Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., Brandeis University (2004)
M.A., Brandeis University (1999)
B.A., Northwestern University (1998)

Teaching Interests

Drawing on social, cultural, intellectual, and political history, I teach about the African American experience from the slave trade to the present. I offer introductory courses in Black Studies and African American history, as well as upper level seminars in slavery and education. Students in my seminar “Slavery and the American Imagination” explore historical and literary depictions of the “peculiar institution” to uncover connections between America's racial past and its racial present . I also offer a seminar that looks at the relationship between race and educational opportunity from slavery to No Child Left Behind. This course emphasizes how race has influenced access to education, and how America has attempted to dismantle the educational inequalities created under slavery and Jim Crow. While my research concentrates on the early nineteenth century, I enjoy teaching about an array of contemporary educational issues including magnet schools, choice, residential segregation, and standardization. I hope to expand my offerings in the future to include an introductory course on the history of public schooling.

Selected Publications

Schooling Citizens: The African American Struggle for Education in Antebellum America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).

"The Tarring and Feathering of Thomas Paul Smith: Common Schools, Revolutionary Memory, and the Crisis of Citizenship in Antebellum Boston," New England Quarterly, vol. 80, no. 2 (June 2007), 218-241.

“Education's Inequity: Opposition to Black Higher Education in Antebellum Connecticut,” History of Education Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 1 (Spring 2006), 16-35.

Awards and Honors

Outstanding Book Award for Schooling Citizens, History of Education Society, 2010

Amherst College Trustee Faculty Fellowship,2007-2008

Claude A. Eggersten Prize, Best Dissertation, History of Education Society, 2005

Dissertation Year Fellowship (Brandeis University), 2003-2004

Spencer Graduate Fellowship in Education (The Spencer Foundation and Brandeis University), 2002-2003

Associate Fellowship, The Gilder Lehrman Institute for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (Yale University), 2001-2002

University Prize Instructorship (Brandeis University), 2001-2002

Rose and Irving Crown Fellowship (Brandeis University), 1998-2002

B.A., summa cum laude, Northwestern University

Scholarly and Professional Activities

Editorial Board, History of Education Quarterly (2010-2012)


The Amherst Student: Professor Hilary Moss Wins Dissertation Prize

Education's Inequity: Opposition to Black Higher Education in Antebellum Connecticut

See also: Research Interests