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Blain Roberts

Professor and Department Chair

Roberts Profile

Office: Social Sciences 101


Office Phone: 559-278-8677


Ph.D. - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
MA - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
M. Litt. - University of St. Andrews
BA - Princeton University

Fall 2023

Course Days/Times
HIST 12 - American History to 1877 TTH 12:30 - 1:45 pm

Spring 2024

Course Days/Times
HIST 101 - Women in History MWF 1:00 - 1:50 pm

  • 20th Century U.S.
  • U.S. Women's and Gender History
  • U.S. Cultural History
  • The American South
  • Memory
  • Historical Tourism
  • Civil Rights Movement and Massive Resistance


Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy, The New Press, 2018 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle]

  • Named one of the “Best Books of 2018” by book critics at the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, Black Perspectives, Zocalo Public Square, Civil War Monitor
  • New York Times must-read summer book of 2018
  • Times Literary Supplement summer books 2018 selection
  • Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly

Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South, University of North Carolina Press, 2014

  • 2014 Publishers Weekly Notable African American Title 
  • 2015 Southern Association for Women Historians Willie Lee Rose Book Prize 

Articles and Book Chapters

“Freedom Fighter or Attila the Hun? How Black and White Charlestonians Remembered Denmark Vesey 1822-2014,” in Denmark Vesey at 200, ed. James Spady (University of South Carolina Press, 2022) [co-authored with Ethan K. Kytle].
“Who’s Buried in Calhoun’s Tomb?” Civil War Monitor 11 (Spring 2021): 34-44+ [co-authored with Ethan K. Kytle].                
“‘Our Job Is to Get It Picked’: Volunteerism, Coercion, and the California Farm Labor Crisis of 1942,” Boom California 25 March 2021 [co-authored with Ethan K. Kytle].
“Gender and Sexuality in the Twentieth-Century South,” in Reinterpreting Southern Histories, ed. Craig Thompson Friend and Lorri Glover (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2020).
“‘My Father Is a Witness, Oh, Bless God’: The Plantation Echoes, 1937,” Oxford American, Winter 2019 (Winter 2019) [co-authored Ethan K. Kytle].
“When the Abolitionists Went to Charleston,” Civil War Monitor (Winter 2018): 52-61+ [co-authored Ethan K. Kytle].
“Broken Tributes to a Morally Bankrupt,” in Confederate Statues and Memorialization, ed. Catherine Clinton and Jim Downs (University of Georgia Press, 2019), originally published in the New York Times, 22 August 2018, sec. A, p. 19 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle]
“The Grove of Gladness,” in The New York Times Disunion: A History of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, October 2016), originally published in the New York Times, “Disunion” series, 31 December 2012 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“When Freedom Came to Charleston,” in The New York Times Disunion: A History of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, October 2016), originally published in the New York Times, “Disunion” series, 19 February 2015; also published in Civil War Monitor (Spring 2015): 20-21+ [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“Uncovering the Confederacy of the Mind, Or How I Became a Belle of the Ball in Denmark Vesey’s Church,” Southern Cultures 19 (Fall 2013): 6-25.
“Looking the Thing in the Face: Slavery, Race, and the Commemorative Landscape in Charleston, South Carolina, 1865-2010,” Journal of Southern History 78 (August 2012): 639-684 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“‘Is It Okay to Talk about Slaves?’ Segregating the Past in Historic Charleston,” in Karen L. Cox, ed., Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern History (University Press of Florida, 2012) [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle]. 
“A New Cure for Brightleaf Tobacco: The Origins of the Tobacco Queen during the Great Depression,” Southern Cultures 12 (Summer 2006): 30-52.  **Winner, 2007 Southern Association for Women Historians’ A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize for the Best Article in Southern Women’s History**

Op-Ed Essays

New York Times:
“The ‘Silent Sam’ Monument at U.NC. was Toppled. What Happens Next?” New York Times, 21 August 2018 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“The Historian Behind Slavery Apologists Like Kanye West,” New York Times, 3 May 2018 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“Remembering Our Original Sin,” New York Times, Sunday Review, 6 December 2015, sec. SR, p. 6 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle]
“Birth of a Freedom Anthem,” New York Times, Sunday Review, 14 March 2015, sec. SR, p. 5 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“The Dust Bowl Returns,” New York Times, 10 February 2014, sec. A., p. 21 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“The Miss America Pageant Still Sends the Wrong Message,” New York Times, “There She Is, Miss America” Room for Debate, 13 September 2013.  
“The Ugly Side of the Southern Belle,” New York Times, 16 January 2013, sec. A, p. 21.
“When the Fourth of July Was a Black Holiday, Atlantic, 3 July 2018 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle] 
“When the South Was the Most Progressive Region in America,” Atlantic, 17 January 2018 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“Take Down the Confederate Flags, But Not the Monuments,” Atlantic, 25 June 2015 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].

Fresno Bee:
“With Latest COVID Surge, CSU Must Require Students, Staff to Get Vaccinated Before Fall,” Fresno Bee, 23 July 2021 [co-authored with Thomas Holyoke, Melanie Ram, and Ethan J. Kytle].
“Here is How Voters Should Consider Trump’s Inability to Denounce White Supremacists,” Fresno Bee, 2 October 2020 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“Romancing the Civil War: Madera School’s ‘Ball’ Troubles Fresno State Scholars,” Fresno Bee, 28 April 2018 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle]. 
“Unsure about Confederate Statues? Ask Yourself if You Support White Supremacy,” Fresno Bee, 18 August 2017 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].
“Make No Mistake: Donald Trump is Dylann Roof’s President,” Fresno Bee, 2 December 2016 [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle].


  • U.S History, 1877 to the Present
  • U.S. Women's History
  • U.S. Cultural History, 1877 to the Present
  • History and Women's Autobiography
  • Advanced Historical Research and Writing


  • Introduction to Graduate Writing and Historiography
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Memory and Southern History

Separate But Not Equal: The New Orleans Four, Massive Resistance, and the Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Heart of Dixie, manuscript in progress [co-authored with Ethan J. Kytle]