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 Rose and James Aggrey and the Black Atlantic Gestations of African Nationalism in the International Journal of African Historical Studies, 2020, 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, the African American Intellectual History Society 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, the Introduction to Graduate Study in History and an advanced undergraduate seminar, Race and the US Carceral State in the Long 20th Century.

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, Histories of incarceration
Teaching Areas:

MWF 12:25-1:15
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 318/518: Black America and Africa
MW 4:30-5:45
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.

Spring 2020

HIS 216: African Americans since 1877
Tu/Th 10-11:15

HIS 325/525 Black America Since 1945
Tu/Th 12:30-1:45
In this course, we will explore the rise of Black Power politics as we consider black America's relationships with the larger black world during the Cold War (1947-1989) and time of formal Apartheid in South Africa (1948-1990). We will assess the Cold War's origins and official demise -- as well as the racial undertones of the makings of the so-named Third World -- to see just what this era marked in terms of race and global politics.

HIS 425: Race and the Carceral State in the Long 20th Century
W 5-7:50
This course is an advanced reading seminar for history majors or other advanced CLASS majors ready for seminar style study of a topic. Geared to prepare undergraduates for graduate-level study as well as the various professions in public policy, students will be expected to complete close readings of materials to gain a deep sense of the historiography of race and criminal justice, to write extensively and to participate in the seminar-style discussion of the course.  Understanding the history of race and mass incarceration not only has great significance for any telling of the American story, but an in depth grasp of this history has enormous implications for public policy