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Institute Faculty

This institute offers a series of eminent scholars who are intimately familiar with slavery and its relation to the Constitution.

Eric Foner/1 day
DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History
Columbia University

Eric FonerEric Foner specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery and 19th-century America. He is one of only two persons to serve as president of the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association and Society of American Historians. He has also been the curator of several museum exhibitions, including the prize-winning "A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln," at the Chicago Historical Society. His book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery won the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Lincoln prizes for 2011. His latest book is Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad. Visit his faculty page at Columbia University to learn more.

Lacy K. Ford, Jr./1 day
Professor of History
University of South Carolina

Lacy FordLacy K. Ford has served as dean of the College Of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina since July 2016.  Previously he served as senior vice provost and dean of graduate studies, 2010-2016. Ford is a professor of history and former chair of that department (2007-2010). His scholarly interests are the political and economic history of the American South.  Twice a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellow and once an ACLS fellow, Ford is the author most recently of Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South (2009) and reviewed in the September 20, 2009 issue of the New York Times Book Review. Deliver Us From Evil also won the 2010 Mary Lawton Hodges prize for best book on the South published in 2009.  More recently Ford has published “Henry Clay: American Commerce and the Public Option,” in The Journal of the Historical Society  (March 2013), and ”Twenty-First Century South Carolina’s Economic Development Dilemma: The Evolution of a Crisis, 1950-2014,“ in Robert Brinkmeyer, ed. Citizen Scholar: Essays in Honor of Walter Edgar (2016). Earlier in his career, Ford authored Origins of Southern Radicalism:  The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860 (1988), which won the Francis B. Simkins Prize, 1988-1989, and was reviewed in The New York Review of Books by James M. McPherson. Ford is currently working on a history of Electric Cooperatives  in South Carolina in conjunction with their 75th anniversary celebration as well as on an essay tentatively titled “A Meaning of the American Civil War for the Twenty First Century: A Post-Cold War Reflection.” Visit his faculty page at the University of South Carolina to learn more.

Jenny Bourne/1 day
Professor of Incentive Economics
Carleton College

Jenny BourneJenny Bourne has previously held positions at St. Olaf College, George Mason University, and the U.S. Treasury Department. She has published in the areas of American economic history, demography, tax policy and law. Her book on the economics of slave law was published by Cambridge University Press; her book on the economic history of the Grange movement was published in January 2017 by Ohio University Press. Her current research includes an analysis of wealth concentration and returns to capital across wealth groups, an investigation of taxes paid across wealth groups, the effects of the Civil War on the postbellum economy, and the impact of Civil-War finance on financial and governmental institutions. She is a member of the Statistics of Income Consultants’ Panel at the Internal Revenue Service and she served on the Tax Expenditure Review Study Group for the State of Minnesota (2010-11). She teaches courses in labor economics, law and economics, American economic history, economics of race, public finance, price theory and microeconomic principles. Visit her faculty profile at Carleton College to learn more.

Spencer Crew/1 day
Robinson Professor of History
George Mason University

Spencer CrewSpencer Crew has worked in public history institutions for more than 25 years. He served as president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for six years and worked at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution for 20 years. Nine of those years he served as the director of NMAH. At each of those institutions he sought to make history accessible to the public through innovative and inclusive exhibitions and public programs. His most important exhibition was the groundbreaking “Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915 – 1940” which generated a national discussion about migration, race and creating historical exhibitions. He also co-curated “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden” which is one of the Smithsonian’s most popular exhibitions. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has attracted worldwide attention because of the quality of its presentations and focus on race, interracial cooperation and issues of contemporary slavery. Crew has published extensively in the areas of African American and Public History.  Among his publications are Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915 - 1940 (1987) and Black Life in Secondary Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Black Communities of Camden and Elizabeth, N.J. 1860 - 1920 (1993). He co-authored The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden (2002) and Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives (2002). Visit his faculty page at George Mason University to learn more.

Seymour Drescher/1 day
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History
University of Pittsburgh

Seymour DrescherSeymour Drescher is emeritus distinguished university professor of history and sociology. He was awarded his bachelor of arts by the City College of New York, his master's degree at the University of Wisconsin and his doctorate at Wisconsin. He served as the inaugural secretary of the European Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS), and was distinguished visiting professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Drescher has been awarded Fullbright, NEH, ACLS, Guggenheim and Woodrow Wilson International Center Fellowships. In addition to studies of Alexis de Tocqueville he has authored a number of works on slavery and abolition, including: Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition (1977, reprinted 2010); and Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery (2009); Capitalism and Antislavery (1986); From Slavery to Freedom (1999); and The Mighty Experiment (2002), which was awarded the Frederick Douglass Book Prize by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery. Most recently, he authored Pathways from Slavery: British and Colonial Mobilizations in Comparative Perspective (2017). He has co-edited a number of books, including Antislavery, Religion and Reform (1980); The Meaning of Freedom (1992); A Historical Guide to World Slavery (1998); Slavery (2001); Who Abolished Slavery? Slave Revolts and Abolitionism (2010); and the fourth volume of The Cambridge World History of Slavery: 1804-Present (2017). Relevant recent articles include: “Democracy, Civil Society and Antislavery in Tocquevillian Perspective” in Slavery and Abolition, vol. 35, no. 4, 592-610; and “Civil Society and Paths to Abolition”, in Journal of Global Slavery, vol 1, no. 1, 44-71; and in “A Sociadade Civil e os Caminlos para abolicao”, in Historia (Sao Paulo), vol. 34, no. 2. Visit his faculty page to learn more.

Kate Masur/1 day
Associate Professor of History
Northwestern University

Kate MasurEmphasizing law, politics and everyday life, Kate Masur's scholarship explores how Americans grappled with questions of race and equality after the abolition of slavery in both the North and South. She is author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C., and numerous articles on emancipation and black politics in the Civil War era. She is also co-editor (with Gregory Downs) of The World the Civil War Made, a collection of essays that charts new directions in the study of the post-Civil War period. She recently wrote the introduction for a new edition of They Knew Lincoln by John E. Washington, a largely forgotten 1942 classic in Lincoln studies and African-American history. She is currently writing a book about personal liberty, police powers and the origins of the 14th Amendment. Visit her faculty page to learn more.