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Indiana University Bloomington
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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Matthew Pratt Guterl

Picture of Matthew Guterl

Rudy Professor, Departments of American Studies and History
Adjunct Professor, Cultural Studies
Adjunct Professor, African Studies
Affiliated Faculty, Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Office: Ballantine Hall 517
Phone: (812) 855-7525
E-mail: mguterl at

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1999
B.A., Richard Stockton College, 1993

Personal Statement

I am a historian of race and race-relations in the United States, the Americas, and the world. My first book - featuring biographical portraits of Jean Toomer, Madison Grant, Daniel Cohalan, and W.E.B. Du Bois - explored the changing systems of racial classification in New York City during the early 20th century. My second book considers the Southern master class in exile and in diaspora, and challenges the power of the nation-state to frame the histories of racial division. I am currently at work on two separate book projects: a biography of Josephine Baker, focusing on her adopted family, and a critique of the visual culture of race - that is, the way we have seen race on the body.

Courses Recently Taught

  • AMST-A100 What is America?
  • AAAD-A154 History of Race in the Americas
  • AAAD-A354 Transnational Americas
  • AAAD-A503 Afro-Guyana

Works in Progress

Mother of the World: Josephine Baker and the Rainbow Tribe (book length manuscript under contract with Harvard University Press, due 2012).

Discrimination: Seeing Race in American Culture (book length manuscript under contract with the University of North Carolina Press, due 2011).

Recent Publications

"Josephine Baker's "Rainbow Tribe": Radical Motherhood in the South of France," Journal of Women's History 21.4 (2009): 38-58.

American Mediterranean: Southern Slaveholders in the Age of Emancipation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008).

Race, Nation, and Empire in American History, co-edited with James T. Campbell and Robert Lee (UNC, 2007).

'"I Went to the West Indies': Race, Place, and the Antebellum South," American Literary History 18.3 (Fall 2006): 446-467.

"Atlantic & Pacific Crossings: Race, Empire, and "the Labor Problem" in the Late Nineteenth Century," co-authored with Christine Skwiot, Radical History Review 91 (Winter 2005): 40-61.

"After Slavery: Asian Labor, Immigration, and Emancipation in the United States and Cuba, 1840-1880," Journal of World History 14.2 (June 2003): 209-241.

The Color of Race in America, 1900-1940 (Harvard University Press, 2001). Named the Best Book of 2001 on the History of Race and Ethnicity by the American Political Science Association.

Awards and Honors

  • Visiting Fellowship, Humanities Research Center, Rice University, Spring 2010
  • Best Book of 2001 on the Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity, American Political Science Association
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University, 2001-2003
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2001
  • Associate Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Slavery, Abolition, and Resistance Pogram, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University, 2001