Crystal Feimster

Crystal Feimster's picture
Associate Professor of American Studies, African American Studies, and History
81 Wall, 403

Crystal N. Feimster, a native of North Carolina, is an associate professor at Yale University in the Departments of African American Studies and History and the Programs of American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is Co-President of the Coordinating Council for Women in History and the Associate Editor of the journal of Civil War History.

Feimster earned her Ph. D. in History from Princeton University and her BA in History and Women’s Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill.  At Yale, she teaches a range of courses in 19th and 20th century African American history, women’s history, and southern history, including “Critical Race Theory” and “The Long Civil Rights Movement.” Over the course of her career Feimster has taught at Boston College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Princeton. She has received numerous teaching and mentor awards and been a fellow at the American Academy of Art Science, the Dubois Institute, and the Institute for Advanced Study.

Feimster is the author of Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching (Harvard Press, 2009), a history of how black and white women were affected by and responded to the problems of rape and lynching in the 19th and 20th century US South.  Southern Horrors was awarded the North East Black Studies Association’s 2010 W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize and received Honorable Mention for Organization of American Historians’ 2010 Darlene Clark Hine Award.  Feimster has published peer-reviewed essays in The Journal of American History and Daedalus, has co-edited a special issue of The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era on Centennial Anniversary of Woman’s Suffrage, and has written numerous book chapters and encyclopedia entries. Feimster’s essay “Keeping a Disorderly House in Civil War Kentucky,” in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society was awarded the Kentucky Historical Society’s Collins Award for best article in 2020.  Her article “General Benjamin Butler & the Threat of Sexual Violence During the American Civil War” in Daedaus was noted as a “Must Read” in the New York Times “Idea of the Day Blog.”  Outside of academic journals, she has published essays in the New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Slate and has been interviewed on NPR and Democracy Now.

Feimster is currently completing, Truth Be Told: The Battle for Freedom in Civil War Era Louisiana (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) and Beauty and Booty: The History of Civil War Rape.