Skip to content
Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Penny Von Eschen

Penny Von Eschen is the Department of History's L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities. Since receiving her PhD in history from Columbia University in 1994, Penny has written numerous essays and books, including Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (Harvard University Press, 2004).  She is now finishing Cold War Nostalgia: The Wages of Memory and Global Disorder since 1989 (also to be published by Harvard University Press), about the politicized memory of the Cold War.

Penny's most recent research and teaching focuses on the intersections, parallels, and contrasts between U.S. and Soviet cultural and political history from the late nineteenth century to the present. She has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio, and she co-curated the photography exhibition “Jam Sessions: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World,” which opened in April 2008 and toured globally.