American Studies
Brown University
Nicholson House
Box 1892
71 George Street
Providence, RI 02912


Ph.D., Rutgers University, in United States History, 1999
B.A., Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, with High Honors in History, 1993


2022 – Present: L. Herbert Ballou University Professor of Africana Studies and American Studies, Brown University

2012 – 2022: Professor, Africana Studies and American Studies, Brown University

2011 – 2012: James H. Rudy Professor, American Studies and History, Indiana University

2010 – 2011: Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University

2005 – 2010: Associate Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University

2003 – 2005: Assistant Professor, African American and African Diaspora
Studies, Indiana University

2000 – 2003: Assistant Professor, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Washington State University

1999 – 2000: Lecturer, Department of History, St. John’s University


Roger Casement: A Biography (under contract with W.W. Norton)

Faking It, Cross-Dressing, Passing and the Making of Race, Class, and Gender in American History (under contract with UNC Press) 

Oxford Handbook on the History of Race (under contract; sole editor)

Single-authored books

Skinfolk: A Memoir (Liveright, 2023)

Josephine Baker and the Rainbow Tribe (Harvard, 2014)

Seeing Race in Modern America (University of North Carolina Press, 2013)

American Mediterranean: Southern Slaveholders in the Age of Emancipation (Harvard, 2008) 

The Color of Race in America, 1900-1940 (Harvard, 2001)

Co-authored and co-edited books

Hotel Life, written with Caroline Levander (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)

Race, Nation, and Empire in American History, co-edited with James T. Campbell and Robert Lee (University of North Carolina Press, 2007)

Book chapters

“The Other Global South,” in Neither the Time nor the Place: the New Nineteenth Century Studies, edited by Susan Gillman and Chris Castiglia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022), 129-246

“Racial Fakery and the Next Postracial: Reconciliation in the Age of Dolezal,” in The Conditions of Racial Reconciliation, eds., Charles Ogletree and Austin Sarat (New York: New York University Press, 2017), 25-48

“Tropics of Josephine: Space, Time, and Hybrid Movements,” in Archipelagic American Studies, edited by Michelle Stephens and Brian Roberts (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017), 341-355

“Plantation,” in Critical Terms for Southern Studies, edited by Jennifer Rae Greeson and Scott Romine (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016), 22-29

“Ricky Bobby’s William Faulkner: Talladega Nights and The Transnational South,” in Fifty Years After Faulkner: Faulkner And Yoknapatawpha, 2012, edited by Jay Watson and Ann J. Abadie (Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2016), 154-167

“The Banana Skirt,” in Making the Familiar Strange: Transnational Readings of Iconic American Texts, co-edited by Brooke Blower and Mark Bradley (Ithaca, NY: Cornell, 2015), 59-69

“Gulf Society,” in John T. Matthews, William Faulkner In Context (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 35-45

“Ghosts of the American Century: The Intellectual, Programmatic and Institutional Challenges for Transnational/Hemispheric American Studies,” written with Deborah Cohn, in Teaching and Studying the Americas: Cultural Influences from Colonialism to the Present, co-edited by Caroline Levander, Anthony Pinn, Alex Byrd, and Michael Emerson (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010), 243-261

“The Status of African Americans, 1900-1950,” in John T. Matthews, ed., A Companion to the Modern American Novel, 1900-1950 (London: Blackwell Publishers, 2009), 31-55

“An American Mediterranean: Haiti, Cuba, and the Antebellum South,” in Hemispheric American Studies, eds. Robert Levine and Caroline Levander (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2008), 96-115

“South,” in Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler, eds., Keywords for American Cultural Studies (New York: New York University Press, 2007), 230-233

“Jean Toomer,” in Gene Andrew Jarrett, ed., African American Literature Beyond Race: An Alternative Reader (New York: New York University Press, 2006), 143-146

“‘Absolute Whiteness’: Mudsills and Menaces in the World of Madison Grant,” in Fear Itself: Enemies Real and Imagined in American Culture, ed. Nancy L. Schultz (Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1998), 149-166

Refereed journal articles

“White Supremacy, American Style,” Litteraria Pragensia 2021 (31) 61: 43-59

“Comment: The Future of Transnational History,” for a forum on “Transnational Lives in the Twentieth Century,” in The American Historical Review 118 (February 2013): 130-139

“Refugee Planters: Henry Watkins Allen and the Hemispheric South,” American Literary History 23.4 (Winter 2011): 1-27

“Josephine Baker’s Colonial Pastiche,” Black Camera 1.2 (2010): 25-37

“Josephine Baker’s “Rainbow Tribe”: Radical Motherhood in the South of France,” Journal of Women’s History 21.4 (2009): 38-58. Reprinted in: Diasporic Performer and Dissident Diva: The Josephine Baker Critical Reader, co-editors, Mae G. Henderson and Charlene Regester (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2016).

“‘I Went to the West Indies’: Race, Place, and the Antebellum South,” American Literary History 18.3 (Fall 2006): 446-467

“Atlantic & Pacific Crossings: Race, Empire, and “The Labor Problem” in the Late Nineteenth Century,” co-authored With Christine Skwiot, Radical History Review 91 (Winter 2005): 40-61

“After Slavery: Asian Labor, Immigration, and Emancipation in the United States and Cuba, 1840-1880,” Journal of World History 14.2 (June 2003): 209-241

“The New Race-Consciousness: Race, Nation, and Empire in American Culture, 1910-1930,” Journal of World History 10.2 (September 1999): 307-352

Indiana Magazine of History, 105:2 (June 2009), special Issue: “Thomas Hart Benton’s Murals at 75,” co-edited and with an Introduction co-authored with Kathryn Lofton

Long-form essays and reviews

“Skin,” MQR (April 2021)

“Race Wars,” Reviews in American History 47 (2019): 452-457

“Afterlife,” Iowa Review (Spring 2016): 144-155

“Slavery and Capitalism: A Review,” Journal of Southern History 81.2 (May 2015): 405-420

“Jean Toomer and the History of Passing,” Reviews in American History 41.1 (March 2013): 113-121

“The Importance of Place in Post-Everything American Studies,” American Quarterly 61.4 (December 2009): 931-941

“A Note on The Word ‘White’,” American Quarterly 56.2 (June 2004): 439-447

Public writing

“The Confederate Flag as a Symbol of White Supremacy – and How Black Americans Have Defied It,” Public Seminar, February 11, 2021

“Americans’ faith in civilized debate is fueling white supremacy,” Quartz, October 3, 2017

“Donald Trump’s new immigration bill is his latest effort to reverse the arc of racial justice,” Quartz, August 3, 2017

“The American Midwest’s struggle to fight white nationalism exposes the myth of the blue-red divide,” Quartz, February 21, 2017

“Blue States Must Get Even Bluer,” New Republic, January 3, 2017

“I’m on the Professor Watchlist,” Quartz, December 21, 2016

“On Safety and Safe Spaces,” Inside Higher Education, August 29, 2016

“The Racial Politics of Track and Field,” New Republic, August 11, 2016

“The Irish Rebellion That Resonated in Harlem,” New Republic, March 25, 2016

“Frederick Douglass’s Faith in Photography,” in New Republic, November 2, 2015

“Jack Reacher Embodies the American View of Justice: White, Male, and Lawless,” New Republic, September 11, 2015

“What is David Brooks’s Purpose?” New Republic, May 7, 2015

“Advice for New Chairs,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 23, 2015

“What Today’s Civil Rights Protesters Could Learn From Josephine Baker’s Iconoclasm,” New Republic, January 19, 2015

“Just Because No One Died in the NAACP Bombing Doesn’t Mean The Media Should Ignore It,” New Republic, January 8, 2015

“The NYPD’s Freakout Isn’t Just About Race. It’s About Inequality, Too,” New Republic, December 30, 2014.

“Police Cameras Won’t Cure Our National Disease,” New Republic, December 3, 2014

“Why Darren Wilson is Driving You Mad,” The Guardian, November 30, 2014

“Why We Need an Open Curriculum,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July, 21 2014

“Life on the #GraftonLine,” Inside Higher Education, February 8, 2014

“The Real Stakes for Higher Education,” Inside Higher Education, July 23, 2013

“The Humanities Are More Important,” Inside Higher Education, June 30, 2012

Brief reviews

Jacqueline Jones, A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America, American Historical Review (2014): 1634-1636

George Bornstein, The Colors of Zion: Blacks, Jews, and Irish, from 1845 to 1945, American Jewish History, 97.3 (July 2013): 317-319

Julia Stern, Mary Chesnut’s Civil War Epic, in The Journal of The Civil War Era, 1.4 (December 2011): 563-565

Anne Anlin Cheng, Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface, in Black Camera, 4.1 (Winter 2012): 252-254

Claire Corbould, Becoming African-Americans: Black Public Life in Harlem, 1919-1939, in American Historical Review 116.3 (2011): 828

Gretchen Murphy, Shadowing the White Man’s Burden: U.S. Imperialism and The Problem Of The Color Line, in Journal Of American History 98.1 (June 2011): 219-220

“Paul Revere in the Tropics? The New Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston,” Journal of American History 98.1 (June 2011): 134-138

Chad Heap, Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940, in Journal of Social History 44.3 (Spring 2011): 946-948

Daniel J. Walkowitz and Lisa Maya Knauer, eds., Contested Histories in Public Space: Memory, Race, and Nation, in Museum Anthropology Review 5.1-2 (2011): 67-68

Paul Outka, Race and Nature: From Trancendentalism to the Harlem Renaissance, in the Journal of American Ethnic History 30.3 (Spring 2011): 93-94

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese, Slavery in White and Black: Class and Race in the Southern Slaveholders’ New World Order, in Slavery & Abolition 31.4 (December 2010): 551-552

Ellen Herman, Kinship by Design: A History of Adoption in the Modern United States, in American Historical Review 114.5 (December 2009)

Gerald Horne, The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in The United States, in American Historical Review 113.4 (October 2008)

Eric Rauchway, Murdering Mckinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt’s America, in American Historical Review 110.5 (December 2005)

Lisa Lindquist Dorr, White Women, Rape, & The Power of Race in Virginia, 1900-1960Journal of American History 91.4 (March 2005)

Douglas Hurt, Ed., African-American Life in The Rural South, 1900-1950, in Georgia Historical Quarterly 88.2 (Summer 2004)

Vron Ware and Les Back, Out of Whiteness: Color, Politics, and CultureJournal of American History 90.2 (September 2003)

Rachel Buff, Immigration and The Political Economy of HomeWadabagai 4.2 (Summer/Fall 2001)

Invited lectures

“The Modern Hotel as Dreamscape,” Edward Hopper: Hotels and Other Spaces, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, 2019.

“White Supremacy, American Style: A National and Global History,” Charles University,  Prague, Czech Republic, 2019.

“The Bones of Roger Casement,” Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, 2019.

“Understanding America in the Age of Trump,” Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island, 2019.

“Commitments: Race and Solidarity, Memory and the Troubles,” at “50 Years Since 68: The Global and the Local,” Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 2018.

“Things Falling Apart: Race and Memories of the Irish and Harlem Renaissances,” University of Manchester, Manchester, England, 2018

“Quicklime: Roger Casement’s Queer Infamy,” Queens University, Ontario, Canada, 2018

“Fakes and Frauds in American History,” National Press Club, Washington D.C., 2017.

“Art, Race, and the Age of Autocracy,” Ford Foundation Forum, New York, NY, 2016

Panelist, “Civil Rights in the Age of Obama,” at “Race and Justice in the Age of Obama,” Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2016

“Racial Passing and Reconciliation,” Amherst College, Amherst, MA, 2016

“The Ghost of Roger Casement in Harlem,” at “An Evening of Irish History in New York,” American Irish Historical Society, New York, NY, 2016

Panelist, the 2016 Essay in Public conference: “The Way We Work Now,” Providence, RI, 2016

“‘Yes, I am Black’: Rachel Dolezal and Racial Fakery in Late Capitalism,” Endeavors Colloquium, American Studies, Yale University, 2016

“In-between and In-motion: Dreamers, Dancers, and Hustlers on the World Stage,” invited address at “The Individual in Global History,” Rutgers University, 2015

“Fakes, Con-Men, Hustlers, and the American Century,” keynote address at the annual meeting of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association, Melbourne, Australia, 2015

“From the Local to the Global: Transnational Lives and the Work of Celebrity,” keynote address, “Place in American Studies” symposium, Center for Transnational American Studies, University of Copenhagen, 2015

“Homeland Security, the Neighborhood Watch, and the Work of Racial Sightlines,” Center for Diaspora and Transnational Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, CA, 2013

“Icons of the Americas,” Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago, IL, 2012

“Ricky Bobby’s William Faulkner: Talladega Nights and Cultural Critique,” keynote address at the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MI, 2012

“Writing/Researching/Thinking Transnationally,” Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 2011

“Looking for Josephine,” Women’s History Month Lecture Series, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN, 2011

“Mother of The World,” Department of History, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX, 2010

“Refugee Planters,” The South and the World in the Civil War Era, Rice University, Houston, TX, 2009

“Atlantic And Pacific Crossings,” with Christine Skwiot, Connecting Atlantic, Indian Ocean, China Seas, And Pacific Migrations, 1839s to 1930s, German Historical Institute, Washington D.C., 2007

“American Mediterranean: Southern Slaveholders in the Age of Emancipation,” Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2007

“From the South of France to the Global South: The Meaning of Josephine Baker’s Argentinean Idyll,” Porter L. Fortune, Jr., Speaker Series on the Global South, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, 2007

“The Return of ‘The Folk’ in African American Art,” IU Art Museum, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2006

Papers read

Chair and Comment, “Ambiguous Performance: Staging Race, Gender, and Nation,” American  Studies Association, Honolulu, HI, 2019.

Chair and Comment, “Working with Unconventional Archives,” annual meeting of the  Organization of American Historians,” Philadelphia, PA 2019.

Chair and Comment, “Undoing the Sightlines of Home,” American Studies Association, 2016

Plenary panelist, “Framing Southern History,” annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA 2014

Roundtable Panelist, “Revising and Developing American Studies Curricula/Programs in the Twenty First Century,” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, San Juan, PR, 2012

Panelist, “The U.S. South in A Global Context,” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, San Juan, PR, 2012

Paper, “The Other Global South,” Annual Meeting of the Southern Historical Association, Mobile, Alabama, 2012

Roundtable Panelist, “Seeing Blackness Across Time,” Annual Meeting of the Western Association of Women Historians, Berkeley, CA, 2012

Comment, “Racial Storyscapes in a Global Setting,” Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, 2012

Paper, “Americanidad And Monte Pueblo,” Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association, Seattle, WA, 2012

Paper, “The Child Named Marianne: National Symbolism, Transnational Adoption, and the Multiracial Family in Josephine Baker’s Dordogne,” Biennial Society for the History of Childhood and Youth, New York, NY, 2011

Chair, “Race, Sexuality, Gender and the Body in Early-Twentieth Century American Culture,” the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Amherst, MA, 2011

Paper, “Class Passing and Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Globalization, Marxism And Cultural Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2011

Chair, “Making and Mixing Race in the Early 20th Century,” Annual Conference of the Organization of American Historians, Houston, TX, 2011

Roundtable Panelist, “The Space-Time of The Americas,” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, San Antonio, TX, 2010

Invited Participant, Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas, Tepoztlán, Mexico, 2010. (Theme: “Space, Place, Memory”)

Roundtable Panelist, “The Object of American Studies,” C19: Imagining: A New Century, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 2010

Comment, “Picturing Freedom: Visual and Performative Activism in the Long Civil Rights Movement,” Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, Washington, D.C., 2010

Paper, “Racial Profiles, Visual Culture, and the Yellow Peril,” Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, Seattle, WA, 2009

Paper Workshop, “The Not-So-Surprising Vagabondage of Henry Watkins Allen, A Confederate Expatriate,” American History Workshop, New York University, 2008

Roundtable Panelist, “Transnational Regions,” Annual Meeting of The American Studies Association, Albuquerque, NM, 2008

Paper, “Tropics of Bondage: Imagining Southern Slaveholders as Creoles,” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Philadelphia, PA, 2007

Paper Workshop, “From the South of France to the Global South: The Meaning of Josephine Baker’s Argentinean Idyll,” Interdisciplinary Working Group, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2007

Chair, “Ethnic Studies and American Studies,” Program Director’s Breakfast, American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Oakland, CA, 2006

Paper, “‘Une Famille Panachée’: Josephine Baker and The Re-Making of Motherhood,” New Directions in African American Literature, Theory, and Cultural Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2006

Paper, “Southern Latitudes: The American South and The Global South, From Slavery To The American Century,” Planetary Perspectives Project, Rutgers Center For Historical Analysis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 2006

Paper, “Native Speakers: The Hemispheric Grammar of Slavery in The Old South,” Southern Intellectual History Circle, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2006

Guest Speaker, “Race and Race-Relations in The Twentieth Century United States,” American Studies Summer Workshop, University of Pretoria (Via Teleconferencing), Pretoria, RSA, 2005

Paper, “‘The Late Masters Have Been Ruined’: The Black Codes and West Indian Apprenticeship,” Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA, 2005

Paper, “Race, Labor And “Latin-Americanization,” From Apprenticeship to the Guest Worker Program,” at the American Studies Association, Atlanta, GA, 2004

Panelist, Roundtable On “Other Souths,” at The U.S. South in Global Contexts, Center For The Study Of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS, 2004

Paper, “Atlantic And Pacific Crossings: The Political Economy of Race and Empire In The Late 19th Century,” Co-presented with Christine Skwiot at the Atlanta Seminar on Comparative Society and History, Atlanta, GA, 2004

Chair and Comment, “Staging Race and Ethnicity: Irish, Jewish And African American Representation and Social Protest, 1850-1920,” Annual Meeting of the American Conference For Irish Studies, Minneapolis, MN, 2003

Panelist, “The Long and Short History of Race,” at Deconstructing Whiteness, Brown University, Providence, RI, 2003

Paper, “Sugar, Labor, And Disease in Cuba, Natal, And Louisiana, 1850-1880,” Industrial Environments Project, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, New Brunswick, NJ, 2002

Paper, “‘This Western Eden’: Confederate Expatriates and Gentlemen Travelers in Nineteenth Century Cuba,” American Historical Association, San Francisco, CA, 2002

Paper, “Confederates Abroad and the Reproduction of Race in Cuba, 1850-1880,” American Studies Association, Washington D.C., 2001

Paper, “‘Domineering Anglo-Saxons And Supple Asians’: The Use and Abuse of Chinese Laborers in the Early Twentieth Century Transvaal and Late Nineteenth Century California,” The Burden Of Race: ‘Whiteness’ And ‘Blackness’ In Modern South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand History Workshop, Johannesburg, RSA, 2001

Paper, “‘Exactly Like a Negro Slave’: Asian Labor and the Aftermath of Slavery in the United States and Cuba,” World History Association, Salt Lake City, UT, 2001

Paper, “From the Jungle to The Final Mile: Empire, Africa, and the Global Divide Between Production and Consumption, 1910-1930,” American Historical Association, Chicago, IL, 2000

Paper, “‘Homo Albus’: Science, War, Middle-Class Patriotism, And the Emergence of Optic Whiteness,” History Of Science Society, Pittsburgh, PA, 1999

Paper, “The Roots of the Nordic Vogue: Race-Consciousness, Feminism, and The Reconstruction of American Patriarchy,” The Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Rochester, NY, 1999

Paper, “Against the White Leviathan: W.E.B. Du Bois, Pan-Africanism and the New Negro Movement,” African-Americans and the Age of Imperial Expansion, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 1999

Paper, “Building A Better American: Eugenics, Science and Nordicism In Popular Culture,” Eugenics Past and Present: Historic Perspectives and Current Discourse, Drew University, Madison, NJ, 1999

Paper, “All Was Closed and Sealed Tight: Jean Toomer, Physical Culture, and Blackness,” American Studies Association, Seattle, WA, 1998

Paper, “Rising Tides and Darkwaters: Race, World Systems Theory, and America as a Global Power,” L’amerique Hors De Ses Frontieres, Universite De Marne La Vallee, Icarie, FR, 1998

Paper, “Hypnotic Divisions: Weaving Together the Lives of Jean Toomer, Daniel F. Cohalan, Madison Grant, And W.E.B. Du Bois,” The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond, Universite Denis Diderot, (Paris Vii), Paris, France, 1998

Paper, “‘The New Race-Consciousness’: Whiteness and Blackness in Irish-American And African-American Nationalisms,” Black Atlantic Project, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, New Brunswick, NJ, 1997

Paper, “‘Race, All Is Race’: Jean Toomer and the New Order of Things,” 22nd American Spring Symposium, Purdue University, Lafayette, In, 1997

Paper, “‘Finis Americæ’: Madison Grant, Mudsills, And Menaces,” Fear Itself: Enemies Real and Imagined in American Culture, New England American Studies Association, Salem, MA, 1997

Paper, “Bleeding the Irish White: Race, Performance, and the Irish Race Convention Of 1916,” American Conference for Irish Studies, New England Chapter, Providence, RI, 1996

Work in other media

On BBC Radio for a two part documentary about “Josephine Baker: My mother, the superstar singer and spy,” with Jari Baker-Bouillon, 2021

Interviewed by The Nod, for “Josephine Baker and the Amazing Technicolor Rainbow Tribe”

On WNYC’s “Soundcheck,” to discuss “Josephine Baker’s Subversive ‘Rainbow Tribe’,” 2014

Consultant and Interviewee, Race: The Power of an Illusion, a California Newsreel Documentary, Larry Edelman, Executive Producer, 2003

Writer, Bridging World History, Annenberg World History Project, Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2003

Featured Guest, “True Colors: Census 2000,” Talk Back, WBAI, NY, 2001

Panelist, “June 12, 1967—The Supreme Court Decides Loving V. The State of Virginia,” AA220/Actionspeaks, Rhode Island Public Radio, 1999

On video

Discussing race and the future of the humanities, June of 2021

At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts discussing Edward Hopper, November, 2019

Moderating a panel on Comparative Speculative Futures, December 2021

On a panel discussing “race and image” at Brown University, January, 2020

Discussing Black Panther at Brown, March, 2018

At the Chicago Humanities Festival, discussing Josephine Baker and Eva Peron, December, 2012


Faculty Research Fellowship, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women,  2022-2023 (Center theme: “In the Afterlives and Aftermaths of Ruin”)

Lynette S. Autry/NEH Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Center, Rice University, Spring 2010

Faculty Fellowship, College Arts & Humanities Institute, Indiana University, Fall 2008

Faculty Fellowship, College Arts & Humanities Institute, Indiana University, Spring 2005

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University, 2001-2003

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2001

Associate Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Slavery, Abolition, And Resistance Program, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University, 2001

Excellence Fellowship, Department of History, Rutgers University, 1998-1999

Predoctoral Fellowship, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian
Institution, 1998

Dissertation Fellowship, Department of History, Rutgers University, 1997-1998

Fellowship, Black Atlantic Project, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Rutgers University, 1997-1998


Rutgers 250 Fellow, a distinguished alumni award, 2016.

Mary Turpie Prize for Distinguished Teaching, Advising, and Program Development, American Studies Association, 2010

Distinguished Alumni Award, School of Arts and Humanities, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, 2010

Honorable Mention, Gordon K. And Sybil Lewis Award, Caribbean Studies Association, for American Mediterranean, 2009

Best Book on the History of Race and Ethnicity, American Political Science Association, for The Color of Race in America, 2001

Nominee, Faculty of The Year Award, Disability Awareness Association, Washington State University, 2001

Research grants

Grant, Global Mobility Program, Office of Global Engagement, Brown University, Spring 2015 (Project: “Roger Casement”; $5000)

Grant-In-Aid, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Indiana University, Fall 2010 ($2000)

Eli Lilly/New Frontiers Grant, Office of the Vice President for Research, Indiana University, Spring 2005 (Project: “Race: A Visual History”; $10,000)

New Course Development Grant, Overseas Studies/College of Arts & Sciences, Fall 2005 (Project: A Class On “Race In The Dominican Republic”)

Conference Grant, “What Is The Place Of The Americas In American Studies?,” College Arts & Humanities Institute, Indiana University, Fall 2005 ($6000)

Eli Lilly/New Frontiers Grant, Office of the Vice President for Research, Indiana University, Spring 2005 (Project: “Rainbow Family: Josephine Baker, Adoption And American Democracy”; $18,500)

Research Travel Grant, College Arts & Humanities Institute, Indiana University, Fall 2005 ($1,000)

Grant-In-Aid, Office of the Vice President for Research, Indiana University, Fall 2005 ($2,300)

Research Travel Grant, John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African-American Documentation, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University, 2001

New Faculty Seed Grant, Washington State University, 2001 ($10,000)

Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant for Research in European, African, and Asian History, American Historical Association, ($2000)

Major Service to Brown University

Co-Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Board (2016 – )
Director of Graduate Studies, Africana Studies (2020 -)
Advisory Committee, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (2013 – )
Advisory Committee, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (2013 – )
First Year Advising (2012 – )
Postdoctoral Fellowship Search Committee, Pembroke Center (2021-2022)
Committee on the 21st Century PhD, Graduate School/Cogut Institute (2021)
Search Committee, BAI “Arts Chairs” (2021-2022)
Search Committee, Associate Vice Pres. for Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity (2022)
Chair, Department of American Studies (2013—2022)
Co-Chair, Asian American Studies Search, American Studies (2020-2022)
Search Committee, Vice Pres. for Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity (2017; 2021)
Chair, Search Committee, African-American Literature and Culture, English and American Studies (2017-2018)
Provost’s Advisory Committee (2014-2015)
Advisory Committee, John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities (2013—2020)
Undergraduate Advisor, Ethnic Studies Concentration (2013-2016)
Chair, Junior Search Committee, Africana Studies (2014-2015)
Member, Senior Search Committee, Africana Studies (2013-2015)
Search Committee, Latino Studies, American Studies (2012-2013)
Leadership Alliance/Mellon Mentor (2013, 2017)

Service to Indiana University

Chair, Department Of American Studies (2011—2012)
Director, American Studies Program, Indiana University (2005—2011)
Director Of Graduate Studies, AAADS (2007–2008)
Advisory Committee, College Arts And Humanities Institute (2011-2012)
Member, 9/11 Commemoration Committee (2011)
Member, Bloomington Faculty Council (2010-2012)
OSAC Safety and Responsibility Committee, OVPIA (2009-2012)
Organizer, The Thomas Hart Benton Murals At 75 (2008)
FNECC Director Search Committee (2009-2010)
Book Review Consultant, American Historical Review (2008—2011)
Committee On Undergraduate Education, Office Of The Provost (2008-2009)
Strategic Planning Committee for the Arts & Humanities (2008-2009)
Review Committee, Graduate Student Enhancement Grants (2007-2008)
New Frontiers In The Arts And Humanities Review Committee (2006-2011)
Overseas Studies Advisory Council (2006-2012)
Committee On Inclusion And Academic Climate (2004-2005)
College Fellowship Committee (2004–2006)
Organizer, Globalizing American Studies (2007)
Organizer, Variations On Blackness (2006)
Member, Latino Studies Search Committee (2007)
Member, Graduate Admissions Committee (2006-2008)
Facilitator, AMST Departmentalization Initiative (2011)
Member, American Studies/History Search (2007-2008)
Co-Chair, American Studies/AAADS Search (2006-2007).
Co-Chair, American Studies/Communication & Culture Search (2006-2007)
Member, American Studies/Religious Studies Search (2005-2006)
AAADS Ph.D. Proposal Committee (2004-2007)
AAADS Salary Merit Committee (2003-2007; Chair, 2004-2007)
AAADS Department Leadership Committee (2003-2004)
Faculty Advisor, Herman C. Hudson Graduate Symposium (2003-2004)

Service to the profession

Advisory Board, “Culture of the United States,” University of North Carolina Press (2013—)
Reviewer, Fellowship Program, Macarthur Foundation (2013, 2014)
Peer Review Committee, Fulbright Specialist Program, Fulbright Foundation (2011—2014)
Review Committee, Fellowship Program, ACLS (2013—2015)
Review Committee, New Faculty Fellows Program, ACLS (2012-2013)
Manuscript Workshop, Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (2011)
Consultant, “Mixed Race,” A BBC Documentary, In Production.
Chair, John Hope Franklin Prize, American Studies Association (2010)
Franklin Jameson Fellowship, American Historical Association (Member, 2004-2007; Chair, 2006-2007)
Program Committee, American Studies Association (San Juan, 2012)
Membership Committee, C19 (2010—2012)
Committee on Ethnic Studies, American Studies Association (Member, 2003-2008; Chair, 2005-2006)
Historical Consultant, “Our Americas” Digital Archive Project, Rice University/University of Maryland (2006)
Project Historian, Summer Institute: Teaching American History, U.S. Department of Education
Grant, Vancouver, WA (2003)

Unit reviews

American Studies Program, Vassar College (2019)
External Review, Department of American Studies, University of Minnesota (2018)
Internal Review, Department of Sociology, Brown University (2018)
External Review, Department of History, University of Utah (2017)
External Review, Department of American Studies, Notre Dame (2011)
External Review, Department of African American Studies, Temple (2011)
External Review, School of General Studies, University of Texas, Dallas (2007)

Tenure/promotion review

History, University of Chicago (2021)
English, University of Texas at Austin (2021)
History, Emory University (2021)
African American Studies, Princeton University (2021)
American Studies, American University in Beirut (2021)
History, Rutgers University (2020)
Gender Studies, Columbia University (2020)
Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University (2020)
History, Boston College (2019)
History, CUNY Graduate Center (2019)
History, Yale University (2019)
History, Rutgers University – Newark (2018)
English, University of Virginia (2018)
American Studies, George Washington University (2018)
History, Penn State (2017)
American Studies, Yale (2017)
American Studies, George Washington University (2017)
History, Monash University (2016)
American Studies, Texas (2016)
American Studies, Virginia (2016)
History, Kentucky (2016)
American Studies, Minnesota (2015)
History, Boston University (2015)
History, Stanford (2015)
History, UC-San Diego (2014)
History, New School (2014)
American Studies, Alabama (2014)
History, Rutgers University, Newark (2014)
English, Rutgers University (2014)
American Studies, University of Alabama (2014)
American Studies, Notre Dame (2014)
English, Indiana University (2013)
History, George Washington University (2013)
History, University Of Texas, Austin (2012)
American Studies, University Of Texas, Austin (2012)
American Studies, University Of Minnesota (2012)
History, University Of Connecticut (2011)
English, University Of Vermont (2011)
English, University Of Virginia (2011)
Afro-American Studies, University Of North Carolina (2011)
English, Rutgers University (2010)
Women’s Studies, Franklin & Marshall College (2007)
American Studies and Ethnicity, USC (2008)
History, University Of Minnesota (2009)
History, Montana University Of Science & Technology (2009)
English, Wayne State University (2009)
English, University Of California, Los Angeles (2009)
Political Science, IUPUI (2009)

Manuscript evaluator

J19 (2013)
Duke University Press (2014; 2018)
American Quarterly (2010; 2011; 2018)
Atlantic Studies (2012)
Clio (2011)
Virginia Magazine Of History And Biography (2011)
Harvard University Press (2013)
Ohio State University Press (2010)
Oxford University Press (2007, 2009, 2011, 2014)
New York University Press (2007; 2009)
University of Kentucky Press (2011)
University Press of New England (2006, 2007)
Palgrave/Macmillan (2005)
Journal of Southern History (2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012)
Indiana University Press (2005, 2008, 2012)
University of Alabama Press (2005)
Journal of Transnational American Studies (2010)
Journal of American History (2004, 2008, 2010)
University of North Carolina Press (2001, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2018)
Journal of World History (2003)
Bedford/St. Martins Press (2002)
Environmental History (2002)
Cultural Anthropology (2001)

Teaching at Brown

AFRI 1205, “Racial Passing in Literature, Life, and Film” (2022)
AFRI 1200X, “Art and Imagination of Josephine Baker” (2021)
AMST 2200T, “Slavery in the Recent American Imagination” [Graduate] (2021)
AMST 2020E, “Introduction to American Studies [Graduate] (2020)
AFRI 1100X, “Black Speculative Fiction” (2020)
HMAN 2400B, “Trans/Passing, In Theory” [Graduate] (2017)
AFRI 610, “Black Student Protest from Jim Crow to the Present” (2017; 2019)
AMST 1500B, “Broadway Modern: Race. Gender, Class, and the American Musical” (2017; 2022)
ETHN 1890, “Senior Seminar in Ethnic Studies” (2015)
AMST 1600, “Global Macho: Race and Gender in Action Movies” (2014)
AFRI 2500, “Race and Race-Making in American History” [Graduate] (2014-2015)
AMST 2010, “Introduction to American Studies” [Graduate] (2013; 2017)
AMST 1010, “Introduction To American Studies: American Icons” (2013, 2014, 2015; 2019)
AFRI 2201, “African American Women And Performance Theory” (2013)
ET 190, “Senior Seminar In Ethnic Studies” (2003; 2014)
ET 175, “Transnational Americas” (2001; 2002)
ET 186, “Race And The Law In American History” (2002)

Teaching at Indiana

AMSTA100, “What is America?” (2011, 2012)
AMSTA299, “Postracial America?” (2011)
AMSTG620, “Introduction to Postcolonial and Ethnic Studies” [Graduate] (2009)
AMSTA350, “Transnational/Interracial Adoption” (2009)
AMSTA694/G751, “Race, Performance, And Josephine Baker” (2007)
AMSTA100, “What Is America?” (2006; 2007; 2009; 2011; 2012)
G603, “Introduction To American Studies” [Graduate] (2005; 2010)
A602/3, “Variations On Blackness” [Graduate] (2005-2006; 2007-2008)
A156, “Struggles Against Jim Crow & Apartheid” (2005; 2007)
A305/503, “Afro-Guyana” (Study Abroad, Summer, 2005)
A354, “Transnational Americas” (2003; 2004; 2009)
E104, “Protest Strategies: W.E.B. Du Bois” (2004)
A154, “History Of Race In The Americas” (2003)
A450, “Senior Seminar In American Studies” (2006; 2007; 2011; 2012)

Teaching at Washington State

Cuba Study Abroad (2002)
CAC 101, “Introduction to Comparative American Cultures” (2000; 2001)
CAC 335, “The Civil Rights Movement in America” (2001)

CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS (in alphabetical order)

Brianna Eaton (Africana Studies)
Ashley Everson (Africana Studies)
Melaine Ferdinand-King (Africana Studies)
Aaron Jacobs (History)
Jacqueline Jones (American Studies)
Melaine Ferdinand-King (Africana Studies)
Kayci Merritte (Modern Culture and Media)
Katsi Rodriguez (Africana Studies)
Katharina Weygold (American Studies)

PAST GRADUATE STUDENTS (in alphabetical order)

Katelyn Aguilar (UConn, 2021). Dissertation: “In the Eyes of the Hurricanes: Miami Football, Race, and American Conservatism”; Currently: Assistant Professor of History, Gustavus Adolphus College. (Outside reader).

Benjamin Aldred (Indiana, 2009). Dissertation: “The Act of History: American Folklore,  Performative Structure and National Identity”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Richard J. Daley  Library, University of Illinois, Chicago.

Laila Amine (Indiana, 2011). Dissertation: “Algerian Paris: Place, Identity, and the War”;  Currently: Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Wisconsin.

Brian Amsden (Indiana, 2010). Dissertation: “Liberal Rhetorical Praxis and the Youth Rights  Debates”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Clayton State University

Horace D. Ballard (Brown, 2017). Dissertation: “The Re-Construction of Beauty”; Currently, Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. Associate Curator of American Art, Harvard Art Museums. (Co-Directed)

Clark Barwick (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “Obscurity, Blackness, and the Making of the  Harlem Renaissance, 1919-Present”; Currently: Senior Lecturer, Kelley School of Business,  Indiana University.

Mark Benedetti (Indiana, 2013). Dissertation: “Beneath New York: The Formation and Effects of  Canons in American Underground Film Movements”; Currently: Professor of English and  Communications, Blackburn College

Felicia Bevel (Brown University, 2018). Dissertation: “Exporting Whiteness: Race, Nation, and  Nostalgia in the Age of Empire”; Currently: Assistant Professor of History, University of North  Florida. (Directed)

Amanda Boston (Brown, 2018). Dissertation: “The ‘New’ New York: Race, Space, and Power in  Gentrifying Brooklyn”; Currently: Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh.

Elizabeth Burbach (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “Baseball City”: Cultivating Ball Players in the  Boca Chica Dominican Republic”

Siobhan Carter-David (Indiana 2011). Dissertation: “Fashioning Essence Women and Ebony  Men: Sartorial Instruction and the New Politics of Racial Uplift in Print, 1970-1993”; Currently:  Associate Professor of History, Southern Connecticut State University.

Danille Elise Christenson (Indiana, 2009). Dissertation: “Constructing Value: Women,  Scrapbooking, and the Framing of Daily Experience”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Religion  and Culture, Virginia Tech University.

David Church (Indiana, 2014). Dissertation: “Retrosploitation: Cultural Memory, Home Video,  and Contemporary Experiences of Exploitation Film Fandom”; Currently: Lecturer,  Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, Northern Arizona University.

Lauren Cordes Tate (Indiana, 2009). Dissertation: “Pioneering Identity on the Frontier: Images  of African Americans in the West, 1840–1900”; Currently: Visiting Assistant Professor,  Department of Art, Miami University of Ohio.

Jonathan Cortez (Brown 2021): Dissertation: “The Age of Encampment: Race, Surveillance, and the Power of Spatial Scripts, 1933-1950”; Currently: César Chávez Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies, Dartmouth University. (Co-Directed).

Susan Eckelmann (Indiana, 2014). Dissertation: “Freedom’s Little Lights: The Role of Youth  during the Black Freedom Struggle, 1954-1965”; Currently: Associate Professor and Director of  Africana Studies, University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

Suzanne Enzerink (Brown, 2019). Dissertation: “Give Me Color: Fictions of Racial Ambiguity”;  Currently: Assistant Professor of American Studies Assistant Professor of American Studies. University of St.Gallen. (Directed)

Tanisha Ford (Indiana, 2011) Dissertation: “Soul Generation: Radical Fashion, Beauty, and the  Transnational Black Liberation Movement, 1954-1980”; Currently: Professor of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Maggie Unverzagt Goddard, Postdoctoral Fellow, East End Cemetery Collaboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University (Co-Directed)

Mark Hain (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “Revamped: Theda Bara, Cultural Memory, and the  Repurposing of Star Image” Currently: Instructor, Department of Theatre and Film, Bowling  Green State University.

Jennifer Heusel (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “Why Do These Silly Things Exist?: Postracial,  Free Market Logics in Local Discourse about Historically Black Colleges and Universities  (HBCUs)”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Language, Literature  and Religion, Coker College.

Kellie Hogue (Indiana, 2012). Dissertation: “‘We Are All Related’: Kinship, Identity, and  Pilgrimage in the Kateri Movement”; Currently: Research Program Specialist II, California  State Library.

Caralee Jones-Obeng (Indiana, 2017). Dissertation: “Reimagining the New African Diaspora:  Interpersonal Relationships Among Jamaicans, Nigerians, and African Americans”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Africology and African American Studies, Eastern Michigan University (Directed).

Andrew Kahrl (Indiana, 2008). Dissertation: “On the Beach: Race and Leisure in the Jim Crow  South”; Currently: Associate Professor, History and African American Studies, University of  Virginia.

Lydia Kelow-Bennett (Brown, 2018). Dissertation: “Genealogies of Capture and Evasion: A Black Feminist Meditation for Neoliberal Times”; Currently: Assistant Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan. (Directed).

Kate LeMay (Indiana, 2011). Dissertation: “Forgotten memorial: The American cemeteries in  France from World War II”; Currently: Historian, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian  Institution.

Don Maxwell (Indiana, 2010). Dissertation: “Unguarded Border: The Movement of People and  Ideas between the United States and Canada during the Vietnam War Era”; Currently: Senior  Instructor, Department of History, Indiana State University.

Nancy Palm (Indiana, 2010). Dissertation: “Thomas Cole’s Indian Landscapes, Racial Politics,  and the National Landscape”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Art Department, UNC-Pembroke.

Justin Rawlins (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “Method Men: Race, Gender, and Performance Style in U.S. Culture 1922-1957”; Currently: Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film Studies, University of Tulsa.

Natasha Ritsma (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “The Postwar “Arts Explosion” in an Age of  Mechanical Reproduction: The Production, Distribution and Exhibition of Non-Theatrical  Films on Art”; Currently: Curator, Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago.

Elizabeth Rule (Brown, 2019). Dissertation: “Reproducing Resistance: Gendered Violence and Indigenous Nationhood”; Currently, Assistant Professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies, American University. (Directed).

Micah Salkind (Brown, 2016). Dissertation: “‘Do You Remember House?’ Memory, Mediation,  and Crossover Community-Making in Chicago House Music Culture”; Currently: Special  Programs Manager for The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism.

Shira Segal (Indiana, 2011). Dissertation: “Home Movies and Home Birth: The Avant-garde  Childbirth Film and Pregnancy in New Media”; Currently: Lecturer and Director of Film  Studies, University of Albany.

Amber Smallwood (Indiana, 2007). Dissertation: “Mapping Programming Decision-Making of  PBS Member Stations: Negotiating Centralized-Distributed Power and Nonprofit-for Profit  Orientation Continua in Program Selection and Scheduling”; Currently: Professor of Mass  Communications and Associate Dean, University of West Georgia.

Kim Stanley (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “Pulling Down the House and Tearing Up the Yard:  Constructing, Policing, and Containing Black Masculinity, 1920-1960”; Currently: Assistant  Professor, Department of History, Indiana State University.

Carl Suddler (Indiana, 2015). Dissertation: “Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of History, Emory University.

Virginia Thomas (Brown, 2019). Dissertation: “Dark Trees: Regional Archives of Familial  Intimacy, Lynching Violence, and Racial Reproduction in the US South”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Providence College (Co-Directed)

Ida Yalzadeh (Brown 2020). Dissertation: “Solidarities and Solitude: Tracing the Racial Boundaries of the Iranian Diaspora”; Currently: Postdoctoral Fellow, Charles Warren Center, Harvard University. (Co-Directed)

Cynthia Yaudes (Indiana, 2008). Dissertation: “Working an Image: Radical Labor Newspapers and the American Tabloid Press, 1919-1922”; Currently: Associate Editor, Journal of American History.

Gauri Wagle (Brown, 2021). Dissertation: “Imaging Together: Political Community, Domination, and Freedom”; Currently, Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Relations and Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Katie H. Williams (Indiana, 2013). Dissertation: “Arrival of the Fittest: Evolutionary (Manifest)  Destiny at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904”; Currently: Assistant Professor, Ivy Tech  College.

Undergraduate Students

Service on honors theses at Brown University:

Christopher Muller (’03)
Yen Tran (’12)
Brendan DeWolf (’13)
Jesse McGleughlin (’13)
Madeline Schlissel
Sarah Day Dayon  (’15)
Kendra Cornejo (’15)
Sam Rosen (’15)
Sabine Williams (’16)
Liam Dean Johnson (’18)
Randi Richardson (’20)
Mara Cavallero (’22)
Abigail Chun (’22)
Ricardo Gomez (’22)
Clara Pritchett (’22)


American Studies Association
Society of American Historians

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