Integrated Search Menu

J Schermerhorn

Profile photo
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Biography

I am Head of History and Associate Professor teaching courses in American, Atlantic, and World/Global history and specializing in slavery, capitalism, and African American family life under slavery.

My recent book by Yale University Press, The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860 follows the money of American slavery to the ends of credit chains financing it, detailing slave traders' business strategies and the responses of enslaved Americans.

Other books include Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011) and Henry Goings, Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery, co-edited with Mike Plunkett and Edward Gaynor (University of Virginia Press, 2012). 

Projects underway include Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery (Cambridge University Press), which gives a thematic overview of African American slavery from the Revolution to Reconstruction.

I'm also researching a book-length exploration of slavery's contested literary narrative during the nineteenth century and another detailing the financial history of the removal of Muscokee Creek Indians in the context of the domestic slave trade.

I came to ASU in 2008 after earning a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Before that I worked in marketing and family support on an Air Force base and earned degrees from the Harvard Divinity School and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. I grew up in Southern Maryland.

Besides generous support from ASU, my research has been funded by fellowships and  grants from the Smithsonian, Huntington Library, Gilder Lehrman Center, American Philosophical Society, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, among other organizations.

Thanks for visiting my page!

Research Interests

African American history, slavery, capitalism, U.S. South, public history, human trafficking in America and the Atlantic world

Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 492Honors Directed Study
HST 590Reading and Conference
HST 591Seminar
HST 598Special Topics
HST 599Thesis
HST 792Research
HST 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 306Studies in US History
HST 591Seminar
HST 792Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 109United States to 1865
HST 408Civil War & Reconstruction
HST 790Reading and Conference
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 407Early U.S. Republic/1789-1850
HST 591Seminar
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 408Civil War & Reconstruction
HST 493Honors Thesis
HST 591Seminar
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 492Honors Directed Study
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 408Civil War & Reconstruction
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
HST 790Reading and Conference
Fall 2012
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 498Pro-Seminar
HST 598Special Topics
Service
  • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Corona del Sol High School, Judge (2014 - Present)
  • Graduate Committee, History, SHPRS, Member (2014 - Present)
  • Doctoral Exam Committee, Examiner (2013 - Present)
  • Search Committee, Modern United States Political History, Member (2012 - Present)
  • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Corona del Sol High School, Judge (2012 - Present)
  • History Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee, Member (2012 - Present)
  • Road to Disunion: The Geopolitics of Slavery, Political Crisis, and the Onset of Civil War" American History from A to Z, Presidential Engagement Program, ASU Foundation for a New American University., Invited Speaker (2012 - Present)
  • "The South, Slavery, and the Rise of King Cotton," Aspire Academy at Connolly Middle School, Tempe, Arizona., Invited Speaker (2012 - Present)
  • Journal of the Early Republic, Reviewer (2012 - Present)
  • American Nineteenth Century History, Reviewer (2012 - Present)
  • Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award Committee, Member (2012 - Present)
  • Roger Adelson Graduate Research Award Committee, Chair (2012 - Present)
  • Ohio University Press, Manuscript Review (2012 - Present)
  • The Public Historian, Peer Reviewer (2010 - Present)
  • Committee to Establish a Graduate Field in Global and World History, Member (2008 - Present)
  • Committee to establish a Graduate Certificate in Global and World History, Member (2008 - Present)
  • Committee to establish a Graduate Certificate in Global and World History, Member (2008 - Present)
  • History Department Graduate Committee to establish a graduate field in global and world history, Member (2008 - Present)
  • Undergraduate Policy Committee, History Department, Member (2008 - Present)
  • Oxford University Press, Outside Reviewer and Reader (2008 - Present)
  • Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Editorial Board Member (2014 - 2016)
  • Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Ark Media for PBS, Professional Historical Consulatant (2014 - 2014)
  • Routledge, Manuscript Reviewer (2014 - 2014)
  • Carol & Norris Hundley Award Committee, Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Chair (2014 - 2014)
  • Personnel Advisory Committee (PAC), Member (2014 - 2014)
  • Doctoral Exam Committee, History, SHPRS, Examiner (2013 - 2014)
  • Carol and Norris Hundley Award Committee, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, Member (2012 - 2014)
  • Journal of Southern History, Peer reviewer (2014 - 2014)
  • Journal of Policy History, Peer reviewer (2013 - 2014)
  • University of Georgia Press, Manuscript Review (2013 - 2013)
  • Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Peer Reviewer (2013 - 2013)
  • University Senate, Senator (2011 - 2013)
  • Carol & Norris Hundley Award Committee, Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Chair (2013 - 2013)
  • History Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee, Member (2012 - 2013)
  • History Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee, Member (2012 - 2013)
  • Search Committee, Modern United States Political History, Member (2012 - 2013)
  • Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee, Member (2011 - 2011)
  • Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, Reviewer (2011 - 2011)
  • CQ Press/SAGE, Anonymous Outside Reader (2010 - 2010)
  • Personnel Advisory Committee, Member (2009 - 2010)
  • Oxford University Press, Anonymous Outside Reader (2008 - 2009)