Professor of American History, the Law School, and the College
Affiliated Faculty, Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies
Faculty Affiliate, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture
Faculty Board, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights
AB'87 Yale University
PhD'95 Princeton University
The University of Chicago
Department of History
1126 E. 59th Street, Mailbox 93
Chicago, IL 60637
Social Science Research Building, room 225A – Office
(773) 834-2582 – Office telephone
(773) 702-7550 – Fax
Modern United States social and political history, African American history, the American South, human rights, and legal history
I am a professor in History, the College, and the Law School. My most recent book, White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America's Racist History (Basic Book, 2020), concerns race, sex, and the civil rights movement from emancipation to the present. My next most recent book is Building the American Republic, Volume 2: A Narrative History From 1877 (Chicago, 2018). Both volumes are free in e-book form.
My work has revolved around the relationship between race, sex, and politics in the post-Emancipation South. My first book, Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia (North Carolina, 2000), analyzed the conditions that facilitated and, ultimately, undid interracial democracy in the post–Civil War South. An edited collection with Glenda E. Gilmore and Bryant Simon, Jumpin' Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (Princeton, 2000), continued the theme of African American resistance to white domination from Reconstruction through the 1950s. A third book, The Age of Jim Crow: A Norton Documentary History (Norton, 2008), examines the creation and dissolution of legal segregation in America through primary sources.
My awards include fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Academy in Berlin, the Alphonse Fletcher Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America's Racist History. New York: Basic Book, 2020.
Building the American Republic, Volume 2: A Narrative History from 1877. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2018.
"The Theology of Unionism and Anti-Unionism." Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 14, no. 1 (Mar. 2017): 83–85.
Senior editor for legal history, Oxford Research Encyclopedias: American History, edited by Jon Butler. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013–present.
"Is Marriage a Civil Right? The Politics of Intimacy in the Jim Crow Era." In The Folly of Jim Crow: Rethinking the Segregated South, edited by Stephanie Cole and Natalie J. Ring, 176–208. College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2012.
"The Civil Rights Movement in the South." In Speaking Out With Many Voices: Documenting American Activism in the 1960s and 1970s, edited by Heather Ann Thompson. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentiss Hall, 2008.
"Fighting Hitler and Jim Crow: African Americans and World War II." The Berlin Journal (Fall 2005): 27–30.
"The Theology of Massive Resistance." In Massive Resistance, dited by Clive Webb, 151–80. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
"Sex, Segregation, and the Sacred After Brown." Journal of American History 91, no. 1 (June 2004): 119–44.
"The Congress and White Supremacy, 1860s-1920s." In The American Congress: The Building of Democracy, edited by Julian E. Zelizer, 250–67. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2004.
"The Sexual Politics of Race in WWII America." In Mobilizing the Movement, edited by Kevin Kruse and Stephen Tuck. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Post-Emancipation Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.
"The Limits of Liberalism in the New South: The Politics of Race, Sex, and Patronage in Virginia" and "Introduction." In Jumpin' Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights, edited by Jane Dailey, Glenda Gilmore, and Bryant Simon, 3-6, 88–114. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000.
"Deference and Violence in the Postbellum Urban South: Manners and Massacres in Danville, Virginia." Journal of Southern History 63 (August 1997): 53–90.
Laura Kipnis's Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, Christian Century (Oct. 9, 2017).
Timothy B. Tyson's Blood Done Sign My Name. Chicago Tribune (May 30, 2004).
Steven Hahn's A Nation Under Our Feet. Chicago Tribune (February 22, 2004).
"The Last Time We Fought a Preemptive War in the Middle East." Huffington Post (Dec. 1, 2017).
"Gerrymandering Is a Threat to Our Republic." Huffington Post (Oct. 3, 2017).
"Remembering our KKK Past." Huffington Post (Sept. 12, 2017).
"The Confederate General Who Was Erased from History." Huffington Post (Aug. 21, 2017).
—Discusses the American South's geographic boundaries with Business Insider
—Published Building the American Republic, Volume 2: A Narrative History from 1877
—Discusses Confederate Statues on NPR with James Grossman
—Named an OAH Distinguished Lecturer
—Discusses Presidential Primaries with Robin Young on Public Radio [audio, 9 mins.]
—Delivers Constitution Day Lecture on "Sex, Race, and the 14th Amendment" at Carthage College, Wisconsin [video, 86 mins.]
—"Obama's Omission." Chicago Tribune (July 30, 2008).