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About Adam Arenson

I research, write, and teach the history and memory of North America and the global nineteenth century. My work has concentrated on the cultural and political history of slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction, as well as the development of cities--from California to the Yukon Territory, from the province of Ontario to St. Louis to El Paso.

My newest work considers African North Americans crossing the U.S.-Canada border during and after the American Civil War, and how their stories change our histories of immigration, Reconstruction, citizenship, the Great Migration, and African Americans generally.

Writing accessible history, and engaging a wide audience, is important to me. I have written about my scholarship for The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and I have been a contributor to Civil War Memory and the Making History Podcast. My latest popular publications--whether op-eds, blog posts, or tweets--can be accessed via

In my urban-studies research and teaching, I aim to reconstruct how residents made sense of their surroundings. I use digital-history methods to supplement the written record with material-culture findings and geographic information system (GIS) analysis, and I am exploring the opportunities offered by data mining, database construction, and visualization, in collaboration with the open-source spatiotemporal data foundation My work on African North Americans engages "Big Data" visualizations about migration routes, family structure, and social networks, in partnership with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Labs.

For my published and forthcoming work, see below and


Present Director of the Urban Studies Program, Manhattan College
Present Associate Professor of History, Manhattan College

Curriculum Vitae

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2008 Ph.D., Yale University ‐ History
2001 A.B., Harvard University ‐ History and Literature

Contact Information

Manhattan College
4513 Manhattan College Parkway
Riverdale (Bronx), NY 10471


Articles (10)

Books (3)

Contributions to Books (4)

Newspaper and Magazine Articles and Blogs (16)