Steering Committee and Faculty

Program Director

Bridget Christine Arce

Associate Professor

(305) 284-5585
B. Christine Arce is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami and Director of the American Studies Program. She served from 2018 to 2022  as Director of Graduate Studies for the Doctorate in Comparative Cultural & Linguistic Studies. Dr. Arce received a doctoral degree from...

Current Steering Committee

Robin Faith Bachin

Assoc. Professor
Assistant Provost for Civic and Community Engagement

(305) 284-1047
Robin F. Bachin is the Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, and Founding Director of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement (CCE) at the University of Miami (UM). She received her B.A. from Brandeis University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, with Highest Honors...

Donette Francis

Assoc. Professor
Director for the Center for Global Black Studies

(305) 284-5608
Donette Francis is director for the Center for Global Black Studies and past director the American Studies Program at the University of Miami. An Associate Professor of English and founding member of the Hemispheric Caribbean Studies Collective, her research and writing investigate place, aesthetics and cultural politics in the African...

Christina Lane


(305) 284-3657

Robyn Walsh

Associate Professor

(305) 284-4733
Robyn Faith Walsh is an Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Miami. She earned her Ph.D. at Brown University in Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean, with a focus on early Christianity, ancient Judaism, and Roman archaeology. Before coming to UM, Professor Walsh taught at Wheaton College (Mass.), The...

Timothy P Watson

Director of Undergraduate Studies

(305) 284-3818
Tim Watson teaches first-year writing about literature and the environment, as well as 19th- to 21st-century literatures in English. He is currently writing Mango: A Florida Cultural History, a trade book about mango trees and the people who grew them in the early twentieth century, under contract with the University Press of Florida. He is the...

Past Steering Committee

Michael T Bernath

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-4554
Michael Bernath specializes in 19th-Century American history with particular emphases on the Civil War Era, the South, and 19th-Century cultural and intellectual history. Born in Maryland, he grew up in rural Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1997 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2005.His first book,...

John R. Funchion

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-5607
Personal Web Page John Funchion’s essays have appeared in Early American Literature, Modern Language Quarterly, Modernist Cultures, and The Henry James Review. He recently completed a series of final revisions on his first book, States of Nostalgia: the Aesthetics of Antagonism in the Nineteenth-Century...

David W. Kling

Cooper Fellow

(305) 284-3704
David Kling has been at the University of Miami since 1986, serving initially in an administrative capacity before joining the Department of Religious Studies in 1993. He is the author of A Field of Divine Wonders: The New Divinity and Village Revivals in Northwestern Connecticut, 1792-1822 (Penn State Press, 1993; Winner of...

Laura Kohn Wood

Dean, School of Education and Human Development

(305) 284-6474
Dr. Kohn-Wood is currently a Professor and Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami (UM). Dr. Kohn-Wood previously served as chair of the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, the founding program director of the Master’s in Community & Social Change program and, with...

Kunal M. Parker

Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Intellectual Life and Dean's Distinguished Scholar

(305) 284-9788
Kunal Parker is a Professor and Dean's Distinguished Scholar with a PhD in History from Princeton University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. from Harvard University. Kunal Parker has recently completed Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015)....

Ashli C White

Assoc. Professor
Chair of History Department

(305) 284-5005
Ashli White earned a BA from the University of Virginia, an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.  She specializes in early American history, with particular attention to the connections between North America and the Atlantic World.  To date, most of her research has...

Graduate Fellows

Carmen Petaccio is a current PhD candidate in English at the University of Miami. He holds a BA in Economics from New York University, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and an MA in English from the University of Miami. His fiction, nonfiction, and criticism have previously appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, Gulf Coast, and The Baffler. He has offered two popular courses in American Studies: “Brand is the Star: American Narratives of Art & Business After the Great Recession” and AMS 101: Your Problematic Fav: American Art in the Age of Cancellation