Casey N. Blake

Interests and Research

Casey Nelson Blake, the Mendelson Family Professor of American Studies, works on modern U.S. intellectual and cultural history, with an emphasis on the relationship between artistic modernism and cultural criticism. His publications include Beloved Community:  The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford; The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State; and The Armory Show at 100: Modernism and Revolution—the last a catalogue for a major exhibition on the centennial of the Armory Show at the New-York Historical Society for which he served as senior historian. He also writes regularly for CommonwealDissentRaritan, and other journals of opinion. He is currently at work on At the Center: American Thought and Culture, 1948-63, co-authored with Howard Brick and Daniel Borus, as well as an intellectual biography of the writer and critic Paul Goodman.

Professor Blake came to Columbia in 1999 as founding director of the Center for American Studies after directing American Studies programs at Indiana University and Washington University, and teaching at Reed College. While at Columbia, Professor Blake has overseen the development of a civic engagement initiative within the center, which has as its centerpiece the “Freedom and Citizenship” partnership program with the Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center


Ph.D., University of Rochester 1987
M.A.,  University of Rochester 1981 
B.A., Wesleyan University 1978


  • Fulbright Senior Lectureship in U.S. Intellectual History, University of Rome, 2006
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2001-2002
  • Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowship, CASVA, National Gallery of Art, 2001-2002
  • OAH-Japan Short-term Exchange, Tsuda College, June-July 1999
  • Short-term Visiting Fellowship, National Museum of American Art, Summer 1996
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Fellowship, 1994-1995
  • Best "Electronic Product—Humanities" for online electronic seminar, "U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History, 1890-1945," by the Association of American Publishers, 1993
  • "Outstanding Academic Book" by Choice for The Armory Show at 100 and Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford