American Political History Seminar - "White Southerners and the Fate of American Liberalism"

American Political History
Event date: 
March 30, 2017 -
4:30pm to 6:00pm
Speaker(s): 
Joseph Crespino
Emory University
Commentators: 
Sean Wilentz
Princeton University
Seminar Series: 
American Political History Seminar
Co-Sponsored by: 
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Audience: 
Public

"White Southerners and the Fate of American Liberalism"

Joseph Crespino, Emory University


There is a pre-circulated, password-protected paper for this seminar. Please email Jennifer Loessy for the password.


Joseph Crespino, is the Jimmy Carter Professor of 20th century American political history and Southern history since Reconstruction at Emory University. Crespino is a historian of the twentieth century United States, with expertise in the political history of post-World War II America.  His published work has examined the intersections of region, race and religion in American politics in the second half of the twentieth century.  The argument that animates both of his books, as well as an edited collection, is the notion that the struggles in the American South over race and modernization in the twentieth century should not be viewed in isolation, but rather as part of a broader series of transformations in national political life.  

He is currently at work on two projects.  The first is a history of civil rights struggle in the American South that takes as its starting point the notion that African Americans’ confrontation with Jim Crow represented not only a political crisis, but a religious, or spiritual, one as well, and it follows the implications of that idea for how we write the history of this period.  The second is a study of Atticus Finch, the hero of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, and how the figure of Atticus and the enduring influence of the novel have both reflected and shaped American arguments over race and morality in the modern South and nation.

Crespino teaches a range of courses on the history of modern American politics and the history of the American South.  In 2009 he was awarded the Emory Center for Teaching and Curriculum’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.


The American Political History seminar series serves as a forum for scholars interested in American political history, broadly defined. Based in the Department of History, the seminar brings together faculty and graduate students from across campus for an exchange of ideas and an exploration of cutting-edge work in this resurgent field. The seminar offers Princeton graduate students a chance to meet with pre-eminent scholars working in American political history and discuss their works in progress. The seminars are organized by Professors Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer.

Contact: 
Jennifer Loessy
Area of Interest: 
Political History
Social History
Region: 
American South
Period: 
20th Century