Faculty at the School of Arts and Humanities

Ben Wright

Assistant Professor

Areas of Specialization:  Nineteenth century America; Slavery and Abolition; Religious history; Digital Humanities

Office:  JO 5.412
Mail Station:  JO 31
Email:  [email protected]
Phone:  972-883-6019

My courses in American history, African American history, the Atlantic World, and the digital humanities all require students to perform as historians: analyzing primary documents, crafting arguments based on these documents, and evaluating the arguments of other historians. Students of history become careful readers, creative thinkers, and clear communicators—all essential skills for success in contemporary life.

My research explores how people of faith have understood social injustice, particularly around issues of race and ethnicity. My book manuscript, under contract with LSU Press, answers why so many antislavery Americans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries never took a political stand by joining antislavery societies, writing tracts, or pressuring politicians.

My scholarship on the history of antislavery has brought me into contact with activists working on issues of modern slavery and human trafficking. I believe that history should inform these contemporary movements and I serve as a Sojourner Truth Fellow of Historians Against Slavery to organize a national network of student antislavery activists through The Free Project.

I am the coeditor of Apocalypse and the Millennium in the American Civil War Era, (LSU Press, 2013), an anthology that explores how Americans understood the future during an era of national crisis. I have a chapter in a forthcoming anthology that introduces the themes of my second project, which unfolds the religious roots of modern imperialism through an exploration of the British and American colonization of Africa.

I have a particular interest in the teaching opportunities and democratizing potential of digital technology. I am the co-editor of The American Yawp, a free and online American history textbook (americanyawp.com). I am also the coeditor of abolitionseminar.org, a NEH-funded resource for K-12 teachers. My interest in critical pedagogy has led me to serve as managing editor of the Teaching United States History Blog (teachingushistory.co).

When not writing or teaching, I am likely listening to the music of Bruce Springsteen or rooting on my beloved Green Bay Packers.

PhD in History, Rice University, 2014
MA in American Studies, Columbia University, 2008
BA in History and Secondary Education, Bethel University, 2006

Curriculum Vitae:  Ben Wright's CV

Website(s):  Ben Wright's Website