Jenny Thompson has loved New York City in all its many facets all her life, and she particularly loves using an American Studies approach to study the great city. She earned a BA from San Francisco State University, an MA in American Studies from the George Washington University, and a PhD in American Studies from the University of Maryland. At San Francisco State, Jenny was introduced to American Studies by Professor Rodger Birt, whose "Biography of a City: New York" course remains an influential experience. She was born in New York City, grew up in California, and now lives in Evanston, IL. She is the Director of Education at the Evanston History Center.
Rodger Birt is Professor Emeritus of Humanities and American Studies at San Francisco State University. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. Rodger Birt lives in Oakland, California where he is an active member of the Bay Area still photography community. He is currently writing an "American Studies" memoir of his boyhood growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana entitled "Waking Up in Naptown."