Robin Cutler has been a public historian for more than three decades. Between 1979 and 1984, she was co-producer of ROANOAK, an Emmy-nominated miniseries for PBS’ American Playhouse. The series recreated the clash of cultures between Native Americans and Elizabethan explorers in what is now North Carolina. New York Times critic John O’Connor found it “admirably ambitious” and “quietly and consistently compelling.”
As a Program Officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and a Contributing Editor for the American Historical Association’s Perspectives, Robin continued to bring extraordinary stories to a broad audience. While president of a Washington D.C. not-for-profit, Media Resource Associates, Inc. (1989-1999), she joined forces with several Native American tribes to document their histories and cultures. Robin wrote and produced Indian America: A Gift from the Past, an award-winning PBS documentary that explores how archaeology and oral tradition define the Makah Indian Nation. Narrated by Wes Studi, (Dances with Wolves), the film became a classic in its field. MRA also created a collection of oral history resources with the Wampanoag in Aquinnah (Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts), and more than a dozen cultural resource videos with the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana.
Robin’s first book, A Soul on Trial: A Marine Corps Mystery at the Birth of the Twentieth Century ( Rowman & Littlefield) was named a “notable Naval Book of 2007” and featured on the History News Network. In 2012, she published The Laughing Desert, the story of Arizona humorist Dick Wick Hall’s nationally syndicated Salome Sun. The book includes a replica of the 1925-1926 illustrated paper and a Foreword by Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble. Part of an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project, it was featured in the Yuma Sun on November 9, 2012.
Such Mad Fun (2016), Robin’s latest book, explores the impact of popular culture on women’s identity and self-esteem through the story of author and screenwriter Jane Hall. Jane’s unprecedented journey from Salome, Arizona, to Depression-era Manhattan and on to Hollywood during its Golden Age is an unforgettable tale, made even more so because she is the author’s mother. Excerpts from the book have been featured in Vanity Fair and The Daily Beast. Such Mad Fun was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016; it is also the Foreword INDIES book of the year award Gold winner (biography). Press and reviews can be found here.
Robin taught in universities for almost a decade and was a mentor at Hunter College for several years; she is now a scholarship scorer for The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. In addition to reading, writing and working with students, she supports the HSUS, the Sierra Club, PBS and NPR. She has a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University; her memberships include the Author’s Guild, the Organization of American Historians, and Phi Beta Kappa. Today she lives and works in South Florida, with frequent visits to her daughters and their families in California. She is represented by Lindsay Edgecombe.
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*Robin was known professionally as Robin C. Maw until 1994.