Address: History Department, Clemson University, 126 Hardin Hall, Clemson, SC, 29634, USA. 




Ph.D.      Princeton University, History, 2013.

J.D.          New York University School of Law, 2006 (Articles Editor, NYU Law Review).

B.A.         University of Notre Dame, 2003 (magna cum laude).

 Global Academic Exchanges: Sciences Po Paris, 2002; University of Cambridge, 2006; Stockholm University, 2011-12.


Inaugural Visiting International Professor of Philanthropy, 2019-20, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College (ESBH), Stockholm, Sweden.

Assistant Professor, August 2013-present: History Department, Clemson University, 126 Hardin Hall, Clemson, SC, 29634, USA.

Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in Legal History, August 2012-May 2013: New York University School of Law, 40 Washington Square South 420, NY, NY, 10012, USA.



20th century U.S. history; History of U.S. philanthropy; U.S. legal history; History of the social sciences; African American Intellectual History.




The first book (under contract with UNC Press) details the colonial African roots to Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma (1944), a leading work of postwar racial liberalism in the US commissioned by Carnegie Corporation of New York. Unearthed from the Carnegie Corporation papers, I provide a genesis story to An American Dilemma  that is less about racial equality in the U.S.—as many Americans would like to remember the study—and more about racial control across the Atlantic. 

The second book, for which I am now writing the proposal, details when and why elite foundations such as the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford foundations became particularly invested in the U.S. civil rights movement. Underscoring common (and yet too, distinct) patterns of behavior among the three leading philanthropies at the time, the book illustrates why in the latter half of the 1960s all three organizations became allies—albeit late, relatively insincere, and short-lived allies—of the U.S. civil rights movement.

Journal Articles and Articles in Edited Volumes:  

“Du Bois and the Tuskegee Machine: U.S. Philanthropy and the Political Economy of Knowledge Production,” in The Oxford Handbook of W.E.B. Du Bois (eds. Aldon Morris, Walter Allen, Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Dan S. Green, Marcus Hunter, Karida Brown, and Michael Schwartz) (forthcoming).

"Private Corporations for the Public Good,” (forthcoming in a collection of essays honoring U.S. legal historian Hendrik Hartog). 

“Further Analysis of Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma (1944) as a Swedish Text,” Humanity Journal (spring 2017).

“An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (Gunnar Myrdal, 1944).” America in the World, 1776 to the PresentA Supplement to the Dictionary of American History. Ed. Edward J. Blum. Vol. 1. Farmington Hills, MI: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2016. 57-60.

“Swedish Roots to Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma (1944),” in Race, Ethnicity, and Welfare States: An American Dilemma?, eds. Sonya Michel, Pauli Kettunen, and Klaus Petersen (Northhampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015).

“Reassessing Hannah Arendt’s ‘Reflections on Little Rock’ (1959),” Law, Culture, and the Humanities 10(1) (Feb. 2014).

“A Transatlantic Perspective on Philanthropy and Charity in the Swedish Welfare Model,” in Non-profit och välfärden [The Nonprofit Sector and the Welfare State], eds. Kurt Almqvist, Viveca Ax:son Johnson, and Lars Trägårdh (Stockholm, Sweden: Ax:son Johnson Foundation Press, 2013).

“The Civil Commitment of State Dependent Minors: Resonating Discourses that Leave Her Heterosexuality and His Homosexuality Vulnerable to Scrutiny,” New York University Law Review 81 (2006).

Encyclopedia Entries:

Karl, Barry (1927-2010), historian. American National Biography (2019).

Popular Press Articles: 

Ongoing contributions on HistPhil, a web publication on the history of philanthropy where I serve as co-founder and editor. A few examples include:

Choosing between Financial Viability and a Political Voice: A History of the NAACP’s Tax Status” (Nov. 2018).

In a Democracy, Is That Really a Social Problem?” (Sept. 2018).

Sweden as Exemplar of Scientific Planning Philanthropy” (March 2018).

Julius Rosenwald was Not a Hero” (June 2017).

“Scientific Knowledge on Minority Groups during the Trump Era” (Feb. 2017).

Items: Insights from the Social Sciences (SSRC’s digital forum):

“Rockefeller, Carnegie, and the SSRC’s Focus on Race in the 1920s and 1930s” (January 2019).

Zócalo Public Square (part of “What It Means to be American,” a joint project with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and with Arizona State University):

“Frank Capra’s Formula for Taming American Capitalism” (Dec. 2018).

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR):  

“Moving Toward Multi-Dimensional Democracy” (July 2014). 

“The Rockefeller Foundation’s Hand in Hobby Lobby (August 2014).

The Atlantic Online, Business Section, Philanthropy in America Series (May 2014):  

“Would Philanthropies Today Fund W.E.B. Du Bois’s Encyclopedia Africana?”

“The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Privatize Science”

“Philanthropists and the White House: Who’s the Boss?”

“How Should Philanthropies Respond to Emergencies?”

                        The Atlantic Online, Politics Section: 

“Are Americans Really Champions of Racial Equality?” (April 2015).

Axess Magasin:

 “Myrdals amerikanska arv,” (Feb. 2013).

 Book Reviews: 

Joint Review of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. By Anand Giridharadas. Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better. By Rob Reich. HistPhil (2018).

Review of Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires. By Shomarii Wills. HistPhil (2018).

Review of Forging a Laboring Race: The African American Worker in the Progressive Imagination. By Paul R. D. LawrieJournal of Social History (2017). 

Review of Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability. By Tiffany Willoughby-HerardHistPhil (2016). 

Review of Rockefeller Philanthropy and Modern Social Science by David L. Seim, Voluntary Sector Review (2016). 

Review of Policy Patrons: Philanthropy, Education Reform, and the Politics of Influence by Megan E. Tompkins-Stange. HistPhil (2016).

Review of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy by Linsey McGoey, Stanford Social Innovation Review (Winter 2016).

Review of Top Down: The Ford Foundation, Black Power, and the Reinvention of Racial Liberalism by Karen Ferguson, History: Reviews of New Books (2016). 

“A Reconsideration of An American Dilemma,” Reviews in American History 40 (Dec. 2012).  

Review of Racial Justice in the Age of Obama by Roy L. Brooks, Journal of American Ethnic History 32 (Fall 2012), 113-115.


2016-2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, Carnegie Corporation of New York (providing "support for high-caliber scholarship that applies fresh perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences to some of the most pressing issues of our times."). 

2018 Clemson University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award (recognizing faculty who have achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition). 

2017 Clemson University Board of Trustees Award for Excellence (honored by the University's trustees for having been named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York for exemplifying "progressive thought, innovatiive research, and capable leadership."). 

2016-2018 Creativity Professorship, College of Architecture, Arts, & the Humanities, Clemson University (postponed).

Nominated by Princeton University’s History Department Faculty, Princeton Alumni Council’s Emerging Alumni Scholar Award (One graduate student from each department is selected on the merits of his/her career at Princeton, the excellence of the dissertation, and his/her ability to effectively communicate scholarship to a broad public outside of the discipline).

Fulbright Grant and American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship, August 2011-June 2012: Sociology Department, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Princeton University Society of Woodrow Wilson Scholars, Graduate Fellowship, 2009-2011 (full research support to a small society of scholars in the social sciences at Princeton. The program was directed by Princeton psychology Prof. John Darley).

Princeton University President’s Fellowship, 2006-2009 (full research support).

NYU Law Leonard M. Henkin Prize for Best Note on the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Spring 2006.

NYU-Mainzer Fellowship in Gender Studies, University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies, Cambridge, England, Lent Term 2006.

University of Notre Dame Paul Bartholomew Prize for Best Senior Honors Thesis in Political Theory, Spring 2003.



2018, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Grant, sponsorship of “The History and Future of Political Economy” Workshop, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Stanford University, Spring 2019.

2016-2017 Faculty Research Development Program Grant, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, Summer 2016.

2016-2017 Humanities Advancement Board, Individual Research Grant, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, Summer 2016.

2014-2015 Faculty Research Development Program Grant, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, Summer 2014.

Swedish Institute Grant for Swedish Language Study, Royal Society for Swedish Culture Abroad Program in Billströmska Folkhögskolan, Tjörn, Sweden, 2010.

Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) grant-in-aid, Sleepy Hollow, New York, 2010.

Princeton University History Department, Philip A. Rollins Prize, 2009-2011.

Princeton University Center for African American Studies Dissertation Award, 2008.

Princeton University Program in American Studies Graduate Summer Research Prize, 2008.

Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) Dissertation Research Award, 2008.

New York University School of Law Summer Grant for Research, 2005.

Equal Justice America Fellowship, Summer Fellow, Lawyers for Children America, Inc., a legal advocacy organization for foster care children in Miami-Dade County.

University of Notre Dame Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Research Grant, Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand, Paris, France, 2003.



Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, “An American Dilemma for the 21st Century,” Marking 75th Anniversary of An American Dilemma (1944), Fall 2019, NYC.

University of Sussex, American Studies Seminar, Fall 2019, Presenting “Uncovering Carnegie’s White World Order: The Colonial African Roots to Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma (1944).”


Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College (ESBH), Third Annual Seminar on Philanthropy: Is Philanthropy Compatible with Democracy?, Spring 2019, Presenting “Toward a New Moral Political Economy.”

Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin, Germany, Workshop: “Global Conversations. Cross-Fertilization of Knowledge in the Making of the Modern World,” Spring 2019, Presenting “In Dialogue with 1930s Germany: U.S. Philanthropy and the Myrdals Reassess the Future of Science and Nations.”

Workshop Creator and Presenter, “The History and Future of Political Economy” Workshop, Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Stanford University, Spring 2019.

Indiana University, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Philanthropy Research Workshop, Spring 2019, “The Black Freedom Struggle and Big Philanthropy.”

Princeton University, Conference in Honor of Historian Hendrik Hartog, Fall 2018, Presented “Private Organizations for the Public Good: The Democratic Value of Studying Private Foundations.”

Columbia University Twentieth Century Politics and Society Seminar, Fall 2017, "Ralph Ellison was Right about An American Dilemma (1944)." 

American Society for Legal History (ASLH) Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, Fall 2017, Organizer of (and Panelist on) "Private Foundations, Public Values, and the Transformation of American Society." 

International Meeting on Law and Society, Mexico City, Mexico, Summer 2017, Panelist on "Examining Class and Inequality in Different Contexts."

Stockholm Philanthropy Symposium, Stockholm, Sweden, Spring 2017, Panelist on "Are Swedes Overcoming Their Indifference to Philanthropy?"

Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College Public Seminar Inaugurating Guest Scholar Program in Philanthropy Studies, Stockholm, Sweden, Panelist, Spring 2017.

Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Conference, Washington D.C., Fall 2016, Panelist on “Foundations and the Civil Rights Movement” and “The Politics of ‘Big Philanthropy’ Then and Now.”

International Society for Third-Sector Research Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, Summer 2016, Panelist on “The Role of Foundations in Democracies” and Commentator on “The Relationship between Civil Society & Democracy.”

“Revisiting Gunnar Myrdal” Humanity Workshop, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., January 2016.

American Historical Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, Winter 2016, Panelist on “Defining Social Needs: A Conversation among Historians and Foundation Officials about Philanthropy Past and Present” and Commentator on “Faith and Humanitarian Development: Defining Need, Seeking Change.”

American Historical Association Annual Conference, New York, New York, Winter 2015, Panelist on “Scholarship, Activism, and Expertise: The Social Sciences in the United States in the Twentieth Century.”  

Vanderbilt University, History Department, Americanist Workshop, Nashville, Tennessee, Fall 2014.

American Society for Legal History Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado, Fall 2014, Organizer of (and Panelist on) “Antonio Gramsci’s Hegemony, the African-American Experience, and Legal Definitions of Racial Equality.” 

Rockefeller Archive Center Conference, Sleepy Hollow, NY, Fall 2014, Presenter at the Center’s Conference on Philanthropy, Fall 2014.

Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford, California, Summer 2014, Presenter at the Junior Scholars Forum in Civil Society, the Nonprofit Sector, and Philanthropy.

Law & Society Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Summer 2014, Panelist on “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Historical Perspective.”  

Emory University School of Law, Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society, Atlanta, Georgia, Spring 2014.

Clemson University, 7th Annual Literary Festival, Clemson, South Carolina, Spring 2014, Panelist on “Between History and Memory.”

Creator and Lead Coordinator of The Department in History Workshop, Princeton University History Department, Spring 2013 (A half-day workshop on the intellectual history of the department, bringing together scholars such as Robert Darnton, Stanley N. Katz, Jean-Christophe Agnew, Philip Nord, Susan Naquin, Hendrik Hartog, Martha Sandweiss, James Banner, David Bell, and David Cannadine).  

Can Nonprofit Save the Swedish Welfare Model? Conference, Sponsored by the Swedish Government’s Commission on the Future of Sweden and the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden, Fall 2012. 

Princeton University, History Department, Modern Europe Workshop, Fall 2012.

Bard College, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, New York, Fall 2012. A summary of the presentation is available at

New York University School of Law, Legal History Colloquium, New York, Fall 2012.

Oxford University, Oxford-Princeton Project on Political Membership: Transnational Histories, Summer 2012.

Ersta Sköndal Högskola’s Institute for Civil Society Studies, Stockholm, Sweden, Spring 2012.   

American Historical Association (AHA) Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, Winter 2012, Organizer of (and Panelist on) “Transnational Legal Networks and the Limits of American Power: 1906-1939.”  

Stockholm University, Sociology Department, SUDA-SPaDE Colloquium & Wednesday Seminar, Fall 2011.

Princeton University, Southern Nation Conference, Spring 2010, Commenter on “Ideas and Southern Change” Panel.

Princeton University, Fellowship of Woodrow Wilson Scholars, Lunch Seminar, Spring 2010.

American Society for Legal History (ASLH) Annual Conference, Dallas, TX, Fall 2009.

New York University School of Law, Legal History Colloquium, Fall 2009.

Princeton University, Program for Law and Public Affairs (LAPA), Princeton, NJ, Spring 2008.

Princeton University, Hannah Arendt & Little Rock Symposium, Spring 2007.

University of Cambridge, Centre for Gender Studies, Gender Theory Seminar, Cambridge, England, Spring 2006.

University of Cambridge, Centre for Family Research, Cambridge, England, Spring 2006.

New York University School of Law, Legal History Colloquium, New York, NY, Fall 2004.  



Professional Service:

Co-founder and editor of HistPhil, a web publication on the history of philanthropy (June 2015-present).

Planning Committee for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration of Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma, Social Science Research Council (July 2018-Present). 

Member, Moral Political Economy Project, Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Stanford University.

Primary Track Chair, “Philanthropy, Fundraising, and Giving” Track, ARNOVA Conference (2019, co-chair 2018).

Advisory Editor in Philanthropy and Civics, American National Biography (March 2014-Present).

Reviewer, Voluntary Sector Review (March 2014- Present).

Committee Member, American Society for Legal History’s Surrency Prize Committee (July 2014-2017).

Clemson University: 

History Department, Pre-Law Advisor.

Faculty Advisor, Southern Poverty Law Center Campus Club (“SPLC on Campus”).

Fulbright Campus Interview Committee Member.

Critical Inquiry Committee Member. 

Associate Dean for Research Search Committee Member. 

Participant in “Race and the University: A Continuing Campus Conversation,” Fall 2015.

Organizer and Panelist on “What Would Racial Equality Actually Look Like.” 



American Society for Legal History (ASLH); American Historical Association (AHA); Organization of American Historians (OAH); Law and Society Association (LSA); International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR).



Spanish: native speaking and reading knowledge.

French: advanced speaking and reading knowledge (Language training received at the University of Notre Dame and at Middlebury College’s Summer Language Program).

Swedish: advanced speaking and reading knowledge (Language training received at New York University; Folkuniversitetet in Stockholm, Sweden; Columbia University in New York City; and Billströmska Folkhögskolan in Tjörn, Sweden (near Gothenburg, Sweden)).


REFERENCES   (available upon request)