Stephen Kantrowitz, associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, studies the intersection of race, gender, and politics in the nineteenth-century United States. His first book, Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy (University of North Carolina Press: 2000), used the career of a prominent white supremacist leader to explore the ideas and practices of white manhood and their relationship to the failure of interracial political movements in the post-emancipation South.
At Radcliffe, Kantrowitz will work on his next book, which will follow the struggles of Massachusetts’ radical abolitionists after they emerged as a major political force during the 1850s. These men and women—black and white, born in slavery and in freedom, espousing diverse forms of radical change—played key roles in bringing about the war and winning it and in remaking Southern society, but they also sought to make a revolution in Northern life and social relations. This study will concentrate on their collective efforts in and around Boston, their relationships to one another’s projects, the limits of their successes during and after Reconstruction, and their place in remaking the memory of the abolition struggle at the end of the nineteenth century.
Kantrowitz earned his PhD at Princeton University. At Wisconsin his many grants and teaching awards include a Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. His first book won the Ellis Hawley prize for political history from the Organization of American Historians.