Participant Info

First Name
Rhae Lynn
Last Name
Princeton University (Assistant Professor); U.S. History Scene (CEO & Editor)
Website URL
American Pop Culture, Music History, Ska, Two-Tone, California, Blackface, Racism, cultural history of white supremacy, World War II, Japanese Internment, Rosie the Riveters, White Supremacy, Social Movements, Civil Rights, Film, Music, Material Culture, Digital History, Documentary, History of the Book, Gender & Sexuality, Abortion
Additional Contact Information
Twitter: @DigitalHistory_

Personal Info

About Me

Rhae Lynn Barnes is an Assistant Professor of American cultural history at Princeton University and the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.

She is a historian, public speaker, writer, editor, documentarian, and onscreen commenter specializing in the globalization of American popular culture and American music. Her research and teaching focus on the histories of racism, the history of white supremacy, racial formation, gender, sexuality, book history, material culture, and cultural representation, especially in the American West and California.

Rhae Lynn Barnes is President of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia and serves on the Executive Committee for the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton.

Recent Publications

Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface maps the political, economic, and cultural geography of amateur blackface minstrel shows by laying bare its unstudied bibliographic history. Marketed nationally as local entertainment, the nearly ten thousand published minstrel show plays—the bedrock of this project—are material remnants of white supremacy’s intellectual and cultural life between the Civil War and Civil Rights. This prolific and censored archive reveals the crucial role the United States government played in accelerating, funding, and disseminating blackface minstrel shows in amateur form worldwide. The project has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Council on Library Information Resources, the Western History Association, the Society for American Music, the Harry Ransom Center, the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, and the Bibliographical Society of America. An interactive website will be released as a companion to the book.

For a preview of Darkology, please consult:

American Contact: Intercultural Encounter and the Boundaries of Book History Co-Authored/Co-Edited with Glenda Goodman (Assoc. Professor of Music, UPENN) with the Material Text Series at the University of Pennsylvania Press. Expected Spring 2024. 

A Cultural History of Roe v. Wade: Fifty Years After Co-Authored/Co-Edited with Catherine Clinton (Emerita Queen’s University Belfast & Professor at the University of Texas, San Antonio) with the History in the Headlines Series at the University of Georgia Press. Expected Fall 2023. 

Notating Empire: Printed Music and the Frontiers of Knowledge 

Co-Authored with Glenda Goodman. Book in progress. 

American Music History 

Rhae Lynn Barnes and Glenda Goodman, Co-Authors, “Finding the ‘Frontier’ in a Page of Music: Imperial Evidence and the Legacy of Settler Colonialism,” American Music Issue 40 Volume 4. 

Rhae Lynn Barnes and Glenda Goodman, Co-Authors, “American Music and Racial Fantasy, Past and Present,” and Co-Editors, Colloquy “Early American Music and the Construction of Race,Journal of the American Musicological Society, the University of California Press. Published Fall 2021 Issue 74, Volume 3.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, American Presidents, Book History, Family, Gender, Genocide, Human Rights, Material Culture, Military, Pedagogy, Public History, Race, Sexuality, Slavery, Sports, Technology, Women, World War II