Stephen J. Whitfield holds the Max Richter Chair in American Civilization. He holds a bachelor's degree from Tulane University, a master's from Yale University and a doctorate in the history of American civilization from Brandeis. He is currently serving as the program's undergraduate advising head.
Trained as an historian, he first encountered the field of American studies when he had to teach it, beginning in the fall of 1972 at Brandeis. His curricular and research interests are primarily in the intersection of politics and ideas in the 20th century.
Whitfield has twice been awarded Fulbright visiting professorships: first at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1983-84) and then at the Catholic University of Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium (fall semester 1993). He has also taught American studies twice at the Sorbonne (University of Paris IV), in the fall of 1994 and in the fall of 1998.
For a semester in 2004, he became the first Allianz Visiting Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich to offer courses in American Jewish studies. Such opportunities to teach and to live abroad have enhanced Whitfield's desire to place the understanding of the United States within an international perspective.
From the website of the Department of American Studies