History Department

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History Department

Faculty & Staff

Scott-Childress, Reynolds

PhD 2004 University of Maryland
MA 1994 University of Maryland
AB 1983 Columbia University

Assistant Professor

Department: History
Office: JFT 1012
Phone: (845) 257-3727
E-mail: scottchr@newpaltz.edu

Career History

2005 – present Assistant Professor (Tenured) SUNY New Paltz

Teaching Interests

Cultural History
The History of Race and Class
The U.S, South
The Gilded Age
The Cultural History of American Film

Research/Creative Activity

Current Book Project: Cultural Reconstruction: Inventing Race and the American Nation, 1865-1915.
How did the U.S. develop a national culture that was simultaneously unified and fractured by race? To answer this question, the book explores the ways that the nation has used the American South to understand what race is. The work begins with a surprising discovery about the South in American culture. Contrary to accepted ideas about the region of the former Confederacy, white Southerners did not create the national image of the South and its distinct culture of racial divide by themselves. Rather, nineteenth-century Northern magazine editors and intellectuals played a crucial role in inventing and popularizing stereotypes of benevolent white masters, docile slaves, and rapacious freedmen. This outcome was the product of a long cultural battle in Northern culture between two fundamentally conflicting visions of American identity: the regional vs. the racial. The dissertation details how race won out in a series of American magazine projects. Northern editors and intellectuals, in their role as fathers to the national concept of Southern culture, nationalized “Southern” memories of the Old South and grafted Southern conceptions of racial separation into the heart of the nation’s identity.

Awards, Honors & Recognition

• Teacher of the 2009-2010 Year, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, SUNY New Paltz
• Lord Baltimore Fellowship, Maryland Historical Society, 2008
• Mary Savage Snouffer Fellow, University of Maryland 2001-2002
• Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Fellowship, 2000
• Huntington Library, W.M. Keck Foundation Fellow, 2000


• “Paul Laurence Dunbar: New Yorker,” New York History 92.3 (Summer 2011): 167-208.
• “From “Nature’s Nation” to “Washington’s Playground on the Beautiful Potomac”: Marshall Hall, Middle-Class Culture, and the Commercialization of Leisure, 1865 to 1900,” Maryland Historical Magazine 105.4 (Fall 2010): 239-71.
• “The House at Mistake: Thomas Marshall and the Origins of Chesapeake Gentility,” Maryland Historical Magazine 103.4 (Winter 2008): 352-81.
• “Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Project of Cultural Reconstruction.” African American Review 41.2 (Summer 2007): 367-75.
• A History of the Marshall Hall Property. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 2007.
• “Race, Nation, and the Rhetoric of Color: Locating Japan and China, 1870–1907.” In Race and the Production of Modern American Nationalism. New York: Garland, 1999.
• “Introduction.” In Race and the Production of Modern American Nationalism. New York: Garland, 1999.
• Editor. Race and the Production of Modern American Nationalism. New York: Garland, 1999.

Committee Memberships & Professional Organizations

Curriculum Committee
Teaching and Learning Center Advisory Board

Link to CV