OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Alexis McCrossen

Portrait of Alexis  McCrossen

Alexis McCrossen is a professor of history at Southern Methodist University, where she has taught since 1995. She is a cultural historian of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with research interests in the history of timekeeping, religion, technology, cities, and business. McCrossen is the author of Holy Day, Holiday: The American Sunday (2000) and Marking Modern Times: A History of Clocks, Watches, and Other Timekeepers in American Life (2013). She is also the editor of and a contributor to Land of Necessity: Consumer Culture in the United States-Mexico Borderlands (2009). She is currently working on a book entitled "Time's Touchstone: The New Year in American Life" which will examine the White House's annual New Year's Day reception, New York's Times Square extravaganza, and Watch Night services, among other observances. This research is supported by a 2016-2017 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This illustrated lecture looks closely at the observance of New Year's during the Civil War Era. Taking three different sites where the New Year's was anticipated and celebrated in different ways -- African-American churches and communities, the White House in Washington, D.C., and the Confderacy's capital city, Richmond, Virginia -- the lecture considers a range of issues associated with American culture during the Civil War.
This illustrated lecture considers how the mass manufacture of clocks and watches, the standardization of time, and the wireless transmission of time signals together changed the ways that Americans kept and experienced time between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.
This illustrated lecture explores central moments in the history of Sunday by looking at conflicts over its meanings and uses during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In doing so, the lecture explores how Sunday was and remains a distinctive moment in the Ameircan calendar and in American life.
This illustrated lecture considers a range of interpretive approaches to the FSA-OWI Photography Collection (1936-43) of about 180,000 negatives. In doing so, it is a lecture that is at once about the 1930s and 1940s and about the practice of doing history.
This illustrated lecture explores key moments in the history of consumer culture and capitalism in the United States-Mexico borderlands over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.