Participant Info

First Name
Amy Louise
Last Name
Illinois State University
Website URL
History of lynching, racist violence and Jim Crow; history of the U.S. South; criminal justice/penitentiaries history; US cultural and intellectual history; Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a professor of history at Illinois State University. I specialize in U.S. Cultural and Intellectual history and the history of the U.S. South. My first book, Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America (UNC Press, 2009) won the Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History in 2010. I am currently writing a book on crime and punishment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I am also the Executive Secretary for the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

Recent Publications

“Cole Blease’s Pardoning Pen: Southern Penal Reform and the Politics of State Power,” in Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South, edited by Amy Louise Wood and Natalie Ring (forthcoming 2019, University of Illinois Press)

“The South,” The Blackwell Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, edited by Christopher McKnight Nichols and Nancy Unger (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017)

“The ‘Vicarious Play’ of Lynching Melodramas: Cinema and Mob Violence in the United States 1895-1905” in Violence and Visibility in Modern History, edited by Jürgen Martschukat and Silvan Niedermeier (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

“Killing the Elephant: Murderous Beasts and the Thrill of Retribution, 1885-1930,”Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 11:3 (July 2012): 405-44

Editor, New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 19: Violence (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America. (University of North Carolina Press, 2009)

Media Coverage
(Selected): Radio interviews: NPR, "Backstory;" "RadioWest;" "Counterpoint;" Black Talk Radio; Paradise Radio Network; ArtistFirst Radio Network; Print: Quoted in Slate, The Christian Science Monitor, Media Matters, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Material Culture, Race