From Angra Mainyu to Darth Vader. Arts and Sciences. pp. 2-7.
Halttunen, K. (1978). Cotton Mather and the Meaning of Suffering in the Magnalia Christi Americana. Journal of American Studies. pp. 311-329.
 

Regular Column in Journal or Newspaper

Halttunen, K. (2009). Historical Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage: An AHA Miniconference at the 124th Annual Meeting. Perspectives On History.
Halttunen, K. (2007). The Next Generation of History Teachers. Perspectives: the Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association. Vol. 45, pp. 17-18.
 

Honors and Awards

Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, Elected Fellow, Society of American Historians, Columbia University, 2003-  
Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, Elected Member, American Antiquarian Society, 1995-  
William Hewit Distinguished Professor in History, University of Northern Colorado, 2010-2011   
Huntington Library Research Fellowship Recipient, Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2006-2007   
Roland Marchand Memorial Award for Excellence in Service to K12 Teachers, 2003  
Outstanding Mentor Award, Consortium for Women and Research, UC Davis, 2001  
American Antiquarian Society Fellowship Recipient, Andrew Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence, 1999-2000   
Honorable Mention, John Hope Franklin Prize, American Studies Association, 1999  
USC Endowed Professorship, A. Lindsay O'Connor Professor of American Institutions, Colgate University, Fall 1996   
American Antiquarian Society Fellowship Recipient, Peterson Research Fellowship, 6/1995-8/1995  
President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, University of California, 1994-1995   
Residency at the National Humanities Center, Senior Fellowship, 1994-1995   
Huntington Library Research Fellowship Recipient, Mellon Research Fellowship, 6/1994-8/1994  
Distinguished Senior Fellowship, Humanities Institute, UC Davis, 1988-1989   
Lefler Lecturer, Carleton College, 4/1988  
Outstanding Teaching Award, Northwestern University, 1986  
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Recipient, 1983-1984   
 

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, 2007-2009  
 

Committees

Member, Shoah Foundation Institute, Faculty Advisory Board, 2008-2010  
 

Service to the Profession

Committees

Member, National History Center Board, 2008-  
Member, Policy and Practice Roundtable, US Department of Education Clearinghouse for American History Education, George Mason University, 2007-  
Member, Advisory Committee, Andrew Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence Program, American Antiquarian Society, 2006-  
Member, K16 Collaboration Committee, American Studies Association, 2006-  
Chair, Working Group for Historical Perspectives on Same Sex Marriage, 01/01/2009-01/10/2010  
Chair, Working Group for Historical Perspectives on Same Sex Marriage, 01/01/2009-01/10/2010  
Member, Board of Trustees Trust and Development Fund Committee, American Studies Association, 2005-2007  
Member, Advisory Board, California History-Social Science Project, 2006-2007   
 

Conferences Organized

Convener, Omohundro-Huntington Library Workshop on Land and Landscape in Early America, Huntington Library, Spring 2010   
Co-Convener, Ruins and Antiquities in 19th Century America, Huntington Library, Spring 2010   
Program Committee Member, American Historical Association Annual Meeting, 2004-2005   
 

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Advisory Board, Cultural History: Journal of the International Society for Cultural History, 07/2008-  
Managing Board Member, American Quarterly, 2007-2008   
Editorial Board, American Cultural History Series, University of Wisconsin Press, 2002-2005  
Editorial Board Member, Raritan, 2002-2005  
Advisory Editor, American Cultural Studies Series, University of North Carolina Press, 1992-2005  
 

Professional Offices

Council Member, American Historical Association, 2007-2010  
Executive Committee, American Historical Association, 01/2007-12/2009  
Vice-President of the Teaching Division, American Historical Association, 2007-2009  
President, American Studies Association, 2005-2006   
President Elect, American Studies Association, 2004-2005   
 

Other Service to the Profession

Chair, "Slavery in the Old South: a K16 Workshop, American Studies Association Conference, 10/2006  
 
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