OTHER RESEARCH & Publications

 Co-authored with Kelly King O’Brien, Nan Mullenneaux and Kristen Neuschel, “Reimagining Writing in History Courses,” Journal of American History 107:4 (March 2021): 942-954.

Co-authored with Rachel Riedner, “ ‘They’re Not Alone’: An Oral History of the Pennsylvania Faculty Strike of 2016,” Labor (2020)

Co-authored with Rachel Riedner, “Neoliberal Higher Education: Background of the Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty Strike of 2016,” Academic Labor: Research and Artistry 2 (2018)

“Is It Time for the Kneeling Freedman Statue to Go?” in #Charlottesville: Before and Beyond, ed. Chris Howard-Woods, Colin Laidley, and Maryam Omidi (New York: New School for Social Research, 2018)

 “ ‘Organize the People’: The 1975 City Council Races in Multiracial Chicago,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights 3:2 (Fall/Winter 2017)

12 Years a Slave as a Bridge to Primary Source Research,” Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments1:1 (2017): 29-34

Is It Time for the Kneeling Freedman Statue to Go?” Public Seminar(October 2017)

Where Do We Go From Here? Toward a New Freedom Budget,” co-authored with James Tracy, Rooflines: A Shelterforce Blog(March 2017)

“Rainbow Reformers: Black-Brown Activism and the Election of Harold Washington,” in Civil Rights and Beyond: African American Activism and Latino/a Activism in the Twentieth-Century United States, ed. Brian Behnken (University of Georgia Press, 2016)

“Black, Brown, and Poor: Civil Rights and the Making of the Chicano Movement,” in The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American/Mexican American Race Relations During the Civil Rights Era, ed. Brian Behnken (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)

“King’s Assassination Provided a Window of Opportunity for the Poor People’s Campaign,” in Perspectives on Modern World History: The Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination, ed. Noah Berlatsky (Greenhaven Press, 2011), 111-122

“ ‘The Press Did You In’: The Poor People’s Campaign and the Mass Media,” The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture3:1 (June 2010) — Winning article for the Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Media and Civil Rights Award, 2011



UW 1020: Memorials, Museums & Monuments: Writing History and through Place and Space

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened several years ago on the Mall – the culmination of more than a century of advocacy for such an institution. But while the museum has enjoyed tremendous attention in its opening months, many other museums, memorials, and monuments already here in Washington have commemorated and narrated the American story, or stories, of race for generations. From the African American Civil War memorial to the National Museum of the American Indian, public spaces throughout the city depict the nation’s often tortured relationship with race. Visitors of such spaces generally consider them reliable vehicles for telling that history. But how historically reliable are such public history accounts? What sorts of pressures do these institutions face in relating their interpretations? And, perhaps most importantly for a writing course, are there explicit rhetorical features that distinguish academic history and argument from popular ones found in museums, memorials, and monuments? In this class, students will analyze these carefully crafted, sometimes controversial places and spaces around Washington and how they narrate American history, particularly its racial history – including these sites’ physical locations, visual symbolism, and written interpretations. In the process, you will be asked to write your own argument-driven narratives, sharpening not just your ability to convey your thoughts on paper but also bolstering an array of academic skills, such as critical reading, argument development, substantive revision, and primary source analysis.


HIST 3301W: Freedom Struggles in Black and Brown

The modern African American freedom struggle remains one of the most recognizable and cited historical periods in the American consciousness. The images of mass marches, national leaders, and hope-inspiring speeches are conjured up annually when the nation memorializes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month. But what do we really know about what has been called the most influential U.S. social movement in the twentieth century? Who and what animated the movement? Where did it occur and when did it happen? And what is its relationship to the other social movements of the time, particularly the Chicano movement, as well as women’s liberation, anti-war, student, even conservative activism?

Using a variety of texts – from secondary and primary written sources to music, film, and oral history – this Writing in the Disciplines (WID) course will explore how African Americans, Mexican Americans, and other Latinos, building upon centuries of struggle, launched mass movements for social, political, and economic changes in the decades after World War II. Concentrating on the period between 1945 and the present, the course will examine the evolution and character of these movements; the complicated dynamics of organizing for social change; some of the individuals, groups and organizations that made up these movements; and the complex negotiation between local, grassroots organizers and more nationally-oriented concerns and leaders. The course will also examine the role of whites, both as allies and foes to these movements’ objectives; the relationship of Black and Brown Power to civil rights; and the broader context from which these movements emerged.

As a WID course, this class will pay special attention to writing as both an individual and collaborative process – including peer review – and as a sophisticated engagement with the work of others. Students will write in several forms common in the discipline of history, including a book review, short response papers, an annotated bibliography, and a more in-depth, primary source-based research paper using documents found in local archives.


Other courses taught:

  • Narratives of Struggle: Constructing Histories of 20th-Century Social Justice Movements
  • Writing Historical Film: Interpreting America’s Past Through Movies
  • Power and Poverty: Writing Oral Histories About the Poor
  • Coming to America: Writing Historical Narratives of U.S. Immigration
  • The Sixties


Pedagogy-related publications:

  • Co-authored with Kelly King O’Brien, Nan Mullenneaux and Kristen Neuschel, “Reimagining Writing in History Courses,” Journal of American History 107:4 (March 2021): 942-954.
  • 12 Years a Slave as a Bridge to Primary Source Research,” Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments1:1 (2017): 29-34.