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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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Manisha Sinha


Adjunct Professor of History
Professor of Afro-American Studies

Office: 303 New Africa House
Telephone: (413) 545-4779
Fax: (413) 545-0628

Degree: Ph.D., Columbia University (1994)
Fields of interest: Nineteenth Century U.S.: Political, African American, Southern

Graduate Courses Offered:
African-Americans and the Movement to Abolish Slavery
Civil War and Reconstruction
History of the South from the Colonial Period to 1900
Slavery Research Seminar
The Politics of Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War

Research Interests and Professional Activities

Manisha Sinha is Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was born in India and received her doctorate from Columbia University where her dissertation was nominated for the Bancroft prize. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina (University of North Carolina Press, 2000) and The Slave's Cause: Abolition and the Origins of American Democracy (Forthcoming, Yale University Press, 2015). She is also a contributing author of The Abolitionist Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2012). She is co-editor of the two volume African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the African Slave Trade to the Twenty First Century (Prentice Hall, 2004) and Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race and Power in American History (Columbia University Press, 2007). In 2011, she was awarded the Chancellor?s Medal, the highest honor bestowed on faculty at the University of Massachusetts and delivered the Distinguished Faculty Lecture. In 2006, she was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society and in 2003, she was appointed to the Organization of American Historians? Distinguished Lecture Series.

Sinha is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Philosophical Society, American Council of Learned Societies, the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African American Research at Harvard University, the Howard Foundation at Brown University, a Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities from the University of North Carolina, and the President's and Whiting fellowships from Columbia University. Her research interests lie in nineteenth century United States history, especially the history of slavery and abolition, the sectional conflict and the coming of the Civil War, political and African American history, and the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction. She has published numerous articles and lectured widely on these topics. She is the co-editor of the "Race and the Atlantic World, 1700-1900," series of the University of Georgia Press. She has written for the The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, and the History News Network. She has been interviewed by The Times of London, The Boston Globe, The Springfield Republican, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and appeared on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show .She was an adviser and on-screen expert for the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, The Abolitionists (2013), which is a part of the NEH funded Created Equal film series.