Participant Info

First Name
Rhae Lynn
Last Name
Princeton University (Assistant Professor); U.S. History Scene (CEO & Editor)
Website URL
American Pop Culture, 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
Additional Contact Information
Twitter: @DigitalHistory_

Personal Info

About Me

Rhae Lynn Barnes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Princeton University and the leading expert on the history of amateur blackface minstrelsy. She is a historian, public speaker, writer, editor, documentarian, and onscreen commenter specializing in the globalization of American popular culture and America between the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement.

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:


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, Public History, Race, Slavery, Sports, Technology, Women, World War II