OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Barbara J. Fields

Portrait of Barbara J. Fields

Barbara J. Fields is a professor of history at Columbia University where she has taught since 1987. Her research and teaching focus on nineteenth-century American southern and social history; the Civil War and Reconstruction; comparative history of emancipation; comparative social history of agriculture; comparative history of transitions to capitalism; slavery; and the art of interpretive writing. She is the author of Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland during the Nineteenth Century (1985) and a coauthor of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867, series 1, volume 1, The Destruction of Slavery (1985); Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War (1992); and Slaves No More: Three Essays on Emancipation and the Civil War (1992), among other books. Her most recent book, written with her sister, the sociologist Karen E. Fields, is Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life (2012). She is currently at work on "Humane Letters: Writing in English about Human Affairs" and "Teach about the South." She is a past president of the Southern Historical Association; her presidential address, "Dysplacement and Southern History," appeared in the Journal of Southern History in February 2016.

OAH Lectures