Amy A. Kass was a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute. Now Senior Lecturer Emerita, for thirty four years she was an award-winning teacher of classic texts in the College of the University of Chicago, where she was a Senior Fellow in the John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy.
During the winters of 2008 and 2009, Kass led two seminar series at Hudson, with seasoned scholars and young recruits to Washington (working on the Hill, in Think Tanks, and various other non-profits). The subjects explored were American identity, American character, and American citizenship. Proceeding on the assumptions that American identity is a matter of the heart, as well as the mind, and that American character and engaged citizenship requires more than adherence to our lofty principles and knowledge of our history and institutions, the seminars explored its subjects, using imaginative literature, supplemented by speeches and songs. This project eventuated in the recently published volume, edited by Kass, along with Leon R. Kass and Diana Schaub, entitled, What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (ISI Books: Spring 2011). Since its publication, Kass has been developing a robust web site — www.whatsoproudlywehail.org — which features a ten part e-learning curriculum, entitled, “The Meaning of America,” each part of which is based on a selection from the book, and includes video-taped discussions with the editors and invited guests, as well as study guides for teachers. The web site also features nine e-antologies, collectively entitled, “The America Calendar”; each e-anthology is devoted to one of our national holidays. Also, in the works, is a series of model discussions with high school students, a collection of “Songs for Free Men and Women,” and a collection of poems entitled, “The American Muse.”
Kass has also directed nationwide seminars on civic leadership, first under the auspices of the “Toqueville Seminars on Civic Leadership” at the University of Chicago and then under the “Project on Civic Reflection” at Valparaiso University. At Hudson Institute in 2005 and 2006, she conducted the “Dialogues on Civic Philanthropy,” a seminar series seeking to promote and sustain thoughtful discourse on basic issues in philanthropy with leaders in the field.
Kass served on the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as on the Council of Scholars of the American Academy of Liberal Education, and as a consultant on American history and civic education at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She also has served as a consultant on civic education for the Corporation for National and Community Service and the USA Freedom Corps, and is currently an advisor for Civic Enterprises, LLC, the National Conference on Citizenship, and serves on the board of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Kass earned her B.A. at the University of Chicago, Master’s at Brandeis University, and her Doctorate at The Johns Hopkins University.
Kass is the author of numerous articles and the editor of four books:
Giving Well, Doing Good: Readings for Thoughtful Philanthropists(January 2008) key texts that provide guidance to current and prospective donors, trustees and professional staff of foundations, and leaders of nonprofit organizations; The Perfect Gift: The Philanthropic Imagination in Poetry and Prose (2002) aims to help givers, large and small, think about the meanings and purposes of giving;
Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (with Leon R. Kass, 2000), a companion for young people seeking help in finding a worthy life partner; and American Lives: Cultural Differences, Individual Distinction, an anthology of American biographies.
Kass’ latest book, co-edited with Leon Kass and Diana Schaub, is What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song.