US pre-1900, 2014

awhofmann@uchicago.edu


Research Interests

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States; history of the American South; cultural, social, and political history; collective memory; mentalité; race and racism; violence; gender and sexuality; science, medicine, and the body; mass and visual culture; public history

Biography

Alex received his BA in history and political science from the University of Southern California in 2012. He specializes in the history of the American South, examining how the South was less an exception to than a bellwether of national trends. His diverse interests cohere around a central driving force: using an interdisciplinary approach to explain the bizarre, the weird, and the seemingly out-of-place by tracing the conditions of possibility that enable particular thoughts, events, and movements to transpire at specific moments in time. Alex has recently written about postbellum efforts to induce immigration to the American South and the controversies surrounding the corpse of John Wilkes Booth. He is preparing his dissertation proposal, which explores the mentality that allowed lynchings to proliferate within a larger culture of disembodiment after the Civil War.

Publications

[Book Review] Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums by Samuel J. Redman. American Nineteenth Century History 18, no. 2 (2017): 196–98.