Participant Info

First Name
Alexandra E.
Last Name
The City College of New York, CUNY
Website URL
Nineteenth century, 19th century, Civil War, Reconstruction, American West, U.S. West, Greater Reconstruction, Native American history, Indigenous history, federal Indian policy, Indian Territory, sovereignty, colonialism, comparative Wests, history of violence, scalping
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Alex Stern (Ph.D., Stanford University) specializes in nineteenth century U.S. and Native American history. A political historian of power and expert on the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, her research and teaching interests focus on the intersecting histories of race, law, federal authority, land, and violence in nineteenth-century America. Her research investigates the intertwined remaking of U.S. and Indigenous sovereignties after the Civil War and shows how federal Indian policy was a critical arena in which the social and political revolutions of Reconstruction took place. Her current book project, Native Reconstruction, is a Civil War and Reconstruction history of the Five Tribes of Indian Territory (1861-1907) that reveals the ways in which Indian Territory served as a historical laboratory for the federal reforms of Reconstruction. Based on American and Native government sources, it uncovers the Reconstruction politics and priorities that shaped the Five Tribes’ forced political assimilation as part of the expansion of federal hegemony after 1865.

In addition to her own research and teaching, Professor Stern has worked as an expert consult in Federal Indian Law cases. Most recently she collaborated with Kanji & Katzen, representing the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, in the Supreme Court case Sharp v. Murphy (later decided by the Court in McGirt v. Oklahoma). She is also a trained non-directive writing coach.

Recent Publications


“Juneteenth and American Democracy,” Black Perspectives, June 2021,

“The Reconstruction Origins of Black Wall Street,” Black Perspectives, June 2021, 

“Reconstructing Approaches to America’s Indian Problem: Indian Policy in the Late Nineteenth Century,” U.S. History Scene, 2015,

“War is Cruelty: The Civil War Lessons of the Dakota War of 1862,” U.S. History Scene, 2015,


HNet-CivWar Postdoctoral Interview, “Alexandra Stern & Native Reconstruction,”

Stanford Humanities Center Interview, “Historian Alexandra Stern Reflects on Landmark Ruling for Native Americans,”

Stanford Humanities Center Interview, “Native Reconstruction,”

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, Colonialism, Government, Indigenous Peoples, Law, Pedagogy, Politics, Race