Skip to content

Shannon Smith

Academic Interests:

Nineteenth-century U.S. history, especially the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, African American history, race and gender, and urban and labor history.


Prof Smith studies the interplay between public celebrations, protests, and rioting, including the role of military and police in protests. She is currently researching the ways that protests and commemorative culture in Minnesota in the 19 thand early 20 th centuries shaped gender and race relations in public space.

Courses Taught:
  • HIST 152A: Protest, Riot, and Rebellion in US History
  • HIST 153: Growing Up in US History
  • HIST 295B: History Colloquium: History in Popular Culture
  • HIST 301: The Invention of Race in the 19 th Century US
  • HIST 353: The Civil War and Reconstruction in American Culture
  • HIST 369: Gender in US History
  • HIST 395G: Historiography: From Women’s History to Gender History

“‘They Mustered a Whole Company of Kuklux as Militia’: State Violence and Black Freedoms in Kentucky’s Readjustment,” in Freedoms Gained and Lost: Reconstruction and Its Meanings 150 Years Later (New York: Fordham University Press, 2021).

“‘We Made the Best Out of a Situation That Was Bad’: School Closings in Modern American Education,” with Karen Dunak, The American Historian, December 2020

“African Americans Have Long Defied White Supremacy and Celebrated Black Culture in Public Spaces,” The Conversation, Aug. 11, 2020 

“There’s a History of White Supremacists Interpreting Government Leaders’ Words as Encouragement,” The Conversation, May 18, 2020

“They Met Force with Force”: African American Protests and Social Status in Louisville’s 1877 Strike,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 115 (Winter 2017), 1-37.

“Teaching Civil War Union Politics: Draft Riots in the Midwest,” OAH Magazine of History, 27 (April 2013), 31–34.

  • Education

    Ph.D., Indiana University
    M.A., University of Nevada, Reno
    B.A., George Fox University