Nell Irvin Painter is a leading historian of the United States. She is currently the Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University. She was Director of Princeton's Program in African-American Studies from 1997 to 2000. In addition to her doctorate in history from Harvard University, she has received honorary doctorates from Wesleyan, Dartmouth, SUNY-New Paltz, and Yale.
As a scholar, Professor Painter has published numerous books, articles, reviews, and other essays. Her most recent book is Southern History Across the Color Line. Six earlier books are also still in print. She has served on numerous editorial boards and as an officer of many different professional organizations, including the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Antiquarian Society, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and the Association of Black Women Historians. She is currently a Councillor of the prestigious Society of American Historians. For a full list of her publications and professional activities, see her curriculum vitae.
Professor Painter's current work is interdisciplinary. In addition to traditional courses in American history and African-American studies, she teaches on the social construction of gender, race, and personal beauty. She plans to complete three books in the next few years. Oxford University Press will publish Creating Black Americans, which shows how African Americans have drawn on art and history to develop their identity in the United States. W.W. Norton will publish The History of White People and Personal Beauty: Biology or Culture?Education
- University of California, Berkeley, 1960-1962; 1963-1964. BA (honors) Anthropology, 1964
- University of Bordeaux, France, 1962-1963, French medieval history
- University of Ghana, Institute of African Studies, 1965-1966
- University of California, Los Angeles, 1966-1967, MA, African History, 1967
- Harvard University, 1969-1974, Ph.D., American history
1. Southern History across the Color Line, The University of North Carolina Press
2. Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol, W. W. Norton & Company
3. Standing at Armageddon: The United States 1877-1919, W. W. Norton & Company
4. A Narrative of Hosea Hudson: His Life as a Negro Communist in the South, Harvard University Press
5. Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction, W. W. Norton & Company