Office: Herter 621
Fax: (413) 545-6137
Degree: Ph.D. New York University, (2008).
Fields of interest: Civil War Era, U.S South, U.S. Borderlands, Transnational Race and Labor.
Courses Taught Recently:
The United States and the World (graduate)
Civil War Era
U.S. Reunion and Reconstruction, 1863-1898
Research Interests and Professional Activities
Cornell is completing her first book manuscript, “Americans in the U.S. South and Mexico: A Transnational History of Race, Slavery, and Freedom, 1810-1925.” By illuminating black and white Southerners' visions of themselves as members of a transnational community, she shows that Southerners' conceptualizations of race and labor did not always fall neatly into the categories of “black” and “white,” nor into those of slavery and freedom. Rather, Southerners considered Mexico and Mexicans as providing potentially alternative configurations of race and labor, both in the present and in the future. Although scholars characterize the Mexicanization of the U.S. South as a recent phenomenon disrupting the black-white binary, this book, the first study of Mexicans in the nineteenth-century South, demonstrates this is not the case. Cornell’s work engages a wide variety of Southerners over a century as well as the reverse flow of Mexicans into the South, providing a sweeping view to demonstrate that moments of transnational engagement were not exceptional, but commonplace as Southerners confronted hemispheric upheaval and new possibilities in the age of emancipation.