Rick Halpern sitting in front of a window wearing glasses and a grey sweater.
Centre for the Study of the United States

CSUS Welcomes New Director, Professor Rick Halpern

Dear Centre for the Study of the United States Community,

We are delighted to announce that we have the privilege of welcoming Professor Rick Halpern as the Interim Director of the Centre for the Study of the United States (CSUS) for the period of 1 July 2023, to 30 June 2024. Professor Halpern's acceptance of this role is a testament to his dedication to advancing the field of American Studies and his strong commitment to our institution.

Professor Rick Halpern is currently the Bissell-Heyd Chair of American Studies. Many of you are already familiar with Rick's exceptional contributions to academia and his longstanding connection with CSUS. He previously served as the second director of the Center from 2004 to 2006 and, since then, has held prominent leadership positions as the Principal of New College and the Dean and Vice-Principal of UTSC.

Rick is a distinguished scholar of US social and economic history, with a profound understanding of the intricacies and trajectory of American Studies as an interdisciplinary field of study. His publications include studies of race and US labour, Black workers and civil rights activism, comparative history, urban history, and the construction of South African segregation and apartheid.  His current research and writing focus on two distinct projects: one that explores the visual culture of Fordism across three continents, and another that looks at pawnbroking in working class life.

Beyond his role as Interim Director of CSUS, Professor Halpern will be sharing his expertise by teaching courses on race and urbanism across the Munk School in the coming years. He is deeply committed to supporting the American Studies students and their academic careers, and he looks forward to fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment where students can thrive and excel in their studies at CSUS. With his wealth of experience, Professor Halpern is well-positioned to guide CSUS during this transitional period. His guidance will enable us to build upon our rich legacy of research, teaching, and community engagement.

Please join the Centre in extending a warm welcome to Professor Rick Halpern as the Interim Director of CSUS. We are deeply grateful to him for taking on this role, and we look forward to the contributions he will make during his tenure.

If you have any questions or would like to connect with Professor Halpern, please do not hesitate to reach out to him (rick.halpern@utoronto.ca) or the CSUS Program Coordinator Sophie Bourret-Klein (csus@utoronto.ca).


Warm regards,

The Centre for the Study of the United States