Carl Nightingale

Professor of Transnational Studies

and American Studies

Office: 1003 Clemens Hall
Email: cn6@buffalo.edu

Carl Nightingale’s new book "Segregation: a World History of Divided Cities." University of Chicago Press, 2012) is the co-winner of the 2012 Jerry Bentley Prize in World History from the World History Association and the American Historical Association.

The book traces the spread of practices of racial segregationist in cities from their most ancient roots through the rise of racial segregation as a global phenomenon in the years from 1700 to the present. It ties together primary research on cities in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas with an extensive synthetic reading of the history of urban politics worldwide.

Nightingale has published numerous articles on the intersections of urban history, world history and critical race theory in the American Historical Review, the Journal of Social History, and the Journal of Urban History among other places. He is also the author of the weblog “Global Segregation: Human-Made Obstacles to Human Movement across Oceans, Borders, and Urban Space”.

Nightingale curates the exhibition “Buffalo Divided and Unequal: How it Happened and What People are Doing about It” which is available for installation in appropriate venues.

Nightingale’s first book, On the Edge: A History of Poor Black Children and Their American Dreams (Basic Books, 1993), combined ethnographic and archival research to show how broader currents in global popular and political culture affected low-income children’s collective experiences in black Philadelphia.

Recent Professional Activity (2012-13)

In September 2012 Nightingale spoke at the European Urban History Association in Prague and gave the lead-off lecture in the Chicago Urban History Series. In October he addressed a panel on Transnational Urban History at the Urban History Association’s annual meeting in New York, and in January, 2013 he gave a keynote lecture in the series sponsored by CAUSE (the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In March he gave the 29th Annual Address to the Urban Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. In April he gave the keynote lecture for the new workshop on Cities and Globalization at George Mason University and in May and June he delivered talks at Columbia University, Princeton University, and a day-long seminar at the University of Paris. In fall 2013 he will deliver talks at Cambridge University, Leicester University, Edinburgh University, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences-Po) in Paris.

Over the course of the 2012-13 year, Nightingale also organized, with help from Keith Griffler and Erik Seeman, UB’s Humanities Institute’s conference on the Transnational Turn in the Humanities which brought together prominent scholars in several disciplines to make sense of the many languages and traditions that have influenced recent transnational research. He also organized Transnational Tuesdays, a lecture series featuring the work of UB faculty and graduate students.


BA, Haverford College, 1981
MA in History, Princeton University, 1986
PhD in History, Princeton University, 1992

Areas of Interest

Race, critical race theory, and racial justice; Urban history; World history; Urban racial segregation in global perspective; Youth culture and activism; youth culture as a global phenomenon; Community organizing; African American history.

Recent Publications and Work in Progress

"Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities," University of Chicago Press, May 2012.

"Global Segregation" Human made Obstacles to Human Migration, Resettlement, and Residence

“Keep Our Eyes Wide Open on Segregation," blog-post about the recent Manhattan Institute report on urban segregation in the United States (February 2012).

"Historical Geographies of the Color Line in Early Colonial Madras and New York.”  American Historical Review 113 (2008): 48-71.

"The Transnational Contexts of Early-Twentieth-Century American Urban Segregationism." Journal of Social History 39 (Spring 2006): 668-702.

"A Tale of Three Global Ghettos: How Arnold Hirsch Helps Us Internationalize U.S. Urban History." Journal of Urban History 29 (March 2003): 257-71.

"The Global Inner City: Towards a Historical Investigation," in W.E.B. DuBois, Race and the City, eds. Michael B. Katz and Thomas J. Sugrue. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

On the Edge: A History of Poor Black Children and Their American Dreams. New York: Basic Books, 1993. Harry Chapin Prize, runner up for best book on poverty in 1993.

Current Research

New projects include the history of scholars’ explorations of the origins of race; transnational analysis of ideologies of race and sex in British, American, and French settler societies; and the history of Johannesburg and Soweto.

Also, ongoing work on the blog “Global Segregation: Human-Made Obstacles to Human Movement across Oceans, Borders, and Urban Space,” which will offer periodic glosses on the book Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities, as well as a growing collection of scholarly resources on the topics of urban segregation and migration control.

Recent and Frequently Taught Courses

UGC 112 World Civilizations

AMS 387 Race in the City

AMS 500/520 Race in the US and in Transnational Perspective

AMS 520 The Politics of Urban Space

AMS 504 Topics in Cultural History (introductory graduate seminar)

 AMS 560 Racial Justice in Western New York and the World, a seminar in action research

Professional Activities

Member, Board of Directors, Urban History Association

American Studies Association
American Historical Association
Organization of American Historians
Association for the Study of African American Life and Culture
World History Association

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships

Co-winner, 2012 Jerry Bentley Prize in World History for Segregation: a World History of Divided Cities

Individual Grant, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, 2011-12

Research Grant, Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, 2011-12.

Named Most Exemplary Scholar of the Year by Undergraduate Majors of Urban Studies Program, Stanford University, 2007.

Annual Research Grant, Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, SUNY Buffalo, for research pertaining to Segregation renewed in 2007-08 and 2008-09

Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 1997-98

Lilly Fellowship, Provost’s Office and the Center for Teaching, University of Massachusetts, 1995-96

Harry Chapin Media Award, 1994. Runner-up for best book on Poverty in 1993 for On the Edge




Department of Transnational Studies | 1004 Clemens Hall | Buffalo, New York 14260
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