Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Erica Armstrong Dunbar
  • Charles and Mary Beard Distinguished Professor of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Additional Degree(s): M.A., Columbia University B.A., University of Pennsylvania
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2017
  • Specialty: African-American and US History: Women's and Gender History
  • Click for Website
  • Email:
  • Office: 303A Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8352
  • Research Interests: I am a late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century scholar with a specialization in African American women’s history. I have interests in urban slavery, emancipation studies, and the intersection of race and gender in American history.



  • African American History to 1865
  • African American Women’s History
  • American Slavery



  • The Politics of History: A New Generation of American Historians Writes Back. Co-authored with, Jim Downs, Timothy Patrick McCarthy, and T.K. Hunter. (In progress)
  • Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. (Atria/37 Ink, February 2017)
  • A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City. (Yale University Press, 2008)

Selected Articles/Essays

  • “Ringing the Freedom Bell” The Nation (November 2016)
  • Daina Ramey Berry and Erica Armstrong Dunbar, “The Unbroken Chain of Enslaved African Resistance and Rebellion.” In The Birth of a Nation: Nat Turner and the Making of a Movement, edited by N. Parker, 35-61. New York: Atria/Simon and Schuster, September 2016.
  • “[“]I knew that if I went back to Virginia, I should never get my liberty.” Ona Judge Staines: The President’s Runaway Slave.” In Women in Early America, 225-245, edited by Tom Foster. New York: NYU Press, 2015.
  • Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, guest co-editor of special issue on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. (January 2013)
  • Freedom Bound: The Sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation – with Readex, a division of Newsbank. Volume 7 Issue 3 (October 2012)
  • “African-American Women and Indentured Servitude.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, edited by Bonnie G. Smith. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • “Writing for True Womanhood: African American Women's Writings and the Anti-Slavery Struggle. In Women’s Rights and Transatlantic Antislavery in the Era of Emancipation, edited by Kathryn Kish Sklar and James Brewer Stewart, 299-318. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007
  • “A Mental and Moral Feast:” Reading, Writing, and Sentimentality in Black Philadelphia” in The Journal of Women’s History (Spring 2004)


  • “Melania Trump’s Reluctance Matches a FLOTUS Before Her” TIME.COM (January 2017)
  • “George Washington, Slave Catcher” The New York Times (February 2015)
  • “Echoes of Slavery Era in Reaction to Ferguson” Philadelphia Inquirer (December 4, 2014)

Upcoming Events

Tue Mar 21 @ 9:00AM - 02:30PM
Andy Urban: High School Teachers Seminar
Wed Mar 22 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
History Faculty Meeting [CANCELLED]
Thu Mar 23 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Digital Humanities Showcase
Fri Mar 24 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Susan Neiman: RCHA Seminar
Tue Mar 28 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Daria Khlevnyuk: RCHA Seminar
Wed Mar 29 @ 5:00PM - 06:00PM
U.S. Foreign Policy on Ukraine in the 20th Century


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