Researching the Postbellum South
Robert Bland, assistant professor in the Department of History, is a historian of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century United States with an emphasis on the African American experience and the postbellum South. His research and teaching engage questions of racial formation, electoral and cultural politics, and battles over historical memory. At UT, Bland teaches courses on African American history, the US South, and the craft of social and cultural history.
Bland’s upcoming book project examines the legacy of Reconstruction in the African American public sphere. It explores the efforts of Black South Carolinians and their northern allies to preserve the last bastion of radical Republicanism in the South during the half century that followed Compromise of 1877. In doing so, Bland illuminates a series of connections between grassroots struggles in the South Carolina Lowcountry over political patronage, disaster relief, local schools, and representations of Gullah folklore and the simultaneous debate in the national Black press over how to contest the cultural and intellectual dimensions of the emerging Jim Crow order.
His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Bland received his BA from Williams College in 2007, MA from the University of Mississippi in 2009, and PhD from the University of Maryland in 2017.