Heidi Kolk

Associate Director, American Culture Studies

Assistant Director, Assessment

Lecturer of American Culture Studies and English Literature


Home Department: American Culture Studies


Ph.D. English and American Literature, Washington University in Saint Louis

Ph.D. Certificate in American Culture Studies, Washington University in Saint Louis

M.A. English and American Literature, Washington University in Saint Louis

B.A. English and Fine Arts, Hope College

A literary historian by training, Heidi Kolk started her career as a student of art and poetry, and has long gravitated to cross-disciplinary research. Her current work focuses on the politics of memory and heritage at sites of cultural self-making – museums, landmarks, national parks, rituals of reenactment, etc. – and she recently taught a course on public memory since the Civil War that involved study of many such sites.

Heidi is currently at work on a book project about a St. Louis house museum, the Campbell House, and its efforts to define itself as a site of family, local and national memory – a story told through the “biographies” of several compelling material objects whose meanings have changed dramatically in the 85 years since they were family possessions. While the project is primarily a work of cultural history, it reflects Heidi’s ongoing interest in both multidisciplinary cultural studies and creative pedagogies (a recent publication in Winterthur Portfolio considers how museums like the Campbell House and especially their material artifacts can stimulate new attention to disciplinary methodologies and truly integrative models of cultural study).

Before joining AMCS, Heidi was director of Writing Courses in the Department of English, and she has played a variety of other administrative roles in the university as well (she is currently involved in assessment and accreditation-related activities and serves on the university’s Academic Integrity Committee).

Recent Work

The Family's Belongings, Campbell House book manuscript in progress.

"The Many-Layered Cultural Lives of Things: Experiments in Multidisciplinary Object Mapping at a Local

House Museum," Winterthur Portfolio (Summer 2013).

Recent AMCS Courses

Topics in Visual, Material, and Digital Cultures: Living in a Material World (L98 3085, Spring 2014)

On Location: Exploring America: The Landscape of Memory in U.S. Culture (L98 3500, Fall 2013)

Research Seminar: The Capstone Project (L98 4011, Fall 2013)

Heidi Kolk

Email: hkolk@wustl.edu

Phone: (314) 935-5001

Office: McMillan 258