William Sturkey

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Sturkey_William_smallAssistant Professor

552 Hamilton Hall
CB# 3195
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
919.962.1109 (Phone)



BA The Ohio State University, 2005
MA University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007
PhD The Ohio State University, 2012

Research Interests

William Sturkey is an historian of Modern American, African American, and Southern History with a particular research focus on race in the American South, working-class African American communities, the Civil Rights Movement, and the relationship between racial minorities and state and federal governments. His first book was an edited collection of the newspapers, essays, and poems produced by young black Freedom School students during the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer. His second book, currently in progress, examines the effects of modernization and the expansion of the liberal state on Southern Jim Crow and black activism. Dr. Sturkey has also begun researching his next major book project, a study of the experiences of Mexican American Vietnam War veterans.

Some Notable Publications

  • The Shadows of Modern America: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow in the New South (Harvard University Press, Under Contract)
  • Co-editor with Jon Hale, To Write in the Light of Freedom: The Newspapers of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2015)
  • “‘Crafts of Freedom:’ The Poor People’s Corporation and Working-Class African American Women’s Activism for Black Power,” The Journal of Mississippi History, Vol. LXXIV, No. 1 (Spring 2012): 25–60
  • “‘I Want to Become Part of History:’ Freedom Summer, Freedom Schools, and the Freedom News,” The Journal of African American History, Vol. 95, No. 3 & 4 (Summer/Fall 2010): 348–368, Special Issue on “Black Print Culture”

Courses Offered (as schedules allow)

For current course listings, consult the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes.

  • History 89: First Year Seminar: Go Tell It On the Mountain: Black Life in the Fifties
  • History 128: American History since 1865
  • History 382: The History of the Civil Rights Movement
  • History 384: America in the 1960s
  • History 398: History Research Seminar, “The American Icon” & “My Hometown”
  • History 728: Graduate Colloquium in U.S. History since 1900,



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