Betsy Schlabach
Assistant Professor of History

Betsy Schlabach is a scholar of Black Chicago History, Urban History, Geography, Popular Culture, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Sports History/Gaming Culture, and American Studies. She is the author of Along the Streets of Bronzeville: Black Chicago’s Literary Landscape (University of Illinois Press, 2013) and is particularly interested in exploring the arts and literary history of Bronzeville as contoured by its urban history and the built environment.

As a teacher-scholar who specifically sought the opportunity to teach at a small college she says, “everyday I step into a classroom I have the opportunity not only to teach my students something new, but I too have the opportunity to learn as well. I think Earlham does a great job of facilitiating that and keeping me energized.”

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 171

Phone
765-983-1425

E-mail
schlabe@earlham.edu

Office
323 Landrum Bolling Center

Programs/Departments

  • History
  • African and African American Studies
  • Women's, Gender, Sexuality Studies

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Saint Louis University
  • M.A., Lehigh University
  • B.A., Valparaiso University

Selected Courses:

Fall 2013

Africa and African American Studies/History 368: African American History to Emancipation 
Earlham Seminar: Road Trips and American Culture

Spring 2014

Africa and African American Studies/History 369: African American History Since Emancipation
Earlham Seminar: Race, Sexuality, and US Sports History
History 362: America at Mid-Passage: The Civil War and Its Legacies    

Future Course Possibilities

Interracial America, Urban History, and History of Popular Culture.
Ford Knight Project: “The Antislavery Movement in Indiana, 1800-1850” (with Professor Tom Hamm)

My scholarly interests include Black Chicago History, Urban History, Geography, Popular Culture, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Sports History/Gaming Culture, and American Studies. I am particularly interested in exploring the arts and literary history of Bronzeville as contoured by its urban history and the built environment. I am expanding my research and publishing skill set by looking into ways I can develop a history of Bronzeville as a Digital Humanities project--I am very excited to see where this might take my research along with new course topics. Finally, I am investigating the relationship between gender, race, and ethnicity and policy gambling in early 20th century Chicago.

Publications

Along the Streets of Bronzeville: Black Chicago’s Literary Landscape. University of Illinois Press, 2013. http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/83gwr7wk9780252037825.html

"Gender and the Policy Game." The Journal of Ephemera. Volume 15. no. 3 (May 2013): 20-22.

“Miscegenation.” Multicultural America. Carlos E. Cortes and J. Greggory Golson, Editors. SAGE Multimedia Publications, 2013.

“Ebony Magazine.” Multicultural America. Carlos E. Cortes and J. Greggory Golson, Editors. SAGE Multimedia Publications, 2013.

“The Dialectics of Placelessness and Boundedness in Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks’ Fictions: Crafting the South Side’s Literary Landscape.” The Chicago Black Renaissance. Darlene Clark Hine, Editor. University of Illinois Press, 2012.

“Du Bois’ Theory of Beauty: Battles of Femininity in Darkwater and Dark Princess.” Journal of African American Studies. Volume 16. no. 3 (2012): 498-510.

“Richard Lee Jones.” African American National Biography Online. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Editors. Oxford University Press Online. 2010.

“Emerson’s Platonic Influence: Working Toward a ‘Well Colored and Shaded Globe,’ “America and the Black Body: Identity Politics in Print and Visual Culture.  Carol Henderson, Editor. Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2009.

“‘Sexual Racism’ and Reality Television: Privileging the White Male Prerogative on MTV’s The Real World: Philadelphia.” How Real Is Reality TV?: The Role of Representation in Reality Television. David Escoffery, Editor. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2006.

Book Reviews 

“The Muse of Bronzeville: African American Creative Expression in Chicago, 1932-1950 by Robert Bone and Richard A. Courage (Review).” African American Review, Forthcoming.   

“Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh Since World War II by Joe W. Trotter and Jared N. Day (Review).” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, Forthcoming.    

“The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter (Review)” and “A Faithful Account of the Race: African American Historical Writing in Nineteenth-Century America by Stephen G. Hall (Review).”  African American Review, Volume 44, Number 3, (Fall 2011): 522-525.   

Conference Presentations

2013

“Female Movers in Bronzeville’s Policy Game.” The Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Jacksonville, Florida.   

“Till and Jet Magazine’s Beauty of the Week.” The Organization of American Historians. San Francisco, California.   

2012

“Chicago’s Policy Women: Ethnic Neighborhoods and the Politics of Luck.” New York Metro American Studies Association. New York, New York.   

“Jet Magazine—Negotiating Violent Imagery.” Southern Association of Women Historians. Fort Worth, Texas.    

2011

“Chicago’s Ladies Play Their Odds: Women and the Policy Racket.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Richmond, Virginia.   

“Bronzeville’s Policy Kings: Philanthropists or Shrewd Urban Businessmen?” Triangle African American History Colloquium. Chapel Hill, North Carolina.    

2010

“Bronzeville’s Policy Kings: Economies of Virtue and Vice.” The Space Between Society. Portland, Oregon.   

2009

“History Gave Grant Park Another Chance: Considering Place and a Civil Rights Trajectory.” American Studies Association. Washington, D.C.   

“Bronzeville at 47th and South Parkway: Business and the Literary Landscape.” Labor and Working Class History Association.  Chicago, Illinois.    

“Gwendolyn Brooks’ Double V Campaign: Setting a Tone for Civil Rights.” Southern American Studies Association.  Fairfax, Virginia.   

2008

“The Stroll District: Chicago’s African American Promenade, 1916.” American Studies Association. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Organization of American Historians

Association for the Study of African American Life and History

The most attractive thing about teaching at Earlham is the small liberal arts college setting. Here I feel I really get to know my students in the small classroom environment. Teaching this way becomes more collaborative. Everyday I step into a classroom I have the opportunity not only to teach my students something new, but I too have the opportunity to learn as well. I think Earlham does a great job of facilitiating that and keeping me energized as a teacher-scholar.

This is my first semester here so therefore I have not had the opportunity to teach an off-campus course but I would love to lead domestic off-campus programs studying Race, History, and Urban development in New Orleans or New York City. I would also like to lead the Civil Rights May Term.

Outside of Earlham, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends scattered about the Midwest and East Coast. A former college athlete, I also enjoy sports and try to attend as many athletic events as possible. Richmond has a very active running and swimming community, which I hope to join soon.

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