Kate Masur Affiliated Faculty, Associate Professor in History

Kate Masur (PhD University of Michigan 2001) studies the history of the United States. Examining the intersections of law, politics, and everyday life, her work explores how Americans grappled with questions of race and equality after the abolition of slavery in both the North and South. Masur, a faculty affiliate of the Department of African American Studies, is the author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (2010) and of prize-winning articles on emancipation and black politics during the Civil War. Her most recent journal article is “Patronage and Protest in Kate Brown’s Washington,” Journal of American History (March 2013).


Masur has written about history in the New York Times and other popular venues and is currently working with the National Park Service on projects related to the 150th anniversary of Reconstruction. Her past work has been supported by the ACLS/Ryskamp Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. Before arriving at Northwestern, she was an associate editor at the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland, and she is a co-editor of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867, ser. 3, vol. 2: Land and Labor, 1866-1867.


Masur’s current book project concerns race, civil rights, and law enforcement in the United States from the 1820s through the Civil War, with particular focus on the crucial principle of due process of law. In 2014-15 she is on leave at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, where she is an Andrews Fellow.

Teaching interests


Professor Masur teaches general courses in U.S. history and more specialized topics such as the Civil War and Reconstruction, Abraham Lincoln, civil rights in the nineteenth century, and comparative emancipations. She has recently added U.S. women’s history to her repertoire.

Courses Taught

  • "American Women's History"