Susan Kollin

Susan Kollin

Director

Susan Kollin is Professor of English and a CLS Distinguished Professor at Montana State University. She teaches courses in the literature of the American West, transnational American Studies, and Environmental Humanities. She recently edited A History of Western American Literature (Cambridge University Press) and is the author of Captivating Westerns: The Middle East in the American West (University of Nebraska Press). Her other books include Nature's State: Imagining Alaska as the Last Frontier (University of North Carolina Press) and the edited volume, Postwestern Cultures: Literature, Theory, Space (University of Nebraska Press). She was a Fulbright Scholar at the American University in Cairo and is a former President of the Western Literature Association. 

 

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy

Co-Director

Mary Murphy is Distinguished Professor of Letters and Science at Montana State University Bozeman, where she teaches courses in the history of the North American West,  gender, and the history of food.  Among her books are Hope in Hard Times: New Deal Photographs of Montana, 1936-1942 and Mining Cultures: Men, Women, and Leisure in Butte, 1914-41.  She is currently working on two book projects, “Culinary Diplomacy: Gender, Food, and Politics on the Northern Borderlands,” and with co-authors, Molly Kruckenberg, Zoe Ann Stoltz, and Jan Zauha, “Cooking Up the Past: A Culinary History of Montana.”

She has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Bienecke Library, the Cody Institute for Western American Studies, the Montana Historical Society, and the Ucross Foundation.  In 2013 she received the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award.

               

Robert Rydell

Robert Rydell

Co-Director
Robert Rydell has been at MSU since he started his career in 1980, with occasional visiting posts at the Universities of Amsterdam and Michigan.  Since arriving at MSU, he has put the history of world’s fairs at the center of his research, straying occasionally into the study of Wild West shows, and universities.  Since receiving the Alan Nevins Prize for his doctoral dissertation, he has written and co-authored multiple books about world’s fairs, including an edition of the pamphlet produced by Frederick Douglass and Ida Wells about the absence of representations of African Americans at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. He served as guest curator for Designing Tomorrow, an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. about world’s fairs and the history of modern design. He has held the John Adams Chair in American Studies at the University of Amsterdam, served as a senior fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, and has been involved with documentary and museum-based projects about the significance of universal expositions. In 2016, Dr. Rydell was the honored recipient of the Mary Turpie Prize from the American Studies Association. With the help of several capable research assistants, he is currently researching and writing a history of MSU that covers its last twenty-five years and continues the story of this university’s longer history that he co-authored with his colleagues Pierce Mullen and Jeffrey Safford in 1993.  

Staff

Kori Robbins

Allison Milodragovich

Program  Coordinator

Western landscapes and cultures pulled Allison west from Virginia after high school. She immediately fell in love with the mountains and people and decided to stay. She graduated from Montana State University with a BS in Land Rehabilitation in 2010. For five years, Allison worked alongside agricultural producers in northcentral Montana. She returned to school in hopes of learning how to increase the interaction of people, their environment, and their food. She completed her Master’s degree in Food Systems in May of 2017. The pull of the academic atmosphere and love of the West led her to the Center for Western Lands and Peoples. When Allison is not at the Center for Western Lands and Peoples, she is coordinating the American Studies program. In her spare time, you can find her in a local mountain range or wrangling her twin sons.