Professor Martha S. Jones joined the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Department of History on June 1, 2017 as the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History. She came from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts the University of Michigan where she was a Presidential Bicentennial Professor, Professor of history and Afroamerican and African Studies. She was a founding director of the Michigan Law School Program in Race, Law & History and a senior fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows.
Professor Jones is a legal and cultural historian whose interests include the study of race, law, citizenship, slavery, and the rights of women. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, she was a public interest litigator in New York City and a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.
Professor Jones is the author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), together with many important articles and essays. Her work includes the curatorship of museum exhibitions, including “Reframing the Color Line” and “Proclaiming Emancipation” in conjunction with the William L. Clements Library. Professor Jones’s essays and commentary have appeared in the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, CNN, and the Detroit Free Press, among other news outlets.
Her work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the National Constitution Center, and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History. Today, Professor Jones serves as Co-President of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and was recently elected to the Organization of American Historians Executive Board. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland and Paris, France with her husband, historian Jean Hébrard.
“Forgetting the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the United States: How History Troubled Memory in 2008.” Distant Ripples of the British Abolitionist Wave: Africa, Asia, and the Americas, eds. Myriam Cottias and Marie Jeanne Rossignol (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press Tubman Institute Series, 2017.)
“Birthright Citizenship and Reconstruction’s Unfinished Revolution,” Journal of the Civil War Era, in Forum: The Future of Reconstruction Studies, Journal of the Civil War Era 7, no. 1 (March 2017): 10.
“First the Streets, Then the Archives,” American Journal of Legal History 56, no. 1 (March 2016): 92-96.
“Marin et citoyen : être noir et libre à bord des navires états-uniens avant la Guerre civile.” Le movement social, 3 (2015): 93-112.
“Histories, Fictions, and Black Womanhood Bodies: Rethinking Race, Gender, and Politics in the Twenty-First Century.” Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women, eds. Mia Bay, Farah Griffin, Martha S. Jones and Barbara D. Savage (University of North Carolina Press, 2015.)
“History and Commemoration: The Emancipation Proclamation at 150.” Journal of the Civil War Era, 3, no. 4 (December 2013): 452-457.
“Emancipation’s Encounters: Seeing the Proclamation Through Soldiers’ Sketchbooks.” Journal of the Civil War Era, 3, no. 4 (December 2013): 533 548.
“Hughes v. Jackson: Race and Rights Beyond Dred Scott.” 91, no. 5 North Carolina Law Review (June 2013): 1757-1783.
“The Case of Jean Baptiste, un Créole de Saint-Domingue: Narrating Slavery, Freedom, and the Haitian Revolution in Baltimore City.” Chapter 5 in The American South and the Atlantic World eds. Brian Ward, Martin Bone, and William A. Link (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2013): 104-128.
“Historians’ Forum: The Emancipation Proclamation.” (with Kate Masur, Louis Masur, James Oakes, and Manisha Sinha.) 59, no. 1 Civil War History (March 2013.)
“Time, Space, and Jurisdiction in Atlantic World Slavery: The Volunbrun Household in Gradual Emancipation New York.” Law and History Review 29, no 4 (November 2011): 1031-1060.
“Overthrowing the ‘Monopoly of the Pulpit’: Race and the Rights of Churchwomen in Nineteenth Century America.” No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism, ed. Nancy Hewitt (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010.)
“Leave of Court: African-American Legal Claims Making In the Era of Dred Scott v. Sandford.” Contested Democracy: Politics, Ideology and Race in American History, eds. Manisha Sinha and Penny Von Eschen (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.)
“Make us a Power”: African-American Methodists Debate the Rights of Women, 1870-1900.” Women and Religion in the African Diaspora, eds. R. Marie Griffith and Barbara D. Savage. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).
“Perspectives on Teaching Women’s History: Views from the Classroom, the Library, and the Internet,” Journal of Women’s History 16, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 143-176.
“Before Frederick Douglass: William Watkins Speaks for Black Americans on Independence Day. July4, 1831.” Medium. July 4, 2017.
“Are There New Lives for Old Objects at the National Museum of African American History and Culture?” Muster: The Blog of the Journal of the Civil War Era. October 11, 2016.
“Thurgood Marshall and His Hometown Courthouse.” We’re History. July 11, 2016.
“We Are the Intellectuals.” Roundtable: Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women.” African-American Intellectual History Society Blog. June 5, 2015.
“On The Cherokee Rose, Historical Fiction, and Silences in the Archives.” Process: The Blog of the Organization of American Historians. May 26, 2015.
“History, Myth and the Emancipation Proclamation.” Proclaiming Emancipation: The Exhibition Catalogue (Ann Arbor, MI: The William L. Clements Library, 2013.)
“A Bellwether: Phil Lapsansky at the Library Company of Philadelphia.” Phil Lapsansky: Appreciations (Philadelphia, PA: Library Company of Philadelphia, 2012): 84-88.
“Edward Clay’s Life in Philadelphia.” An Americana Sampler: Essays on Selections from the William L. Clements Library, eds. Brian Leigh Dunnigan and J. Kevin Graffagnino (Ann Arbor, MI: The William L. Clements Library, 2011).
“Reflections of an Archive Rat.” (Ann Arbor, MI: The William L. Clements Library, 2009.)
“Reframing the Color Line.” Reframing the Color Line: The Exhibition Catalog (Ann Arbor, MI: The William L. Clements Library, 2009.)
“Learning a Pedagogy of Love: Thomas Merton.” Living Legacies at Columbia, ed, Wm. Theodore de Bary (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.)
“Mining Our Collective Memory: Beyond the Academic-Activist Divide in Black Studies,” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. 6, no. 3/4 (October 2004): 71-76.