Ethan J. Kytle

Ethan J. KytleBasics:

Name: Ethan J. Kytle

Home Department/Program: History

Rank: Assistant Professor

At Fresno State Since: 2007

Education: Ph.D. in History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004; M.A. in History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999; B.A. in History, Haverford College, 1999


Office: Social Science Bldg. #117

Office Phone: 278-6876

Campus Email:

Professional Accomplishments:

Selected Publications:

“‘A Transcendentalist Above All’: Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Brown, and the Raid at Harpers Ferry,” Journal of the Historical Society, Vol. 12 (September 2012): 283-308

“Looking the Thing in the Face: Slavery, Race, and the Commemorative Landscape in Charleston, South Carolina, 1865-2010,” Journal of Southern History, Vol. 78 (August 2012): 639-684 [co-authored with Blain Roberts]

“‘Is It Okay to Talk about Slaves?’ Segregating the Past in Historic Charleston,” in Karen L. Cox, ed., Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern History (University Press of Florida, 2012), 137-159 [co-authored with Blain Roberts]

  “The Contradiction at the Heart of American Democracy,” Reviews in American History, Vol. 36 (Sept., 2008): 390-396

“From Body Reform to Reforming the Body Politic: Transcendentalism and the Militant Antislavery Career of Thomas Wentworth Higginson,” American Nineteenth Century History, Vol. 8 (Sept. 2007): 325-350

Strike the Blow: Romantic Reformers and the Struggle against Slavery in the Civil War Era [book manuscript, in progress]

Struggling with Slavery in the Cradle of the Confederacy: Memory and the “Peculiar Institution” in Charleston, South Carolina [co-authored with Blain Roberts; book manuscript, in progress]

 Op-Ed Essays for the New York Times, the Fresno Bee, the Durham Herald-Sun, LA Progressive, and the History News Network

 Selected Conference Papers and Presentations:

 “Remembering the Fight, Forgetting Its Meaning: Slavery and Civil War Commemoration in Charleston, South Carolina, 1961-2011,” Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 27 February 2012

 “Looking the Thing in the Face: Slavery and the Public Landscape in Charleston, South Carolina,” American Historical Association Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, 7 January 2011

 “‘Is It Okay to Talk about Slaves?’ Race and Historical Tourism in Charleston,” Conference on Race, Labor, and Citizenship in the Post-Emancipation South, College of Charleston, 11 March 2010

 “Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Transcendentalism, and John Brown’s Raid at Harper Ferry,”

John Brown Remembered: 150th Anniversary of John Brown’s Raid, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, Virginia, 14 October 2009

Selected Public Performances


 History 11 – U.S. History to 1877

History 100W – Historical Research and Writing                                                     

History 158 – Civil War America

History 159 – Reconstruction in the United States

History 172 – Jacksonian America, 1815-1848

History 200A – Introduction to Graduate Writing and Historiography

History 210T – Topics in American History: The Civil War and Reconstruction

History 210T– Topics in American History: Slavery and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America

History 210T—Topics in American History: South Carolina since 1670

Honors 102 – The Revolutions of Jacksonian America


 Chair, Budget Committee, Department of History, CSU, Fresno, 2010-present

Vice President, Academic Assembly, College of Social Sciences, CSU, Fresno, 2008-2010

Member, Fresno County Historical Landmarks & Records Advisory Commission, 2008-present

Teaching American History Program Faculty Steering Committee, CSU, Fresno 2008-2013

Other Professional Activities:

First person statement on general and current research, teaching, and service interests:

 I am a nineteenth-century United States historian who teaches and writes about the history of slavery, abolitionism, the Civil War, Reconstruction, public memory, and the American South.  Trained in graduate school as a specialist in intellectual and cultural history, I have published essays on the relationship between Transcendentalism and the antislavery movement in American Nineteenth Century History and the Journal of the Historical Society.  My forthcoming book, Strike the Blow: Romantic Reformers and the Struggle against Slavery in the Civil War Era, explores the ideas and actions of five leading abolitionists—Theodore Parker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Martin Delany, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson—in the decade before the Civil War. 

 More recently, I have become interested in the history of the American South and the public memory of slavery and the Civil War.  My wife and colleague, Blain Roberts, and I have published widely on these topics in academic journals and newspapers, including the Journal of Southern History and the New York Times.  We are currently working on a book—Struggling with Slavery in the Cradle of the Confederacy: Memory and the “Peculiar Institution” in Charleston, South Carolina—thatexamines how slavery has been remembered in Charleston, arguably the American capital of slavery and today a thriving mecca of historical tourism.