Erin D. Chapman

Erin D. Chapman

Assistant Professor of History
Phillips Hall 309
Address: 801 22nd St. NW


Erin D. Chapman is a historian of U.S. racial discourses, African American gender politics, and racialized popular culture. Her first book, Prove It On Me: New Negroes, Sex, and Popular Culture in the 1920s, is a history of the cultural investment in African American women’s images and bodies that pervaded U.S. society in the midst of transformations in race politics, sexual mores, and popular culture that defined the New Negro era of the early twentieth century. Prof. Chapman's second book-length project, Making Freedom Real: Gender and Emancipation in the African American Imaginary, 1865-1965, will address gendered African American visions of freedom beyond emancipation from slavery. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, among others. (Complete C.V.)


Ph.D., Yale University, 2006.


Prove It On Me: New Negroes, Sex, and Popular Culture in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

“Prove It On Me: The New Negro Woman in the Sex-Race Marketplace.” Maroon: The Yale Journal of African American Studies 1:1 (Spring 2006): 63-86.

“Reverse Colorism and the Politics of Black Class and Gender Representation in Soul Food.” Black Arts Quarterly, 4:1 (Winter/Spring 1999): 12-15.

Classes Taught

2305W: Race and Gender in the New Negro Era
Hist 3360: African American History to 1865
Hist 3361: African American History since 1865
Hist 3362: African American Women's History
Hist 6301: African American Historiography


Hist 3001: American Slavery and Its Legacies
Hist 3001: U.S. Black Feminisms 1830-1990
Hist 3001: Race in U.S. Popular Film