Professor of Politics and Government Lane Crothers has long been interested in how American popular culture influences the culture of other nations. During the 2015-2016 academic year, he will have the opportunity to study how the Finns interpret American culture as he serves as the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki.
As the chair, Crothers will hold a joint teaching and research appointment in the University of Helsinki’s Department of World Cultures North American Studies program. He will teach classes on globalization and American popular culture, and on post-9/11 U.S. politics and culture. The Fulbright will also allow him to expand his research on those topics.
“The Bicentennial Chair at the University of Helsinki is a great fit with my areas of research,” said Crothers. “Helsinki is a cosmopolitan city and English is widely spoken. As a result, American movies, music and other cultural influences are prevalent. I’m curious to study how American culture really plays in Finland.”
How American culture is viewed by an egalitarian Finnish society is of particular interest to Crothers. “I want to examine the cultural tensions that exist,” he said. “What is attractive about American culture and what about it causes concerns for people?”
Crothers’ other teaching and research areas include political culture, American government, social politics and an examination of right-wing social movements. He is the author of Globalization and American Popular Culture and Rage on the Right: The American Militia Movement from Ruby Ridge to Homeland Security.
The Fulbright Bicentennial Chair is awarded to a senior scholar with a significant publication and teaching record. The grant is funded by the University of Helsinki, the Fulbright Center and the Finnish Fulbright Commission. The U.S. program partner is the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).