B.A. University of Notre Dame, 1970;
M.A. University of Iowa, 1976;
Ph.D. University of Iowa, 1977
Eric Sandeen has directed the Program since 1982. Many of his publications have focused on photography and American culture, for example: Picturing an Exhibition: The Family of Man and 1950s America and several recent articles on contemporary American photographers. He also studies American cultural landscapes, some of them urban and some in the broader expanses of the West. Sandeen also works on public sector American Studies projects, the most recent of which is a survey of the contemporary landscape surrounding the Heart Mountain, Wyoming site where Japanese and Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II.
Sandeen is committed to an international view of American culture. He has held Fulbright awards in Germany, Denmark, Estonia, and Ireland and has established several international student exchanges. He received the Mary C. Turpie award from the American Studies Association in 2002, in recognition of his contributions to the Association over the years and is presently a member of the International Committee of the ASA. He also continues to play in the city summer softball league.