American Studies Names New Director

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 2:00pm

John Pettegrew, Associate Professor, History

Lehigh University American Studies - John Pettegrew

Associate Professor of History, John Pettegrew, has been named the of Director of American Studies Program effective July 1. Pettegrew is a historian of the late-19th and 20th century U.S. thought and culture. He is co-editor of the three-volume work, Public Women, Public Words: A Documentary History of American Feminism; author and editor of A Pragmatist's Progress: Richard Rorty and American Intellectural History; and author of the book, Brutes in Suits: Male Sensibility in America, 1890-1920, an examination of the putatively male instinct of aggressiveness as constructed in modern U.S. social science, law, literature, sports and military cultures. His current research includes the topics of combat in the Iraq War, and the emergence of empathy in 20th-century social thought. 

Professor Pettegrew is also Director of the South Side Initiative (SSI), which brings together Lehigh University faculty, students and staff with the people of Bethlehem in order to share knowledge, foster democracy, and improve the quality of life in our city. SSI rests on the proposition that the teaching and research mission of the university – and the quality of life in Bethlehem – will be enhanced by this collaboration. He is also Co-Chair of Public History Working Group. Pettegrew has been taken with Bethlehem and its history since joining Lehigh's faculty in the last millennium. He's worked as a consultant with Bethlehem's ensemble theater Touchstone Theater on a number of productions. And his interest in public history has led to documentary film making, including the study he produced with his undergraduate students, Work in Progress: Bethlehem Steel during World War II (1998). As Co-Founder/Co-Director of the South Side Initiative, Pettegrew has spearheaded, among other projects, the Southside Community Gardens. He helped found the Lehigh Community Garden in 2010. In 2011 he focused on developing Lehigh's Center for Documentary Film and Digital Media, a program working in close collaboration with Lehigh's Library and Technology Services as well the local television station, PBS-39.

(effective July 1, 2014)