New American Studies Program Coordinator Announced

Brian Roberts appointed new program coordinator for American Studies.

picture_108PROVO, Utah (Aug. 22, 2016)—Brian Roberts was recently appointed as the new American Studies Program Coordinator. Roberts, an associate professor of English specializing in American literature, will replace Kristin L. Matthews as her five-year tenure as coordinator comes to an end.

“American Studies is pleased to announce that Brian Roberts will be taking over as Program Coordinator starting Fall 2016,” Matthews said. “Professor Roberts’ experience teaching the program’s introductory course, his involvement in the American Studies Advisory Council and his reputation in the field of American studies at large make him an excellent candidate to take the program forward.”

Roberts looks forward to continuing the work that Matthews contributed to the program during her time as coordinator. “I’m excited and humbled to be following in the footsteps of Kristin Matthews, whose energetic leadership in the American Studies Program over the past five years has been a true inspiration,” Roberts said.  “She’s done so much to further the program’s work in encouraging our American studies students to reach their potential in the classroom and outside, from making major curriculum changes to making internships a visible priority.”

Roberts added, “I’m looking forward to collaborating with great colleagues and friends on the American Studies Advisory Council to build on Dr. Matthews’ legacy.”

In addition to the broader field of American studies, Roberts’ scholarship and teaching focus on African American and black diasporan literature and culture, literature and diplomacy, archipelagic studies and modernism/modernity.

Roberts was the American Studies Professor of the Year in 2012 and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Sebelas Maret University in Indonesia in 2015. In 2017, Duke University Press will publish Archipelagic American Studies, an essay collection that he has edited and introduced with Michelle Stephens of Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He is also currently involved with the college’s Humanities Center as a research fellow.

“American studies at BYU is a dynamic, multi-disciplinary program that has a storied legacy,” said Dean Scott Miller. “Professor Matthews has been a very effective leader and has brought great strength to the program. Professor Roberts adds new expertise and is well poised to continue to guide the program forward.”

Roberts received his PhD from the University of Virginia in 2008.