Skip to main content

Skip page navigation

Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Paul A. Anderson

Picture of Paul A. Anderson

Associate Professor
Department of American Studies

Office: Ballantine Hall 578
Phone: (812) 856-4150
E-mail: paa2 at


Ph.D.,Department of History, Cornell University, 1997
M.A., Department of History, Cornell University, 1993
B.A. (summa cum laude) University of Pittsburgh, Honors College (Honors Thesis in Philosophy), Majors: Philosophy and History, 1989


The cultural study of 20th century U.S. music, 20th century U.S. intellectual and cultural history, 20th century African-American intellectual and cultural history, American Studies methodologies, past and present, critical theory (past and present) and affect theory, U.S. arts and popular culture (esp. 1920-1980).

Courses Recently Taught

Indiana University, Bloomington

AMST-A 100 What is America?
AMST-A 202 Popular Culture and Critical Theory

University of Michigan
  • American Culture / DAAS / History
  • "Feeling Theory: Reading the Affective Turn"
  • American Culture Methodologies: Modernity and DIfference
  • Music and Cultural Theory

Recent Publications

Deep River


Deep River: Music and Memory in Harlem Renaissance Thought (Duke University Press, 2001).

The Bill Evans Reader (under contract, Oxford University Press).

Four Ballads: Modern Jazz in a Sentimental Mood (book manuscript in preparation).


"Neo-Muzak: Affective Self-Management in the Age of Pandora Radio," (in preparation).

"'My Foolish Heart': Bill Evans and the Public Life of Feelings," (forthcoming, Jazz Perspectives, 2014).

Sara Konrath and Paul Anderson, "A century of self-esteem." In Handbook on Psychology of Self-Esteem, Stefan De Wals & Katerina Meszaros (Eds.), Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2012.

Sara Konrath, Becky Lau, and Paul Anderson. "A century of self-esteem in the news." (essay manuscript in progress).

Anderson, Paul and Sara Konrath“‘Why Should We Care?’—What to Do About Declining Student Empathy,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (, July 31, 2011).

“The Game is the Game: Tautology and Allegory in The Wire,” Criticism 52. 3-4 (Summer-Fall 2010), pp. 373-398. (Reprinted in anthology, Urban Procedural: The Wire and the Neoliberal City, ed. Liam Kennedy and Stephen Shapiro, University of Michigan Press, 2012.)

Selected Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Fellowship, Institute of the Humanities, University of Michigan, 2007-08.
  • Fulbright Scholar Award, International Exchange for Scholars, 2007-08 (award declined).