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Professor of African-American history to join ASU faculty

Matthew Delmont, ASU School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
June 24, 2014

Arizona State University has hired Matthew Delmont to be a professor of African-American history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

Delmont comes from Scripps College in Claremont, California, where he was an associate professor of American studies. His research interests include popular culture and media studies, urban history and the history of education. His first book, “The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock’n’Roll, and Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia” (University of California Press, 2012), reveals how the prominent national television program discriminated against black youth, and how black teens and civil rights advocates protested this discrimination. He is working on his second book, “Why Busing Failed: Race, Media and the National Backlash to School Integration” (University of California Press, pending).

Matt Garcia, director of the school, considers Delmont a major hire for multiple reasons. “We are fortunate to add such an innovative scholar to our faculty. Matt’s work is cutting-edge for the ways he incorporates digital tools into his research and teaching. He represents a new generation of scholars whose work is being ‘born-digital’ and shared more broadly than previous work that was confined primarily to academia.”

Delmont will contribute to the growth of programs in American studies and public history. “I am particularly excited about developing opportunities to research and teach African-American history in ways that extend beyond the traditional classroom setting,” he says. “Also, I am the first person in my family to earn an advanced degree, and I am eager to mentor and support first-generation students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

Delmont earned his bachelor's from Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude. He earned his master's and doctorate from Brown University.

The School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.

Written by Beatriz Kravetz,