Distinguished Lecturers
Manisha Sinha

Manisha Sinha

Manisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut and the 2024 President-elect of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina (2000), named one of the ten best books on slavery by Politico and featured in the 1619 Project, and The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition (2016), long listed for the National Book Award for Non Fiction and winner of the OAH Avery O. Craven Award, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Book Prize, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and the Southern Historical Association's James A. Rawley Award. Her latest book is The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920 (Forthcoming, 2024). Sinha is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2022. Her research interests lie in the transnational histories of slavery, abolition, and feminism and the history and legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction. She is the Eighth recipient of the James W.C. Pennington Award for 2021 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 2018, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris, Diderot. Sinha has written for CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, The New York Daily News, and The Washington Post, among other newspapers and journals. She has been interviewed by national and internal media and has lectured all over the world. 

NEW IN 2024: The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920. (Liveright)

OAH Lectures by Manisha Sinha

This talk explores the long unwinding of Reconstruction in the latter half of the nineteenth century and the rise of an overseas American empire. It shows that the fall of Reconstruction in the south was connected to the conquest of the west and the emergence of American imperialism on a global scale. "Jim Crow imperialism" illustrates the long after lives of the overthrow of Reconstruction, when the United States established racial apartheid at home and sought to govern non-white peoples abroad, specifically excluded from the citizenship rights of the Reconstruction amendments and the protections of the United States Constitution.

This talk examines how abolitionists pushed for emancipation during the Civil War. Drawing from Sinha's forthcoming work on abolition, it illustrates how African Americans and abolitionists pushed President Lincoln to occupy abolitionist ground, emancipation without compensation and black rights. They are the forgotten emancipationists.

Sinha’s talk illuminates the forgotten origins of the women's suffrage movement in the abolition movement and reconsider the break between abolitionists and some feminists after the Civil War. It shows how the Reconstruction constitutional amendments opened a path to women's suffrage and the Nineteenth Amendment. Despite black disenfranchisement, the Nineteenth Amendment eventually paved the way for black women to emerge as the most progressive voting block in American politics.

This lecture examines the origins of women activism in the abolition movement and looks at the forgotten role of abolitionist feminists in women's suffrage.


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