Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Northwestern University
Website URL
Civil War, Reconstruction, nineteenth-century politics, emancipation, anti-slavery movement, law, constitution
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Kate Masur (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2001) specializes in the United States in the nineteenth century, with a primary focus on how Americans grappled with questions of race and equality after the abolition of slavery in both the North and South. Masur is author of Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction (W. W. Norton, forthcoming, 2021). This is the first book to investigate the northern struggle for civil rights as a social and political movement that fundamentally shaped federal policy during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Masur is also author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (2010), and co-editor, with Gregory Downs, of The World the Civil War Made. 

Masur is committed to exchanging ideas with a broad range of audiences. She leads workshops for teachers and working with museums and arts organizations including the National Constitution Center and the Newberry Library. She was part of the editorial team that created Reconstruction: The Official National Park Service Handbook, and she co-authored, with Gregory Downs, The Era of Reconstruction, 1861-1900, a National Historic Landmark Theme Study published in 2017. As an advocate for Reconstruction in public history, she has testified before Congress and co-authored op-eds in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. She was also a key consultant for the 2019 documentary, Reconstruction: America after the Civil War.

She is currently co-editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era, published by University of North Carolina Press.


Recent Publications

Masur’s work has recently appeared in The Journal of the Civil War Era and the American Journal of Legal History, in volumes on the Memphis Massacre and biographical film in history, and as commentary in the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, Emancipation, Politics, Public History, Race, Rebellion & Revolution, Urban History