As an assistant professor at Smith College, I specialize in nineteenth century U.S. history and race.  Before I started at Smith, from 2008-2009, I was a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCLA School of Law where I examined legal definitions of African American and gendered citizenship prior to the Civil War.  My specific research and teaching interests include an examination of United States citizenship from the early national period through the passage of the 15th Amendment.  While teaching the nineteenth century, it became obvious that the students and I needed to create a common set of understandings when confronting the racist, ableist, and sexist language of the period.  Thus, I started to develop a pedagogy for teaching the n-word and other violent language in the college classroom.  In 2011, I won a student government teaching award and in April of 2016 I received the Smith College Sherred Prize for Distinguished Teaching.  My first book will be published in the fall of 2016 by the University of North Carolina Press and is called “Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War.” An article, drawn from the book, about the impact of the n-word on nineteenth century African American mobility, will be published in June by “Journal of the Early Republic”

"Jim Crow" Cars, Passport Denials and Atlantic Crossings: African-American Travel, Protest and Citizenship at Home and Abroad, 1827-1865Patricia Cohen