Martha Hodes

Professor of History

Princeton University, PhD 1991

Office Address: 

King Juan Carlos Center, Room 613



Personal Homepage:

Field of Study: 

United States

Areas of Research/Interest: 

19th-century; race; Civil War and Reconstruction; gender; craft of historical writing

Curriculum Vitae

External Affiliations:

Editorial board, Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice; consultant, “The Loving Story,” 2010, documentary feature on 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia; consultant, “Shadows of the Lynching Tree,” documentary feature; advisor, “Radio Diaries,” National Public Radio; script consultant, “History Detectives,” PBS-TV.


Martha Hodes came to NYU in 1994 and has since taught as a Visiting Professor at Princeton University and as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Germany. She is the author of Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press, 2015), The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century (W. W. Norton, 2006), one of three finalists for the Lincoln Book Prize, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South (Yale University Press, 1997), winner of the Allan Nevins Prize for Literary Distinction in the Writing of History. She holds degrees from Bowdoin College, Harvard University, and Princeton University, and has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Whiting Foundation. She is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians. Hodes has presented her scholarship across the United States, in Europe, and Australia, speaking at universities and colleges, high schools and elementary schools, historical societies, libraries, museums, and literary festivals, and has been interviewed about her books on public and commercial radio in the U.S., and on the British BBC and Australian BBC. She serves as a consultant for documentaries, radio and television shows, and museum exhibitions on many aspects of American history. At NYU, she teaches courses on race, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the nineteenth-century United States. With a special interest in the craft of history-writing, Hodes also teaches courses on Writing the Civil War, History and Storytelling, Biography and History, Reconstructing Lives, and Experimental History. She is a winner of NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching Award.


(Selected): Harvard University, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, residential fellow; Massachusetts Historical Society, residential NEH fellow; Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Germany; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, residential fellow; National Endowment for the Humanities, fellowship; American Council of Learned Societies, fellowship; Lincoln Book Prize, finalist; Allan Nevins Prize for Literary Distinction in the Writing of History; Golden Dozen Teaching Award, NYU.

Selected Works:


HODESCOVERMOURNINGLINCOLN.jpgMourning Lincoln, Yale University Press, 2015.





SeaCaptain.jpgThe Sea Captain's Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century (W.W. Norton, 2006).  Lincoln Prize Finalist; Book of the Month Club, Literary Guild, and Quality Paperback Book Club alternate selection; Best Books of 2006, Library Journal.
Please visit the website:




WhiteWomenBlackMenBOOK.jpgWhite Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South (Yale University Press, 1997). Winner of Allan Nevins Prize, Society of American Historians; Honorable Mention, Outstanding Book, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.





SexLoveRaceBOOK2jpg.jpgSex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History (New York University Press, 1999, second printing 2004), edited collection.





“Knowledge and Indifference in the New York City Race Riot of 1900: An Argument in Search of a Story.” Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice 15 (March 2011): 61-89. 

“A Story With an Argument: Writing the Transnational Life of a Sea Captain’s Wife.”  Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700 - Present, ed. Desley Deacon, Penny Russell, Angela Woollacott. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 15-26. 

“Grenzgänge: Hautfarbe, Geschlecht und die Macht der Kategorien im späten 19. Jahrhundert” (“Border Crossing: Complexion, Gender, and the Power of Categories in the Late Nineteenth Century”). Väter, Soldaten, Liebhaber: Männer und Männlichkeiten in der Geschichte Nordamerikas: Ein Reader (Fathers, Soldiers, Lovers: Men and Masculinity in American History: A Reader), ed. Jürgen Martschukat and Olaf Stieglitz. Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript, 2007. 123-37. 

“A House in Vermont, A Caribbean Beach: Beckoned By Landscapes Beyond the Archive.” Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life 7. July 2007. <>. 

“Fractions and Fictions in the United States Census of 1890.” Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History, ed. Ann Laura Stoler. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006. 240-70. 

“Four Episodes in Re-Creating a Life.” Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, 10 (June 2006): 277-90. 

“The Mercurial Nature and Abiding Power of Race: A Transnational Family Story.” American Historical Review 108 (Feb. 2003): 84-118. Reprinted in American Dreaming, Global Realities: Rethinking U.S. Immigration History, ed. Donna R. Gabaccia and Vicki L. Ruiz. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2006.

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Updated on 04/20/2015