The Program in American Studies offers an interdisciplinary study of the United States and the many ways to interpret the American experience. The program explores the themes, trends and patterns that characterize the American past and present using multiple perspectives and methodologies. You create your own path through the major, which includes courses in history, politics, popular culture, visual studies, law, literature, race and ethnic studies, etc.

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Victoria Serafini

Juliana Hu Pegues

Associate Professor

Jodi A. Byrd

Associate Professor

Lenora Warren

Assistant Professor

Tamika Nunley

Associate Professor and Sandler Family Faculty Fellow



At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and Shifting Identities in Washington, D.C. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, February 2021) 

*Winner of the 2021 Pauli Murray Book Prize

*Winner of the 2021 Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize 

*Winner of the 2021 Mary Kelley Book Prize 

*Honorable Mention, 2021 Darlene Clark Hine Award

*Finalist for the ASALH Book Prize 

*Shortlist for the MAAH Stone Book Award 

“Thrice Condemned: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Practice of Leniency in Antebellum Virginia Courts” Journal of Southern History 87, No. 1 (February 2021)

*Winner of the 2021 Letitia Woods Brown Prize for Best Article 

"Slavery and the Political Touchstones of a Young Republic," The William and Mary Quarterly (79) 1

“The New Civil War Revisionism,” with Edward L. Ayers, Gregory Downs, Daniel Crofts, Christopher Phillips, and Matthew E. Stanley, Civil War History 65, No. 4 (December 2019) 

“’I Know What Liberty Is’: Elizabeth Keckly’s Union War” New Perspectives on the Union War eds. Gary Gallagher and Elizabeth Varon in The North’s Civil War Series (New York: Fordham University Press, 2019) 

“By Stealth’ or Dispute: Freedwomen and the Contestation of American Citizenship” in The Civil War and the Transformation of the American Citizenship, ed. Paul Quigley (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2018) 

“Teaching in Climes of Unrest: BLM, Slavery, and the Intellectual Underpinnings of Student Protest at Oberlin” in The Panorama, a digital publication of the Journal of the Early Republic (Aug. 21, 2017)


Thavolia Glymph, The Women’s Fight: The Civil War’s Battles for Homes, Freedom, and Nation (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2020) forthcoming in The English Historical Review (2021)

Loren Schweninger, Appealing for Liberty: Freedom Suits in the South (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018) William and Mary Quarterly 76, no.3 (July 2019).

Tera Hunter, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017) in American Journal of Legal History 58, no.1 (Spring 2018).

Amber D. Moulton, The Fight for Interracial Marriage Rights in Antebellum Massachusetts, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015). Journal of the Civil War Era December 2016. 

Jessica Millward, Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015) Civil War Book Review August 2016.


The Demands of Justice: Enslaved Women, Capital Crime, and Clemency in Early Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming Spring 2023)



Tejasvi Nagaraja

Assistant Professor


Tejasvi Nagaraja (et al). 2020. "AHR Conversation: Black Internationalism" — American Historical Review. 125(5):1699–1739

Aziz F. Rana

Richard and Lois Cole Professor of Law


Corey Ryan Earle

Visiting Lecturer


Earle, Corey Ryan. "Why a College Should Teach Its Own History." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 20 July 2016.

Chloe Ahmann

Assistant Professor


Books and Edited Collections

“Vacancy.” 2022. Anthropological Quarterly 95(2): 241–474. 

“Breathing Late Industrialism.” 2020. Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 6: 416–590. (Co-edited with Alison Kenner.) 

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Vacancy: An Introduction.” 2022. Anthropological Quarterly 95(2): 241–76. 

“Postindustrial Futures and the Edge of the Frontier.” 2022. Anthropological Quarterly 95(2): 277–310. 

“Dissociation.” 2022. Part of a peer-reviewed forum called “The Vertiginous: Temporalities and Affects of Living in Vertigo.” Daniel M. Knight, Fran Markowitz, and Martin Demant Frederiksen, eds. Anthropological Theory Commons, June 3. 

"Atmospheric Coalitions: Shifting the Middle in Late Industrial Baltimore." 2020. Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 6: 462–85.

"Breathing Late Industrialism." 2020. Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 6: 416–38. (Co-authored with Alison Kenner.)

"Unbelonging: The Politics of Address." 2020. Part of a peer-reviewed forum called "Futile Political Gestures." Galina Stjepanovic, ed. Anthropological Theory Commons, October 16. 

“Waste-to-Energy: Garbage Prospects and Subjunctive Politics in Late-industrial Baltimore.” 2019. American Ethnologist 46(3): 328–42.

“‘It’s exhausting to create an event out of nothing.’ Slow Violence and the Manipulation of Time.” 2018. Cultural Anthropology 33(1): 142–71. 

“Accountable Talk: ‘Real’ Conversations in Baltimore City Schools.” 2017. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 48(1): 77–97. 

“‘…And That’s Why I Teach For America’: American Education Reform and the Role of Redemptive Stories.” 2016. Text & Talk 36(2): 111–31. 

“Teach For All: Storytelling ‘Shared Solutions’ and Scaling Global Reform.” 2015. Education Policy Analysis Archives 23(45): 1–27.

Book Reviews

The Sustainability Myth: Environmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice by Melissa Checker.” 2021. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 44(2): 106–8. 

“Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity by Mahmood Mamdani.” 2013. Anthropological Quarterly 86(3): 927–33. 

Essays, Podcasts, and Public Scholarship

Author of public and written testimony on the CSX coal terminal explosion. 2022. Baltimore City Council Investigatory Hearing, June 15. (Beginning at 56:30 minutes into linked recording.)

Guest (with Rasheeda Green) on "Geographies of Privilege." 2021. Episode of Crossroads podcast, May 19.

Interviewed (by Kate Blackwood) for "Ahmann Co-edits Journal Issue on 'Late Industrialism.'" 2020. Cornell Chronicle, November 30.

Work featured on "Let it Burn." 2020. Episode of Crossroads podcast, June 16.

Author of "Toxic Disavowal." 2020. Somatosphere, January 20.

Interviewed (by Alize Arıcan) for "Features." 2019. American Ethnologist, September 20.  

Author of “America’s Post-industrial Futures.” 2018. Photo essay for Sapiens. November 28. 

Interviewed (by Alexandra Vieux Frankel) for "This Was An Event." 2018. Dialogues, Cultural Anthropology, June 19. 

Guest (with David Giles and Elana Resnick) on "Episode 8." 2018. Conversations in Anthropology podcast, February 11.

Author (with Vincent Ialenti) of “Trump’s Slogan: More About the ‘Make’ Than the ‘Great.’” 2017. Op Ed for Sapiens. April 25.  

Author of “The Incinerator Does Not Exist: Sensory Engagement with Toxic Potentials.” 2017. Part of a series called “Sensory Engagements with a Toxic World.” Chisato Fukuda, ed. Second Spear, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, March 29. 

Author of “On Not Being Seen.” 2016. Part of a series called “Ethnographer as Advocate.” Haley Bryant and Emily Cain, eds. Anthropology News. February 17. 

Interviewed (by Diane Stopyra) for "The Great Garbage Fire Debate: Should We be Burning Our Trash into Energy?" 2017. Salon, January 2.

Author of “Curtis on the Bay: Failed Development and the Mythology of Trump.” 2016. Part of a series called “Crisis of Liberalism.” Dominic Boyer, ed. Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology. November 30.

Casey Schmitt

Assistant Professor


The Predatory Sea: Human Trafficking, Colonization, and Trade in the Greater Caribbean, 1530-1690. Book manuscript in progress.

“Centering Spanish Jamaica: Regional Competition, Informal Trade, and the English Invasion, 1620-1662,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 76, no. 4 (October,  2019): 1-30.

“Pirates, Planting, and the Rights of Mankind in Seventeenth-Century Tortuga,” The Latin Americanist, Vol. 61, No. 4 (December, 2017): 584-99.

“Virtue in Corruption: Privateers, Smugglers, and the Shape of Empire in the Eighteenth-Century Caribbean,” Early American Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Winter, 2015): 80-110.

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