Kathryn Cramer Brownell

Kathryn Cramer Brownell

Associate Professor // History

Affiliated Faculty // SIS // American Studies

Dr. Brownell received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Boston University. Her research and teaching focus on the relationships between media, politics, and popular culture, with an emphasis on the American presidency.

Office Information

Office: UNIV 022
Office Phone: (765) 496-2478
Office Fax: (765) 496-1755
Office Hours: Spring 2019: W 1:00-3:00
E-mail: brownell@purdue.edu


HIST 152: U.S. History since 1877
HIST 302: U.S. Media, Politics, and Popular Culture
HIST 468: Recent American History
HIST 485: The American Presidency


U.S. History; 20th Century U.S. Political History, the American Presidency, and the Media

Her new book, Showbiz Politics: Hollywood in American Political Life, (University of North Carolina Press, 2014) explores the institutionalization of Hollywood in American politics.


This book traces the key personal relationships, institutions, and government policies that established the foundation for a celebrity political culture and made entertainment a central feature of American politics.

Her research builds on the increasingly interdisciplinary focus of a resurgent political history field. She is particularly interested in using this social and cultural turn in American political history to generate new discussions of the American presidency, political parties, and the policy-making process. Most recently she has published, “The Making of the Celebrity Presidency,” in the new book Recapturing the Oval Office: New Historical Approaches to the American Presidency, edited by Brain Balogh and Bruce Schulman (Cornell University Press, 2015).


She is currently working on a political history of cable television from the Nixon administration through the Clinton years.

For more information on her research and teaching initiatives, visit her website: www.kathryncramerbrownell.com


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