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J Schermerhorn

J.Schermerhorn@asu.edu

Asst Professor of History
SHPRS History Faculty
Faculty
Mail Code: 4302

Bio

I am a historian of slavery and American life in the nineteenth-century United States and Atlantic world, specializing in literature, family life, and the rise of capitalism. I have been at ASU since 2008 after earning a Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. I also earned an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and a B.A. from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

My college courses include “The Civil War and Reconstruction,” “Atlantic World Slavery: Narratives and Networks,” and “The Global History of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade,” among many others.  Graduate courses include the first “core” course to 1877, “Slavery and Commerce in the Atlantic World,” and “Early American Slavery.”

My current book, now in production, is titled The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860 (Yale University Press). It looks at the slavery business at the level of the firm, detailing how slave traders overcame business challenges having to do with distance, money, scale, and legal obstacles to buying and selling African-descended Americans. The book takes a broad view of the business of slavery, looking at banking, transportation technology, and supply chains. It also explores enslaved people’s responses to that brutal business.

My two books in print include Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011) and Henry Goings, Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery, co-edited with Mike Plunkett and Edward Gaynor (University of Virginia Press, 2012). Money over Mastery looks at how enslaved people sought to save loved ones from the slave market by participating in market-based activities. They formed networks, earned money, and built social capital, which they spent trying to keep families together in the shadows of a slave market that could claim 20 or 30 percent of a given population every decade in the 1830s, 1840s, or 1850s.

One enslaved American subject to the slave trade was Henry Goings. Born Elijah Turner in Virginia in 1810, Goings was taken from his family and moved about the North American landscape as a slave of a peripatetic owner, to North Carolina and Alabama, by way of Tennessee. He made trips across the South with that owner, visiting New Orleans and Georgia. In the late 1830s, the owner died, and - facing removal from his wife - Elijah assumed the identity of Henry Goings when he ran away from Alabama. Goings sought refuge in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada, from where he tried to rescue his wife from slavery. Goings published his memoir, Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery 1869. But it was lost until the twenty-first century. An affordable paperback edition came out in 2013.

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Courses

Spring 2014

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
HST 408 Civil War & Reconstruction
HST 495 Methods of Historical Inquiry
HST 790 Reading and Conference

Fall 2012

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
HST 498 Pro-Seminar
HST 598 Special Topics

Spring 2012

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
HST 300 Historical Inquiry
HST 598 Special Topics

Fall 2011

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
AFH 305 Global History: Slave Trade
HST 326 Global History: Slave Trade
HST 407 Early U.S. Republic/1789-1850

Spring 2011

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
HST 333 African American Hist to 1865
HST 408 Civil War & Reconstruction
HST 492 Honors Directed Study
HST 790 Reading and Conference

Fall 2010

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
HST 407 Early U.S. Republic/1789-1850
HST 492 Honors Directed Study
HST 498 Pro-Seminar
HST 590 Reading and Conference
HST 790 Reading and Conference

Spring 2010

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
HST 109 United States to 1865
HST 300 Historical Inquiry

Fall 2009

Courses Taught This Semester
Course Number Course Title
HST 333 African American Hist to 1865
HST 407 Early U.S. Republic/1789-1850

Publications and Other Intellectual ContributionsGoogle Scholar

  1. Calvin Schermerhorn. Slavery. Essential Civil War Curriculum. Virginia Tech (2013).

  2. Edited book: Henry Goings, edited by Calvin Schermerhorn, Michael Plunkett, and Edward Gaynor. Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery. University of Virginia Press (2013).

  3. . Review of: Gleanings of Freedom: Free and Slave Labor along the Mason-Dixon Line, 1790-1860. Journal of Southern History (2013).

  4. . Review of: Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom. Journal of the Early Republic (2013).

  5. Calvin Schermerhorn. Female Slave Network. Enslaved Women: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO (2012).

  6. Calvin Schermerhorn. Henry Highland Garnet. The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History. Oxford University Press (2012).

  7. Calvin Schermerhorn. Arguing Slavery’s Narrative: Southern Regionalists, Ex-Slave Autobiographers, and the Contested Literary Representations of the Peculiar Institution, 1824-1849. Journal of American Studies (2012).

  8. Edited book: Henry Goings, edited by Calvin Schermerhorn, Michael Plunkett, and Edward Gaynor. Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery. University of Virginia Press (2012).

  9. . Review of: Almost Free: A Story about Family and Race in Antebellum Virginia. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (2012).

  10. . Review of: The American Dreams of John B. Prentis, Slave Trader. American Historical Review (2012).

  11. . Review of: The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations. Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, 9.3 (2012), 94-96 (2012).

  12. Calvin Schermerhorn. Sojourner Truth. Icons of Black America: Breaking Barriers and Crossing Boundaries. Greenwood Publishing (2011).

  13. Calvin Schermerhorn. Enslaved Families in the Antebellum Market Economy. Berfrois (2011).

  14. Calvin Schermerhorn. Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery: The Freedom Narrative of Henry Goings. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (2011).

  15. Calvin Schermerhorn. Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South. Johns Hopkins University Press (2011).

  16. Book chapter: Calvin Schermerhorn. Left Behind but Getting Ahead: Antebellum Slavery’s Orphans in the Chesapeake. Children in Slavery through the Ages. Ohio University Press (2009).

  17. The Everyday Life of Enslaved People in the Antebellum South. The Organization of American Historians' Magazine of History (2009).

  18. Calvin Schermerhorn. Working through the Double-Bind: Frederick Douglass's Intellectual and Literary Legacy, 1841-1855. U.S. Studies Online: The BAAS Postgraduate Journal (2008).

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Presentations

  1. Calvin Schermerhorn Commodity Chains and Chained Commodities: Following the Money of American Slavery in the 1830s. Fellows Forum, City Council Chambers, Charlottesville, Virginia. (Nov 2013).
  2. Calvin "the time is now just arriving when many Capitalists will make fortunes": Indian Removal, Finance, and Slavery in the Making of the American Cotton South. Uniting the Histories of Slavery in North America. (Apr 2013).
  3. Calvin Schermerhorn Forced Migrations, Public, Private, and Political: The United States Domestic Slave Trade, Southeastern Indian Removal, and the Integration of a Continental Empire. Uniting the Histories of Slavery in North America, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM. (Oct 2012).
  4. Corey M. Brooks, Peter Wallenstein, and Simon Gilhooley The Republican Ethos and Slavery. Policy History Conference 2012, Richmond, Va.. (Jun 2012).
  5. Calvin Schermerhorn Communities of Interest, Networks of Slavery: Atlantic Commercial Shipping and the Growth of the United States Coastwise Slave Trade, 1807-60. 126th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Chicago, January 8, 2012. (Jan 2012).
  6. Calvin Schermerhorn Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South. Freedom's Gateway: Featured Speaker, Missouri History Museum. (Jul 2011).
  7. Calvin Schermerhorn The Coastwise Slave Trade and a Mercantile Community of Interest. Slavery's Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development. (Apr 2011).
  8. Calvin Schermerhorn Slavery, Technology, and Representation. Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, San Antonio, Texas, November, 2010. (Nov 2010).
  9. Calvin Schermerhorn Great American Forced Migrations: Public and Private Means in the Trail of Tears and the Domestic Slave Trade. 55th Annual Conference of the British Association for American Studies, Norwich, U.K., April 2010. (Apr 2010).
  10. Calvin Schermerhorn Enslaved Networkers in the Antebellum Upper South. Charting New Directions in the History of Slavery and Emancipation. (Mar 2010).
  11. Calvin Schermerhorn The Great American Forced Migration in Literature and Culture. 54th Annual Conference of the British Association for American Studies, Nottingham, U.K.. (Apr 2009).
  12. Calvin Schermerhorn Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Industrialization of the Antebellum Chesapeake. 102nd Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians. (Mar 2009).
  13. Calvin Schermerhorn Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Industrialization of the Antebellum Chesapeake. 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New York, New York. (Jan 2009).
  14. Calvin Schermerhorn Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom: Slavery in the Industrialization of the Antebellum Chesapeake. 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New York, New York. (Jan 2009).
  15. Calvin Schermerhorn Left Behind but Getting Ahead: Antebellum Slavery’s Orphans in the Chesapeake. Third Annual Virginia Forum, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia. (Apr 2008).
  16. Calvin Schermerhorn Invisible and Visible Hands: Market Intensification as Catalyst for Kin Networks in the Antebellum Chesapeake. 53rd Annual Meeting of the British Association for American Studies, Edinburgh, U.K.. (Mar 2008).
  17. Calvin Schermerhorn Mapping the United States Slave Trade on the 200th Anniversary of the U.S. Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Views from the Chesapeake, 1790-1860. Robert J. Huskey Graduate Research Exhibition at the University of Virginia. (Mar 2008).
  18. Calvin (J.L.) Schermerhorn Mapping the U.S. Slave Trade in the Age of Abolition: Views from the Chesapeake, 1790–1860. 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Washington, D.C.. (Jan 2008).

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Service

  1. Doctoral Exam Committee, Examiner (2013 - present)
  2. Search Committee, Modern United States Political History, Member (2012 - present)
  3. We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Corona del Sol High School, Judge (2012 - present)
  4. History Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee, Member (2012 - present)
  5. 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)
  6. "The South, Slavery, and the Rise of King Cotton," Aspire Academy at Connolly Middle School, Tempe, Arizona., Invited Speaker (2012 - present)
  7. Journal of the Early Republic, Reviewer (2012 - present)
  8. American Nineteenth Century History, Reviewer (2012 - present)
  9. Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award Committee, Member (2012 - present)
  10. Roger Adelson Graduate Research Award Committee, Chair (2012 - present)
  11. Ohio University Press, Manuscript Review (2012 - present)
  12. The Public Historian, Peer Reviewer (2010 - present)
  13. Committee to Establish a Graduate Field in Global and World History, Member (2008 - present)
  14. Committee to establish a Graduate Certificate in Global and World History, Member (2008 - present)
  15. Committee to establish a Graduate Certificate in Global and World History, Member (2008 - present)
  16. History Department Graduate Committee to establish a graduate field in global and world history, Member (2008 - present)
  17. Undergraduate Policy Committee, History Department, Member (2008 - present)
  18. Oxford University Press, Outside Reviewer and Reader (2008 - present)
  19. Carol and Norris Hundley Award Committee, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, Member (2012 - 2014)
  20. University of Georgia Press, Manuscript Review (2013)
  21. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Peer Reviewer (2013)
  22. University Senate, Senator (2011 - 2013)
  23. Carol & Norris Hundley Award Committee, Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, Chair (2013)
  24. History Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee, Member (2012 - 2013)
  25. History Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee, Member (2012 - 2013)
  26. Search Committee, Modern United States Political History, Member (2012 - 2013)
  27. Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee, Member (2011)
  28. Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, Reviewer (2011)
  29. CQ Press/SAGE, Anonymous Outside Reader (2010)
  30. Personnel Advisory Committee, Member (2009 - 2010)
  31. Oxford University Press, Anonymous Outside Reader (2008 - 2009)

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Curriculum Vitae / Resume

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