Professors

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Kali Nicole Gross
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Additional Degree(s): M.A., University of Pennsylvania B.A., Cornell University, (magna cum laude)
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2017
  • Specialty: African-American and US History: Women's and Gender History
  • Email: kali.gross@rutgers.edu
  • Office: 210 Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8222
  • Research Interests: My research concentrates on black women’s experiences in the United States criminal justice system between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Additionally, my writing frequently explores how legacies of race, gender, and justice currently shape mass incarceration.

TEACHING AREAS

  • African American History, 1865 to present
  • African American Women’s History
  • Race, gender, and justice in United States History

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • A Black Women’s History of the United States. Co-authored with Daina Ramey Berry (Forthcoming, Beacon Press, 2019).
  • Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America. (Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910. (Duke University Press, 2006).
  • Special Issue: Gendering the Carceral State: African American Women, History, and Criminal Justice, Journal of African American History, guest ed. K. N. Gross and C. D. Hicks, 100 (no. 3, Summer 2015).
  • “African American Women, Mass Incarceration, and the Politics of Protection,” Special Issue: Historians and the Carceral State, Journal of American History, 102 (no. 1, June 2015), 25–33.
  • “Exploring Crime and Violence in Early-Twentieth-Century Black Women’s History,” in Contesting Archives: Historians Develop Methodologies for Finding Women in the Sources, ed. Nupur Chaudhuri, Sherry Katz, and Betsy Perry (University of Illinois Press, 2010), 56–71.

AWARDS/HONORS

  • Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction, 2017
  • The Op-Ed Project, Public Voices Fellow, 2014
  • Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Scholar-in-Residence, 2007
  • Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize, Association of Black Women Historians, 2006
  • Lindback Research Award, 2006
  • John Hope Franklin Center Manuscript Prize, 2005

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • African American Intellectual History Society
  • Association of Black Women Historians
  • American Historical Association
  • Association for the Study of African-American Life and History
  • Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora
  • Organization of American Historians

 

  • 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
  • Website: https://ericaarmstrongdunbar.com
  • Email: erica.dunbar@rutgers.edu
  • 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.

 

TEACHING AREAS

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

PUBLICATIONS

Books

  • 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)

Op-Eds

  • “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)
  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan
  • Instructor of Public History and Coordinator of the Internship Program
  • Degree: Ph.D., History, University of Leicester
  • Specialty: Nineteenth-Century US: Social History; Public History
  • Email: kristin.obrassillkulfan@rutgers.edu
  • Office: 213C Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8226

 

 

 Public History Program

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan is a public historian and scholar of early American social history. She coordinates the History Department's Public History Program, including the Certificate in Public History and Public History Internship, and is also an Associate Graduate Faculty Member in the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies Program. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Leicester and an MA in Modern History from Queens University Belfast, and researches poverty, labor, mobility, crime and punishment in the early American northeast, as well as public historical and commemorative representations of these subjects. O'Brassill-Kulfan is the author of Vagrants and Vagabonds: Poverty and Mobility in the Early American Republic (New York University Press, 2019). She has previously worked as an archivist and research analyst for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives, and with museums, archives, and libraries in the US and the UK curating exhibits, managing archival collections, and creating inclusive public programming. She regularly consults on public history projects in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

SELECTED PUBLIC HISTORY ENGAGEMENT

  • Research Analyst and Archivist, Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives 
  • Member, New Jersey Historical Commission’s Advisory Council on New Jersey's United States Semiquincentennial Initiative, Revolution NJ 
  • Contributing Member/University Partner, Humanities Action Lab
  • Co-organizer (with Donna Gustafson), New Jersey Stories: New Perspectives on American Paintings in the Zimmerli Art Museum Public History Project
  • Curator & supervisor of student curators, “Climate Justice is Worker Justice in New Brunswick, NJ,” in Humanities Action Lab traveling exhibit, Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice
  • Consultant, organizer, & supervisor of student docents, Historical Walking Tours, Scarlet & Black Project, Rutgers University
  • Co-organizer and Planning Committee Member, Telling Untold Histories Unconference
  • Exhibitions Research Consultant, Department of Human History, National Museums of Northern Ireland
  • Public Programs Coordinator, Ephrata Public Library
  • Project Archivist, Center for Pennsylvania German Studies, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
  • Project Archivist, Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley
  • Project Archivist, Pennsylvania Folklife Society Collection, Ursinus College

RECENT COURSES TAUGHT

  • Public History: Theory, Method, and Practice
  • Public History Internship
  • New Jersey History
  • Revising Rutgers: Architecture, History, & Preservation on Campus (co-taught with Prof. Carla Yanni, Art History)

AWARDS & FELLOWSHIPS

  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University, 2019-2020
  • Humanities Innovation Block Grant, School of Graduate Studies, Rutgers University, 2018-2019
  • Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2017-2018
  • Digital Humanities Initiative Seed Grant, Rutgers University, 2017-2018
  • Prindle Institute Fellow, Prindle Institute for Ethics Seminar on Ethics and Epistemology in the Archives, Depauw University, 2016
  • Lord Baltimore Fellowship, Maryland Historical Society, 2015-2016
  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Law Research Grant, University of Leicester, 2015
  • Peter Parish Memorial Award, Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians, 2014

OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Editor, Global Perspectives on Public History Series, Routledge
  • Member, Editorial Board, Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies
  • Member, Editorial Board, New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Member, Editorial Board, Pennsylvania Historical Association History Series, Temple University Press
  • Affiliate Editor, History@Work, National Council on Public History
  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Julia Stephens
  • Associate Professor of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Additional Degree(s): M.Phil., Trinity College, Cambridge B.A., Harvard College
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2016
  • Specialty: Colonial and Post-Colonial South Asia: Legal History
  • Email: julia.stephens@rutgers.edu
  • Office: 114 Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8261

 

{Photo credit: Roy Groething}

RESEARCH INTERESTS

My research focuses on how law has shaped religion, family, and economy in colonial and post-colonial South Asia and in the wider Indian diaspora. My first book, entitled Governing Islam: Law, Empire, and Secularism in South Asia, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. The book moves between official archives of colonial law and wider spheres of public debates, bringing into conversation vernacular pamphlets and newspapers, Urdu fatwas, colonial legal cases, and legislative deliberations. Drawing on these wide-ranging legal archives, Governing Islam explores how colonial law constructed a new religious/secular binary that was deeply influential, and vibrantly contested inside and outside colonial courts.

I am currently working on a project on inheritance and diasporic Indian families, tentatively entitled Worldly Afterlives: Death and Diaspora in the Indian Ocean. The project traces the lives of Indian migrants—sailors, petty moneylenders, female merchants, and even circus performers—by looking at the assets they left behind after their deaths. These estates ranged from mercantile fortunes to a few treasured personal effects, including letters, jewelry, or a pocketful of receipts for small debts owed by fellow travelers. Relatives in India and abroad struggled to navigate complex international bureaucracies in order to track down information about long-lost relatives and the property they left behind. This archive provides a window into the intersecting histories of diasporic families and the formation of state bureaucracies for managing global flows of labor and capital. In the coming years this research will take me to India, South Africa, Zanzibar, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

My teaching includes surveys on modern South Asia and political Islam, and more specialized seminars on Islamic law, postcolonial and subaltern theory, and diasporic family histories. Before coming to Rutgers, I taught at Yale, Cambridge, and Harvard.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Governing Islam: Law, Empire, and Secularism in South Asia (Cambridge University, Press, 2018). South Asia Edition, 2019.
  • “A Bureaucracy of Rejection: Petitioning and the Impoverished Paternalism of the British-Indian Raj.” Modern Asian Studies 53, no. 1 (January 2019): 177-202.
  • “The Past and Future of the Muslim Post-Colonial Moment: Islamic Economy and Social Justice in South Asia.” In The Postcolonial Moment in South and Southeast Asia, edited by Gyan Prakash, Nikhil Menon, and Michael Laffan. London: Bloomsbury, 2018.
  • “An Uncertain Inheritance: The Imperial Travels of Legal Migrants, from British India to Ottoman Iraq,” Law and History Review 32.4 (November 2014).
  • “The Politics of Muslim Rage: Secular Law and Religious Sentiments in Late-Colonial India,” History Workshop Journal (Spring 2014): 45-64.
  • “The Phantom Wahhabi: Liberalism and the Muslim Fanatic in Mid-Victorian India,” Modern Asian Studies 47.1(January 2013): 22-52.

SELECTED GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS

  • Award for Distinguished Contribution to Undergraduate Education, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University (2019)
  • InterAsia Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council (2016-2017)
  • Kempf Memorial Fund, MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University (2015-2016)
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge University (2013-2014)
  • Sidney R. Knafel Completion Fellowship, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University (2012-2013)
  • Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education (2008-2012)

 

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Johan Mathew
  • Associate Professor of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Additional Degree(s): Diploma in Arabic, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), B.A. Princeton University
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2016
  • Specialty: Global and Economic History; Indian Ocean
  • Email: johan.mathew@rutgers.edu
  • Office: 106 Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8380

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I am a cultural and social historian of the economy with a particular interest in illicit commerce and how it shapes modern capitalism. Geographically, I have focused on the Indian Ocean but I study and teach transnational and global history more generally. Before coming to Rutgers I was jointly appointed in the Departments of History and Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

My first book, Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism across the Arabian Sea (University of California Press, 2016), traced the hidden networks that trafficked slaves, guns and gold across the Arabian Sea in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The book shows how capitalism is constituted by the constant process of distinguishing and delegitimizing certain forms of exchange as trafficking. Connected to this project I have several articles and chapters on trust, corruption, violence, and diaspora in the Indian Ocean world.

I am currently working on a second project tentatively entitled, “Opiates of the Masses: A Biography of Humanity in the Time of Capital.” This research explores the consumption of cannabis, opium and other narcotics with particular concern for how and why they are consumed by the working classes in the global south. I’m interested in how these substances allow human bodies to adapt to the demands of an industrial production and the time pressures of a capitalist economy. The project is not concerned with drugs so much as the fraught relationship between capitalist markets and the human experience of pain and pleasure.

COURSES TAUGHT

  • 506:102 World History 1500 to the Present
  • 506:220 Piracy: A Global History
  • 506:299 History Workshop: Slavery and Islam
  • 508:337 Pilgrims, Pirates and Poets: Globalization in the Indian Ocean World
  • 510:541 Colloquium on Global History: Capitalism and its Discontents (Graduate)
  • 090:293 The Political Economy of Piracy (Honors)

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism across the Arabian Sea (University of California Press, 2016).
  • “On Principals and Agency: Reassembling Trust in Indian Ocean Commerce” in Comparative Studies in Society and History 61, no. 2, (April 2019): 242-268
  • “Smoke on the Water: Cannabis Smuggling, Corruption and the Janus-Faced Colonial State” in History Workshop Journal 86, (October 2018): 67-89
  • “Spectres of Pan-Islam: Methodological Nationalism and the Origins of Decolonization” in Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 45, no. 6 (December 2017): 942-968.
  • “Sindbad’s Ocean: Reframing the Market in the Middle East,” Roundtable essay in the International Journal of Middle East Studies 48, no. 4 (December 2016): 754-757.
  • “Trafficking Labor: Abolition and the Exchange of Labor across the Arabian Sea, 1861-1947” in Slavery & Abolition 33, no. 1, (March 2012): 139-156.

SELECTED FELLOWSHIPS, GRANTS AND AWARDS

  • Ralph Gomory Prize, The Business History Conference (for Margins of the Market)
  • Roger Owen Book Award, Middle East Studies Association (for Margins of the Market)
  • Middle East Political Economy Prize, The Political Economy Project (for Margins of the Market)
  • First Monograph Prize in Economic and Social History, The Economic History Society (for Margins of the Market)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, John E. Sawyer Seminar Grant, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Business History Conference, Herman E. Krooss Dissertation Prize (Finalist)
  • Social Science Research Council, Postdoctoral Fellowship for Transregional Research