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Michael Aaron Rockland
Department of American Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
Key Topics:
Popular culture, mobility, American ethnicity, American Jewish literature, issues in literature to film adaption, American foreign policy, individualism and communitarianism in American life, New Jersey and the state's 350th anniversary

Speaker's Biography:
Michael Aaron Rockland, Ph. D., is a professor and founder of the Department of American Studies and a keynoter for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A graduate of Hunter College and University of Minnesota, he joined Rutgers in 1969.

Rockland has lectured abroad in Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, Italy, Norway, Canada, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan, Georgia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Israel, Ecuador, Turkey and Portugal.

He has written 13 books, including Sarmiento’s Travels in the United States in 1947, America in the Fifties and Sixties: Julian Marias on the United States, The American Jewish Experience in Literature, and A Bliss Case. His books include scholarship, memoir, journalism, and fiction. Two of his books appeared on the New York Times' and Washington Post's best books of the year list, while a third was placed on New Jersey State Library's list of ten best books ever written about New Jersey.

Rockland teaches the course "Jerseyana” and has written several books on New Jersey, including Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike, co-authored with Angus Gillespie, The Jews of New Jersey: A Pictorial History, co-authored with Patricia M. Ard; The George Washington Bridge: Poetry in Steel and Snowshoeing Through Sewers.

Other interests include popular culture, mobility, American ethnicity, American Jewish literature, literature to film adaptation, American foreign policy, Individualism and Communitarianism in American life, how the United States is viewed from abroad (his early career was in the United States diplomatic service) and anything to do with New Jersey.

Rockland also has written for such popular magazines as Philadelphia, Adventure Travel, Explorer's Journal, Big, Preservation, and New Jersey Monthly. He has been a regular writer for New Jersey Monthly since the magazine was founded.

He has worked in television production and filmmaking, including a three-year stint as cultural commentator on New Jersey Nightly News, co-writer for the PBS film Three Days on Big City Waters, in which he also appeared.

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