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Manisha Sinha

Professor

masinha@afroam.umass.edu

(413) 545-2751

303 New Africa House

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 American History Association's 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.

Click on the following link for Professor Sinha's speech on C-SPAN:  Allies for Emancipation: Lincoln and Black Abolitionists

Research Areas

  • Early American, Southern, and African American History
  • Transnational Histories of Slavery, Abolition, and Feminism
  • United States Political History
  • The History and Legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction

Publications

"The Long and Proud History of Charleston's AME Church," The Huffington Post, June 19, 2015.

“The Untold History Beneath ’12 Years’: NYC’s Sordid History, The New York Daily News, March 2, 2014.

"The Forgotten Emancipationists,” Opinionator-Disunion, The New York Times, February 24, 2013.

"Lincoln Again,” History Workshop Online, February 24, 2013.

"South Carolina's Secession at 150," The Huffington Post, December 20, 2010.

"The Strange Victory of the Palmetto State" in The New York Times


The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale Univ. Press, Feb. 2016)

 

The Abolitionist Imagination, by Andrew Delbanco (Harvard University Press, 2012)
with Commentaries by John Stauffer, Manisha Sinha, Darryl Pinckney, Wilfred M. McClay


Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race and Power in American History,
with Penny Von Eschen, eds.  (Columbia University Press, 2007)


African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the Slave Trade to the Twenty-first Century, 
with John H. Bracey, eds. Volume One: to 1877  (New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2004)


African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the Slave Trade to the Twenty-first Century,
with John H. Bracey, eds. Volume Two: From 1865 to the Present  (New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2004)


The Counter-Revolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina,
(Chapel Hill, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2000)

 

Articles

"The Long and Proud History of Charleston's AME Church," in Chad Williams, Kidada E. Williams, and Keisha N. Blain eds., Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016): 69-70

"Abraham Lincoln's Competing Political Loyalties: Union, Constitution, and Antislavery," in Nicholas Buccola ed., Abraham Lincoln and Liberal Democracy (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2016): 164-191

"The Other Francis Ellen Watkins Harper," Common-place (Spring 2016) Vol. 16 No. 2, http://common-place.org/book/the-other-frances-ellen-watkins-harper/

"Was Harriet Beecher Stowe an Abolitionist?" We're History April 14, 2016,http://werehistory.org/stowe/

"Did he Die an Abolitionist? The Evolution of Abraham Lincoln's Antislavery" American Political Thought 4 (Summer 2015): 439-454.

“Lincoln and Black Abolitionists,” in David S. Reynolds ed., Lincoln’s Selected Writing: Authoritative Texts, Lincoln in His Era, Modern Views (New York, 2015): 495-502 Reprint of Allies for Emancipation?: Lincoln and Black Abolitionists,” in Eric Foner ed., Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008): 167-196.

“Memory as History, Memory as Activism: The Forgotten Abolitionist Struggle after the Civil War,” commonplace 14 (Winter 2014) http://www.common-place.org/vol-14/no-02/sinha/#.U6gk7Shy_zJ

“Stanley Harrold’s Border Wars: An Appreciation,” Ohio Valley History 14 (Summer 2014): 32-42

“Black Abolitionists Developed Their Own Radical Tradition” in Richard D. Brown and Benjamin Carp eds., Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution Third Edition (Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014): 277-285 Reprint of “To ‘Cast Just Obliquy’ on Oppressors: Black Radicalism in the Age of Revolution” William and Mary Quarterly LXIV (January 2007): 149-160

“The Complicated Histories of Emancipation: State of the Field at 150,” Reviews in American History 41 (December 2013): 665-671

“Architects of Their Own Liberation: African Americans, Emancipation and the Civil War,” OAH Magazine of History 27 (April 2013): 1-6

http://maghis.oxfordjournals.org/content/27/2/7.full?X

“Historians’ Forum: The Emancipation Proclamation,” Civil War History 59 (March 2013): 7-31

“The Strange Victory of the Palmetto State” in Ted Widmer ed. with Clay Risen & George Kalogerakis, The New York Times Disunion: Modern Historians Revisit and Reconsider the Civil War from Lincoln’s Election to the Emancipation Proclamation (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2013): 60-63

“Did the Abolitionists Cause the Civil War?” in The Abolitionist Imagination (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012): 81-108.

“Secession,” Civil War at 150 First Series (New York: Library of America, 2012): 1-5

“James W.C. Pennington and Transatlantic Abolitionism,” Heidelberg Center for American Studies, Annual Report 2010-2011 (Heidelberg, Germany, 2011): 160-175

“The Political Ideology of Secession in South Carolina,” in Michael Perman and Amy Murrell Taylor eds., Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction Third Edition (Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011): 121-135. Reprint of "Revolution or Counterrevolution? The Political Ideology of Secession in Antebellum South Carolina," Civil War History Vol. XLVI No. 3 (September, 2000): 205-226.

“Making Sense of John Brown’s Raid,” in Edward Ayers and Carolyn R. Martin eds., America on the Eve of the Civil War: A Virginia Sesquicentennial Conference (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010): 69-89, 112-120.

Allies for Emancipation?: Lincoln and Black Abolitionists,” in Eric Foner ed., Our Lincoln: New Perspectives on Lincoln and His World (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008): 167-196.

“An Alternative Tradition of Radicalism: African American Abolitionists and the Metaphor of Revolution, 1775-1865” in Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race and Power in American History (Columbia University Press, 2007): 9-30

“To ‘Cast Just Obliquy’ on Oppressors: Black Radicalism in the Age of Revolution” William and Mary Quarterly LXIV (January 2007): 149-160

“Coming of Age: The Historiography of Black Abolitionism,” in Timothy Patrick McCarthy and John Stauffer eds, Prophets of Protest: Reconsidering the History of American Abolitionism (New York: New Press, 2006): 23-38

“His Truth Is Marching On: John Brown and the Fight for Racial Justice,” in Civil War History 52 (June 2006): 161-169

“Black Abolitionism: The Assault on Southern Slavery and the Struggle for Racial Equality,” in Ira Berlin and Leslie Harris eds., Slavery in New York (New York: New Press, 2005): 239-262

“Eugene D. Genovese: The Mind of a Marxist Conservative,” Radical History Review 88 (Winter 2004): 4-29

“History and Art in Ready for Revolution” in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (February 2004): 130-133

“American Slavery Ten Years Later,” Journal of American Ethnic History (Fall 2004): 105-109

"The Caning of Charles Sumner: Slavery, Race and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War,” Journal of the Early Republic Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer 2003): 233-262

"Revolution or Counterrevolution? The Political Ideology of Secession in Antebellum South Carolina," Civil War History Vol. XLVI No. 3 (September, 2000): 205-226

"Judicial Nullification: The South Carolina Led Southern Movement to Reopen the African Slave Trade in the 1850s" in Maria Diedrich, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Carl Pedersen eds., Black Imagination and the Middle Passage (Oxford University Press, 1999) 127-143

"The Caning of Charles Sumner and the Struggle for a Non Racial Democracy in the Age of the Civil War" in Biancamaria Pisapia, Ugo Rubeo, and Anna Scacchi eds., Red Badges of Courage: Wars and Conflicts 

Awards and Accolades

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016-2107
  • Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award in Recognition of Outstanding Graduate Teaching and Advising, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2015-2016
  • Exceptional Merit Award, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2013
  • Chancellor’s Medal and Distinguished Faculty Lecture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2011
  • Howard Foundation Fellowship, Brown University, 2009-2010
  • Faculty Fellowship, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University, 2007-2008
  • Elected Member, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, 2006-
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester,  2004-2005
  • Appointed to Distinguished Lecture Series, Organization of American Historians, 2003-
  • Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia 1999
  • Rockefeller Post Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1994-95
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University, 1993-94
  • Mrs. Giles Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, Columbia University, 1992-93

Courses Recently Taught

  • The Politics of Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War
  • Slavery
  • History of the South From the Colonial Period to 1900
  • Abolition and Antislavery
  • African Americans and the Movements to Abolish Slavery, 1775-1865
  • Major Works in African American History
  • Introduction to African American History, 1619-1860
  • The Radical Tradition in American History
  • The Civil War and Reconstruction