Karen Sotiropoulos (Dr. Karen), PhD
 Title: Associate Professor
 Dept: History
 Office: RT 1328
 Phone: 216-687-3940
 Email: K.SOTIROPOULOS@csuohio.edu
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. RT 1328, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught

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Ph.D., City University of New York
Brief Bio:
Karen Sotiropoulos specializes in African American, African Diaspora, and American Cultural History and earned her Ph.D. from the City University of New York where she taught American History at the CUNY colleges before arriving at CSU in 2000. She lives in Cleveland Heights with her son Lanell and their dog Shea.

Her most recent publications are Teaching Black History After Obama in the journal The Social Studies, July 2017 and Town of God: Ota Benga, the Batetela Boys and the Promise of Black America in the Journal of World History, March 2015. She also published the articles Open Adoption and the Politics of Transnational Feminist Human Rights and Over the Rainbow: African American Stage Artists and Dreams of Home. The first essay appears in the Spring 08 issue of the Radical History Review (http://chnm.gmu.edu/rhr/rhr.htm.  The second article is a chapter in the book Africa and its Diaspora: History, Memory and Literary Manifestations (Africa World Press, 2008) edited by Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Paul E. Lovejoy and David V. Trotman. More recently, she co-edited an issue of the Radical History Review -- Haitian Lives/Global Perspectives, Winter 2013.

Her first book, Staging Race: Black Performers in Turn of the Century America, (Harvard University Press, 2006) was released in paperback in Spring 2008.

She has made numerous presentations nationally and internationally discussing her work at such venues as the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians,the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. She has also made several presentations at CSU and in greater Cleveland including ones at local universities, high schools and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Her teaching repertoire includes survey courses in African American history, the upper level courses Black America and Africa, Black Resistance in the Age of Jim Crow, and The Black World and the Cold War, as well as the Graduate Readings Course in Black History and the Introduction to Graduate Study in History.

Her current research project explores the experiences of continental Africans who have studied in the United States (from John Chilembwe to Barack Obama, Sr.) to better understand the relationship between modernity and racial nationalism in the 20th Century Black Atlantic.
Research Interests:
African American History, African Diaspora History, Atlantic World History, American Cultural History, Gender and Feminist History
Teaching Areas:

(T/Th 10-11:15)
The main purpose of this survey course is to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of FREEDOM by analyzing the historical experiences of African Americans from Reconstruction to the present. We will examine such topics as:  Reconstruction and the formation of post-emancipation communities, the origins of legal segregation and white supremacy, migration from South to North, political activism, intellectual and cultural production, African Americans and the labor movement, the modern civil rights movement, and the historical context to understanding the Obama presidency.

HIS 329/529: Black Resistance in the Age of Jim Crow
(Tu/Th 2-3:15)
This course takes us back to the end of Reconstruction and the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision that declared segregation constitutional to study an era marked by untold racial violence and a convict lease system that was for all intents and purposes "slavery by another name."  We will focus on the black freedom struggle during the years after the Civil War until the dawn of Martin Luther King's leadership to explore how black Americans fought to make the nation a land of liberty and justice for all. By studying black activism before the heroic phase of Civil Rights, we can better grasp Black America's vision of freedom -- one that in many ways depended on government guarantees of collective security rather than unregulated individual liberty. As scholar activist Grace Lee Boggs said, we must study the black past to "develop a common understanding of the important role that the black struggle for human rights has played through the years not only to advance blacks but also to humanize this country." (Boggs, The Next American Revolution, 2011).

Spring 2018
HIS 216: African Americans Since 1877

HIS 318/518: Black America and Africa
This course explores how African Americans' relationships with Africa have changed over time from the throes of the Atlantic trade in African human beings to the paternal lineage of President Obama. We will consider the way that black Americans have imagined home and nation by looking toward the continent and continental Africans and we will explore how these linkages have figured historically in the making of "African American" and "black" identities. We will investigate the transformation of African identities in the New World, the formation and transformation of racial nationalism, and the connection between the U.S.-based freedom movement and African struggles for independence.