Democracy and Practice: What the C19 Can Teach Us Now (A Roundtable)

D. Berton Emerson

Whitworth University

D. Berton Emerson (co-chair) is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Whitworth University. He has written essays and reviews that have appeared in American Literature, ESQ, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. With Gregory Laski, he is co-editor of a forthcoming J19 forum on “democracy” in the long nineteenth century. His current book project is titled “Local Rules: American Misfit Literature and Its Alternative Democracies, 1828-1861.”

Gregory Laski

United States Air Force Academy

Gregory Laski, civilian assistant professor of English at the United States Air Force Academy, is currently a visiting faculty member in the writing program at Carnegie Mellon University. Trained at Northwestern, he is the author of Untimely Democracy: The Politics of Progress after Slavery (Oxford University Press, 2017). In addition to articles in such journals as J19 and Callaloo, he has written for Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, and the Oxford University Press Blog. He is at work on a cultural history of race and revenge after the Civil War.

Nancy Armstrong

Duke University

Nancy Armstrong (speaker) is Gilbert, Louis, and Edward Lehrman Professor at Duke University, where she teaches courses on the history and theory of the novel. She has served as the editor of the journal Novel: A Forum on Fiction since 1996. Her most recent book is co-authored with Leonard Tennenhouse: Novels in the Time of Democratic Writing: The American Example (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

Mandy Cooper

Duke University

Mandy L. Cooper (speaker) is a PhD candidate in history at Duke University. Her research explores the relationship of family networks with the developing institutions of federal and state government between the Revolution and the Civil War, placing families at the center of political dynamics. Her research has been supported by the South Caroliniana Library, the Virginia Historical Society, and Duke University. In addition to academic conferences, Cooper has worked to engage with the public through curating exhibits and publishing op-eds.

Maggie McKinley

University of Pennsylvania

Maggie McKinley (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe) (speaker) is Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her scholarship combines empirical, theoretical, and historical methods to examine the structural representation and empowerment of minorities. Her current project focuses on legislation, petitioning, lobbying, and Federal Indian law. She is a collaborator with the North American Petition Project in the Harvard Department of Government and ran an eleven-month field study of federal lobbyists in Washington, D.C. At the Petition Project, she developed the first database of all petitions submitted to Congress from the Founding until 2013.

Margot Minardi

Reed College

Margot Minardi (speaker) is Associate Professor of History and Humanities at Reed College. She is the author of Making Slavery History: Abolitionism and the Politics of Memory in Massachusetts (Oxford University Press, 2010). In 2011-2012, she was an MHS-NEH Long-Term Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her current project concerns peace activism in the nineteenth-century United States.

Michelle Sizemore

University of Kentucky

Michelle Sizemore (speaker) is Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of American Enchantment: Rituals of the People in the Post-Revolutionary World (forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2017). Her articles have appeared in Studies in American Fiction, Legacy, and other venues.

Kyle G. Volk

University of Montana

Kyle G. Volk (speaker) is Associate Professor of History at the University of Montana. His research focuses on the history of democracy; the problem of dissent and difference in American public life; and capitalism, law, and the American state. His first book, Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2014) received the OAH’s Merle Curti Prize for Best Book in American Intellectual History and honorable mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for the Best First Book in American History. His current research explores the problem and politics of personal liberty in United States history.


Title: Democracy and Practice: What the C19 Can Teach Us Now (A Roundtable) Co-chairs: D. Berton Emerson (Whitworth University) and Gregory Laski (United States Air Force Academy) Participants: Nancy Armstrong (Duke... [ view full abstract ]


  1. D. Berton Emerson (Whitworth University)
  2. Gregory Laski (United States Air Force Academy)
  3. Nancy Armstrong (Duke University)
  4. Mandy Cooper (Duke University)
  5. Maggie McKinley (University of Pennsylvania)
  6. Margot Minardi (Reed College)
  7. Michelle Sizemore (University of Kentucky)
  8. Kyle G. Volk (University of Montana)

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P75 » Democracy and Practice: What the C19 Can Teach Us Now (14:00 - Saturday, 24th March, Fiesta I-II)

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