Robert St. George

Folklore and folklife, early America
Associate Professor of History
College Hall 311D
Office Hours: 
W 10-12
Teaching Schedule: 
TR 1:30-3; W 2-5
stgeorge@sas.upenn.edu
215 898.2877

Robert St. George is Associate Professor of History. His research explores ethnographic method, folklife studies, material culture, vernacular landscapes, and heritage productions in North America, England, Ireland, and Iceland. He teaches undergraduate courses on such topics as early American cultural history, witchcraft in the early modern world, public culture, American vernacular architecture, performing history, and American consumer culture. He is a graduate of Hamilton College (A.B., 1976), the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware (M.A., 1978), and the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., 1980, Ph.D., 1982).

He joined the faculty at Penn in 1989. Prior to joining the Department of History in 1999, he was a faculty member in the Department of Folklore & Folklife, where he was undergraduate chair (1990-1993) and graduate chair (1994-1999). He is currently a member of the graduate programs in Folklore and in Historic Preservation, and is Director of the Program in Public Culture in Penn's Master of Liberal Arts curriculum.

Among his publications are The Wrought Covenant: Source Materials for the Study of Craftsmen and Community in Southeastern New England, 1620-1700 (1979), Material Life in America, 1600-1850 (1988),Conversing By Signs: Poetics of Implication in Colonial New England Culture (1998), and Possible Pasts: Becoming Colonial in Early America (2000).

A past winner of the university's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1999), he has held fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society (1980), the National Endowment for the Humanities (1988, 1997), the Gilder-Lerhman Institute for American History (2000), and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation ( 2000-2001). He is currently completing a book on the  material cultures and social changes of the long eighteenth century.

Courses Taught: 
  • HIST 020 History of the U.S. to 1865
  • HIST 093 Performing History
  • HIST 203 Early American Cultural History
  • HIST 323 Material Life in America
  • HIST 327 American Cultural History to 1865
  • HIST 442 American Revolution
  • HIST 505 Public Culture
  • HIST 510 American Vernacular Architecture
  • HIST 585 Ethnography and Memory
  • HIST 118 Witchcraft and Possession