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Stephen Kantrowitz


Department of History, American Indian Studies Program, Department of Afro-American Studies

Stephen Kantrowitz writes and teaches about race, citizenship, and Native American-settler interactions in the nineteenth-century United States. His most recent work explores the transformation of American citizenship in the Civil War era through the experiences of the Ho-Chunk people. Professor Kantrowitz was born in Boston, earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University, and has been teaching at UW–Madison since 1995. He is Plaenert-Bascom and Vilas Distinguished Professor of History and the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships for his scholarship and teaching.


How the Ho-Chunk Thwarted Removal
During the 1820s and 1830s, the United States took possession of all of the Ho-Chunk people’s ancestral lands within what is today Wisconsin. Despite this, over many decades, the Ho-Chunk resisted, returned, and ultimately regained the right to live in parts of their homeland. Today, their descendants are citizens of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a federally recognized sovereign nation headquartered in Black River Falls. How did the Ho-Chunk thwart American efforts to expel them, and how did they achieve this remarkable reversal of American policies of conquest?
More Than Freedom: African American Citizenship in the Nineteenth Century United States
Free African Americans before the Civil War sought more than the abolition of slavery: they sought to remake the United States as a place where they could live as equal citizens. To do this required organizing, fighting, and making alliances with white Americans who shared their vision of a nation not defined by racial hierarchy. In making this fight, they reshaped the era of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, and left a nation forever changed.
Who Freed the Slaves? Making Sense of Civil War Slave Emancipation
How did the fight against slavery bring the Civil War, and how did that war bring slavery to a final end? Bringing together long-simmering struggles over slavery, citizenship, and equality with the political and military struggles of the war itself, this lecture explains the most momentous transformation in the history of the United States.