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J Schermerhorn

Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Instructor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Instructor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Biography

I grew up in Southern Maryland in a place whose beauty hid its past, particularly slavery and its legacies. After graduate degrees at Harvard Divinity School and the University of Virginia I became a historian of slavery, capitalism, and African American inequality with a focus on nineteenth-century American history. I am currently Professor of History and the Dean's Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences--also a Fellow of ASU's Institute for Humanities Research in 2019-20.

In addition to a number of articles and essays, I have published three sole-authored books including Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery, The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860, and Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South.

I am at heart a teacher and educator dedicated to bringing diverse subjects to life in the classroom, awaking and nurturing students’ passion for history, and opening students to unimagined career possibilities. I am an eager advisor and have mentored senior and honors theses in African American, Southern, nineteenth-century U.S., economic, literary, and business history. Ph.D. students on whose committees I sit or chair are writing or have defended dissertations on slavery, gender, capitalism, and incarceration. Some have gone on to academic jobs, and I am immensely proud of their stunning creativity and diligence. I regularly teach undergraduate surveys, viewing 100-level courses as ambassadors to the history major. I also teach a broad range of courses in African American, Atlantic, and North American history, the early U.S. republic, Civil War and Reconstruction, along with thematic courses on capitalism, forced migration, and global slavery. Arizona State has recognized these contributions with both of its top teaching honors, the Centennial Professorship in 2011 and the Zebulon Pearce Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019.

Follow on Twitter @CalScherm and visit https://calscherm.com for links to recent articles and teaching overview.

Education
  • Ph.D. University of Virginia
  • M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School
  • B.A. Saint Mary's College of Maryland
Research Interests

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

Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 492Honors Directed Study
HST 494Special Topics
HST 591Seminar
HST 792Research
HST 799Dissertation
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 130The Historian's Craft
HST 494Special Topics
HST 792Research
HST 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 494Special Topics
HST 591Seminar
HST 792Research
HST 799Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 493Honors Thesis
HST 494Special Topics
HST 591Seminar
HST 792Research
HST 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 109United States to 1865
HST 493Honors Thesis
HST 494Special Topics
HST 792Research
HST 799Dissertation
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
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)