J Schermerhorn

Coor Hall 4572
975 S. Myrtle Ave. Box 874302
Arizona State University
Tempe

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

Courses

Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
HST 493 Honors Thesis
HST 792 Research
HST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
HST 492 Honors Directed Study
HST 494 Special Topics
HST 591 Seminar
HST 792 Research
HST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
HST 130 The Historian's Craft
HST 494 Special Topics
HST 792 Research
HST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
HST 494 Special Topics
HST 591 Seminar
HST 792 Research
HST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
HST 493 Honors Thesis
HST 494 Special Topics
HST 591 Seminar
HST 792 Research
HST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
HST 109 United States to 1865
HST 493 Honors Thesis
HST 494 Special Topics
HST 792 Research
HST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
HST 492 Honors Directed Study
HST 590 Reading and Conference
HST 591 Seminar
HST 598 Special Topics
HST 599 Thesis
HST 792 Research
HST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
HST 306 Studies in US History
HST 591 Seminar
HST 792 Research
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
HST 109 United States to 1865
HST 408 Civil War & Reconstruction
HST 790 Reading and Conference
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
HST 407 Early U.S. Republic/1789-1850
HST 591 Seminar

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)