George Blaustein is an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Previously he was a Lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. He received his doctorate from Harvard's History of American Civilization Program, and his BA in history and English from the University of Pennsylvania.
His dissertation, “To the Heart of Europe: Americanism, the Salzburg Seminar, and Cultural Diplomacy” (2010), studied the tandem “golden ages” of American cultural diplomacy and American Studies scholarship from the 1930s through the 1950s, with particular attention to the social and cultural history of the American occupations of Austria and Germany, to the diffusion of American literature abroad, and to European commentary on the United States. Its chapters deal with, among other things, the semantic history of the concept of “national character,” from its background in anthropology and social psychology to its wartime apogee as an instrument of “democratic morale”; the dilemmas of democratization in the face of the Nazi past; the surprising history of American Studies in Europe; and the role of literature in the American Kulturoffensive.
His interests include 19th- and 20th-century U.S. cultural, religious and intellectual history, American literature of all periods, race and ethnicity, cultural diplomacy, and foreign perspectives on the United States.