Where am I now?
I tweet @vangosse, if you want to see material from the Postcapitalist Project, www.postcapitalistproject.org and other cool stuff, re Israel/Palestine, El Salvador, US politics. I blog in HuffPo.
I came to Franklin & Marshall in 2001, after a varied career in academia and the nonprofit sector, including teaching at Wellesley College and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and working for national organizations like Peace Action. My teaching and scholarship focuses on several overlapping areas: American political development and the special role that the African American struggle for citizenship has played in our history; American culture and society in the Cold War era and since. I also have a special interest in cultural history, looking at popular music and Hollywood movies.
Originally, my scholarship covered the social movements of the United States after World War II, the so-called New Left. I authored or edited several books on this subject, with a particular focus on the movements "in solidarity" with social change in Latin America, from the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s through the Central American wars of the 1980s. This led me to an interest in the long-term political evolution of American democracy and the question of Black Power--whether or not African Americans would ever be, or could ever be, "first-class citizens." To my surprise, I have found that this question was debated as far back as the 1790s, and that black Americans were always part of that debate. I am now deep into a book project called We Are Americans: The Origins of Black Politics, 1790-1860 (for a detailed academic CV go to http://www.fandm.edu/van-gosse).
I worked in United for Peace and Justice, the main grassroots antiwar coalition, from its founding in fall 2002 through 2008, serving on its elected Steering Committee as the representative of Historians Against the War, a network I helped found at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in January 2003.
From 2004 through the present, I have helped direct our on-campus "F&M Votes" campaign, a joint student/staff/faculty effort which seeks to both register and turn-out our entire student body on Election Day.