Professor Behrend is a scholar of the Reconstruction era.
Dr. Justin Behrend, professor of history and graduate program coordinator, has been a member of the SUNY Geneseo faculty since 2007. His research interests include nineteenth-century U.S. history, African American history, Atlantic World slavery, and Southern history. Dr. Behrend is the author of Reconstructing Democracy: Black Grassroots Politics in the Deep South after the Civil War and articles on slave rebellions, emancipation, and Reconstruction. He was the department chair from 2017 to 2022.
Wednesdays: 10:00am - 11:00am and 1:30pm - 3:30pm, or by appointment.
Ph.D. in History, Northwestern University
Reconstructing Democracy: Black Grassroots Politics in the Deep South after the Civil War (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015)
“When Neighbors Turn against Neighbors: Irregular Warfare and the Crisis of Democracy in the Civil War Era,” in Beyond Freedom: Disrupting the History of Emancipation, ed. David W. Blight and James Downs (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2017), 90-103.
“Facts, Memories, and History: John R. Lynch and the Memory of Reconstruction in the Age of Jim Crow” in Remembering Reconstruction: Struggles Over the Meaning of America's Most Turbulent Era, edited by Carole Emberton and Bruce E. Baker (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2017), 84-108.
"Fear of Reenslavement: Black Political Mobilization in Response to the Waning of Reconstruction" in Rethinking American Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for Black Freedom, edited by William A. Link and James J. Broomall (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 146-163.
"Black Political Mobilization and the Spatial Transformation of Natchez" in Confederate Cities: The Urban South During the Civil Era, edited by Andrew L. Slap and Frank Towers (University of Chicago Press, 2015), 190-214.
"Facts and Memories: John R. Lynch and the Revising of Reconstruction History in the Era of Jim Crow," Journal of African American History 97, no. 4 (Fall 2012): 427-448.
"Rumors of Revolt," New York Times, September 15, 2011.
"Rebellious Talk and Conspiratorial Plots: The Making of a Slave Insurrection in Civil War Natchez," Journal of Southern History 77, no. 1 (February 2011): 17-52.
More About Me
- Nineteenth Century U.S.
- African American
- Civil War and Emancipation
Awards and Honors
- McLemore Prize for best book in Mississippi History, 2016
- Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2013
AMST 201: Topic: Legacies of Slavery
This course will be an interdisciplinary investigation of major influences on and developments in American culture. Each semester there will be a focus on one chronological period, but a variety of topics will be covered. Such topics could include gender, religion, race, social movements and conditions, and artistic and literary developments. The course will emphasize student use and study of period writings and cultural materials. Integrative learning will enhance the interdisciplinary nature of the course.
HIST 163: African Amer History to 1877
This course will explore major events, people, and issues pertaining to African-American history to 1877, including the Atlantic slave trade, the African-American experience in slavery and in freedom from the colonial period through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the impact of slaves and free blacks on colonial, early national, and antebellum history.
HIST 302: Topic: Emancipation & War
This is one of two required skills-based seminars in the History major that form prerequisites for upper level classes. This course is focused on critical analysis of historical evidence and instruction in historical research methods and writing. Students read, evaluate, and critique a range of different types of primary source evidence, practice locating and retrieving reliable primary and secondary sources, and use these skills to support the crafting of historical arguments in both short papers and longer research projects. All sections will focus on a specific set of historical issues and/or events chosen by the instructor and class content emphasizes work with primary sources specific to the seminar topic. This class is reading and writing intensive.