Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., Brandeis University (2004)
M.A., Brandeis University (1999)
B.A., Northwestern University (1998)

Teaching Interests

Drawing on social, cultural, intellectual, and political history, I teach about the African American experience from the slave trade to the present. As a historian of education, most of my courses center on race and schooling. I offer courses in Black Studies, History, and Education Studies. Students in my seminar “Slavery and the American Imagination” explore historical and literary depictions of the “peculiar institution” to uncover connections between America's racial past and its racial present. Students in "Race and Educational Opportunity" trace the relationship between race and educational opportunity from the early ninteeth-century to the present day. This course emphasizes how race has influenced access to education, and how America has attempted to dismantle the educational inequalities created under slavery and Jim Crow. I also enjoy teaching about an array of historical and contemporary educational issues including the politics and history of school choice, residential segregation, struggles for desegregation, and the relationship between geography and educational opportunity. I regularly teach the "Purpose and Politics of Education," which introduces students to Education Studies.

Selected Publications

"From Open Enrollment to Controlled Choice: How Public School Choice Assignment Replaced the Neighborhood School in Cambridge, Massachusetts," History of Education Quarterly vol. 59, no. 3 (August 2019): 313-350.

"Assessing the Impact of the Inner Belt: MIT, Highways, and the Housing Market in Cambridge, Massachusetts," with Yinan Zhang and Andy Anderson, Journal of Urban History vol. 40, no. 6 (November 2014): 1079-1098.

"Race and Schooling in Early Republican Philadelphia," in The Great Contest: The Founding Fathers, Education, and the American Philosophical Society, ed. Benjamin Justice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 103-118.

Schooling Citizens: The African American Struggle for Education in Antebellum America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).

"The Tarring and Feathering of Thomas Paul Smith: Common Schools, Revolutionary Memory, and the Crisis of Citizenship in Antebellum Boston," New England Quarterly, vol. 80, no. 2 (June 2007), 218-241.

“Education's Inequity: Opposition to Black Higher Education in Antebellum Connecticut,” History of Education Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 1 (Spring 2006), 16-35.

Awards and Honors

Vice-President and Conference Chair/President-Elect, History of Education Society (HES) (2021-2022)

Research Fellow at the Stout Centre for New Zealand Studies, Victoria University (Wellington) (2021-2022)

Faculty Research Award (FRAP) large grant for "There Goes the Neighborhood School: A Comparative and Transnational History of Zoning and Choice in Late 20th century New Zealand and the United States," 2019

Semi-Finalist for Fulbright Scholar Award (New Zealand) 2019, 2020

Outstanding Reviewer Award, History of Education Quarterly, 2014

Essayist in volume selected for the Critics' Choice Book Award, American Educational Studies Association (AESA), 2014

Outstanding Book Award for Schooling Citizens: The African American Struggle for Education in Antebellum America (Chicago, 2009), History of Education Society, 2010

Max and Etta Lazerowitz Lecture, Amherst College, 2009

Ray Ginger Memorial Lecture, Brandeis University, 2008

Amherst College Trustee Faculty Fellowship, 2007-2008

Claude A. Eggersten Prize, Best Dissertation, History of Education Society, 2005

Dissertation Year Fellowship (Brandeis University), 2003-2004

Spencer Graduate Fellowship in Education (The Spencer Foundation and Brandeis University), 2002-2003

Associate Fellowship, The Gilder Lehrman Institute for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (Yale University), 2001-2002

University Prize Instructorship (Brandeis University), 2001-2002

Rose and Irving Crown Fellowship (Brandeis University), 1998-2002

B.A., summa cum laude, Northwestern University

Scholarly and Professional Activities

Vice-President and Conference Chair/President-Elect, History of Education Society (HES) (2021-2022)

Editorial Board, History of Education Quarterly (2010-2012)


The Amherst Student: Professor Hilary Moss Wins Dissertation Prize

Education's Inequity: Opposition to Black Higher Education in Antebellum Connecticut

See also: Research Interests