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Daniel L. Letwin

Daniel L. Letwin

Associate Professor of History

Office Address: 409 Weaver Building
Mailing Address: 108 Weaver Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-0417

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-0417


  1. 1991, Ph.D. (History), Yale University
  2. 1984, M.A. and M.Phil. (History), Yale University
  3. 1981, B.A. (History), University of California, Berkeley


“I am a U.S. social historian, with special interests in labor, race relations, the South, and Gilded Age/Progressive Era America. My past research has focused on the interplay of racial and class identities in among working people, black and white, of the New South.

“My current book project explores the nettlesome issue of ‘social equality’ in African-American thought during the Jim Crow era. Vague but explosive, the specter of ‘social equality’ was long used by defenders of the racial order to justify the suppression of black rights and interracial association. Throughout this period, the quandary of how to handle the ‘social equality’ charge suffused black discourse, engaging the attention of political figures, community leaders, novelists, scholars, editors, and the like. I am interested in how Chicken-Little alarms of ‘social equality’ constrained the options and shaped the political ideologies of black America. In retrieving this neglected issue, I seek to throw fresh light on the fluidities of black political thought from the late nineteenth- through the mid twentieth centuries.”