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University of Sussex, Brighton, England

Senior Lecturer in American History

Jan 2016-Present

Teaching Fields: 16th, 17th-, 18th-, 19th, 20th, and 21st- century African American History, Slavery and Emancipation in the U.S. and Atlantic World, African-American Political History; History of African American Women; U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, U.S. Civil Rights Movement,

Legal History, Social Justice Movements, Race and Ethnicity in U.S. History 

Columbia University, New York, NY

Visiting Scholar and Instructor, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race,

June 2014-Dec. 2015

ACLS New Faculty Fellow, History Department/Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Sept. 2012-May 2014

American Academy of Arts & Sciences/ Harvard Humanities Center, Cambridge, MA Visiting Scholar, Sept. 2011-May 2012


New York University, New York, NY

Ph.D., U.S. History, May 2011

Dissertation: “From Slave to Litigant: African Americans in Court in the Post-War South, 1865-1920”

Received High Pass on qualifying exams

Advisor: Professor Martha Hodes

Committee Members: Professors Linda Gordon, Michele Mitchell, Paul Finkelman (Albany Law School), Ariela Gross (University of Southern California Gould School of Law)

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Master of Arts, U.S. History, April 2004

Thesis: Analyzed and edited the 1879-1887 diaries of Mary Lois Walker Morris of Utah Advisor: Professor Grant Underwood

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Bachelor of Arts with Honors, History, June 2002

Honors Thesis: “Fascism, Communism and Collective Bargaining: The Salinas Lettuce Strike of 1936”

Advisor: Professor David Kennedy


“Justice in an Unjust World: The untold story of African-Americans’ civil cases in the segregated South,” History Today, Vol.68, issue 6 (June 2018).


Litigating Across the Color Line: Civil Cases Between Black and White Southerners from the End of Slavery to Civil Rights (Oxford University Press, Nov.

2017). 345 pages.


 “Rethinking the Role of the Courts in the Lives of Black Southerners,” The American Historian (Nov 2017).


“Fighting Jim Crow in the 19th century South: The Untold Story,” Blackpast.org (online reference guide to African American History)


“African Americans’ Civil Cases in the Jim Crow South,” Black Perspectives (Nov. 2017).


“Can We Count on the Courts to Curb Trump?” History News Network (Dec. 4, 2017).


“From Slave to Litigant: African Americans in Court in the Post-War South, 1865-1920,” Law and History Review 30:3 (August 2012), 723-769.


Before the Manifesto: The Life Writings of Mary Lois Walker Morris (Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2007). Life Writings of Frontier Women series. 639 pages. Winner of Kanner Book Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians.


Book reviews and peer reviewing for the Journal of Southern History, The Journal of American History, The American Historical Review, the Law and History Review, and American Nineteenth Century History.



“Reframing Black Southerners’ Experiences in the Courts, 1865-1950.” Article currently being considered after a revise and resubmit request by Law & Social Inquiry Journal.


“Taking their Former Masters to Court: Cases Between Former Slaves and Former Masters in the Post-emancipation South.” Submitted article for themed panel of articles on civil cases involving African Americans for Spring 2019 issue of the journal Slavery & Abolition.


“Black Communities, Civil Law, and the Courts: Civil Cases Between Black Southerners from Emancipation

to Civil Rights.” Article in progress for The Journal of Southern History.


Contributor, “The Radio Ballads, Dorothea Lange, Archaelogy of the A14,” BBC Radio 4 Making History Programme, June 2018.


Contributor, “Judge Lynch on Trial,” documentary film directed by John Wertheimer, Davidson College, April 2018.


Co-Founder and Host of TrumpWatchSussex, a podcast associated with the Centre for American Studies at Sussex University which interviews scholars and experts to get the back story on various elements of the Trump Administration. Hosted and helped edited nine podcasts, including a podcasts on populism, Confederate monuments, Trump and the Southwest, and Trump and celebrity. The podcasts I have hosted have led to articles in Newsweek and Politico that have helped to shape coverage on issues such as white supremacy in the US.


Interviewee, “Litigating Across the Color Line,” New Books Network podcast, November 2017.


Runner-up, Deep South Book Prize, Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South, 2018.


BAAS/US Embassy Grant, February 2018.

Conference space awarded for Transatlantic, Scholar-Activist Black Lives Matter Research Network Conference from The British Library, 2017

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCert), Distinction, 2017

ACLS New Faculty Fellowship, Columbia University, 2012-2014

Cassius Marcellus Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition, Yale University, 2012-2014 (declined)

Honorable Mention, Cromwell Dissertation Prize, American Society for Legal History, 2012

American Academy of Arts & Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011-2012

American Fellowship, American Association of University Women, 2011-2012 (declined)

Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, New York University, 2011-2012 (declined)

CCWH Ida B. Wells Award for a history dissertation focusing on race, Coordinating Council for Women in History, December 2010

Kanner Book Prize for best learned study of autobiographical writings of a woman, Western Association of Women Historians, 2010  

Joel Williamson Visiting Scholar Grant, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2010

Littleton-Griswold Research Grant for Research in U.S. Legal History, American Historical Association, 2008

Archie K. Davis Fellowship, North Caroliniana Society, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2008

MacCracken Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York University, 2006-2010    

William A. Snow Award, Graduate Merit Scholarship, Brigham Young University

James B. Weter Prize for Outstanding Honors Thesis, History Department, Stanford University (1 of 3 prizes)


Admissions Tutor, American Studies, University of Sussex (2018- current)

History Department and American Studies Library Representative (2016-Current)


Convenor of Joint Honors Program in History and American Studies (2016-Current)


Co-convenor of American Studies Seminar Series (2017)

Founder and Manager of Early Career History Writing Group, University of Sussex, in which early career historians in the Sussex History Department workshop one chapter or article of their work each month.


Organized Scholar Activism Conference and co-wrote grant applications for Scholar-Activist network with colleagues in History and American Studies, securing in-kind funding and space for a Scholar Activism conference from the British Library and the British Association for American Studies and leading the organization of the conference, held at the British Library in June 2018.