Marek D. Steedman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2003

Research Interests
Dr. Steedman’s research investigates what might be called ‘operative’ political thought (see Nederman and Forhan 2000, 11-14): that is, ideas about politics as they are deployed in practical politics and everyday life rather than in intellectual treatises (a blurred line; I don’t mean that intellectual treatises are not engaged in political work). More specifically, he focuses on political thought in the United States, mainly between 1865 and 1932. He currently has two research projects. The first uses the politics of immigration in New York City as a focal point for a re-examination of urban (“machine”) politics in the 1920s, and of the interplay of class, race, ethnicity and gender at work in the formation of what would, by the 1930s, become a central component of the New Deal coalition in the Democratic Party. The nativist movements behind the 1924 Immigration Act, and their historical antecedents, have been exhaustively studied. But political opposition to immigration controls in the 1920s is understudied, partly because they were so comprehensively defeated. Nevertheless, Steedman hopes that examining this opposition will shed new light not only on the development of the New Deal coalition, but on the forms of democratic politics possible in urban America in the 1920s, and on the ideals of citizenship animating urban politics in the period. His second project is more traditional, looking at the relationship between economic and racial justice in Black political thought, examining a wide range of writers, including Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terrell, A. Philip Randolph and Hubert Harrison, among others. The purpose is to explore how Black political writers understood the tensions and overlap between these two projects, as they responded to the changing political and economic climate in America between 1865 and 1932.

Before Dusk: Race, Labor, and Status in Louisiana, 1865-1900.

Selected Publications
“Demagogues and the Demon Drink: Newspapers and the Revival of Prohibition in Georgia,” in Carol J. Nackenoff and Julie Novkov, eds., Statebuilding From the Margins: Between Reconstruction and the New Deal (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014)

“Continuity and Change: Understanding Race in Southern Political Development,” Politics, Groups, and Identities, volume 1, issue 2, 2013

Jim Crow Citizenship: Liberalism and the Southern Defense of Racial Hierarchy (Routledge, 2012)

Courses Taught
PS 201: Great Issues of Politics
PS 420: Plato to Machiavelli
PS 421: Hoobbes to Nietzsche
PS 426: Twentieth Century Political Thought

Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Marek Steedman CV 

External Website