I grew up in Southern Maryland in a place whose beauty hid its past, particularly slavery and its legacies. After degrees at Harvard Divinity School and the University of Virginia I became a historian of slavery, capitalism, and African American inequality. I am currently Professor of History at Arizona State University and a Dean’s Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences–also a Fellow of ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research in 2019-20.
In addition to a number of articles and essays, I have published three sole-authored books including Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery, The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860, and Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South.
I am at heart a teacher and educator dedicated to bringing diverse subjects to life in the classroom, awaking and nurturing students’ passion for history, and opening students to unimagined career possibilities. I am an eager advisor and have mentored senior and honors theses in African American, Southern, nineteenth-century U.S., economic, literary, and business history. Ph.D. students on whose committees I sit or chair are writing or have defended dissertations on slavery, gender, capitalism, and incarceration. I regularly teach surveys, viewing 100-level courses as ambassadors to the history major and teach a broad range of courses in African American, Atlantic, and North American history, along with thematic courses on capitalism, forced migration, and slavery. Thank you for visiting my site!