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Scholarly Interest Report
William Caleb McDaniel
Associate Professor
Associate Professor of History
  • Ph.D. History (2006) Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A. History (2000) Texas A&M University
  • M.A. Philosophy (2001) Texas A&M University
Primary Department
   Department of History
 Personal Webpage
 Personal Homepage
 Personal Webpage
Research Areas
 Nineteenth-century American history, slavery and emancipation, antislavery and reform movements, Civil War era, transatlantic and transnational history, cultural and intellectual history
Teaching Areas
 Modern American history (nineteenth and twentieth centuries), history of social movements, Civil War Era, digital history
Selected Publications
 Refereed articles

“Data Mining the Internet Archive Collection,” peer-reviewed tutorial for The Programming Historian, March 3, 2014.


"The Case of John L. Brown: Sex, Slavery, and the Trials of a Transatlantic Abolitionist Campaign," American Nineteenth-Century History 14, no. 2 (June 2013), 141--159


"His Brothers' Keeper: John Brown, Moral Stewardship, and Interracial Abolitionism,” Slavery and Abolition 32, no. 1 (March 2011), 27-52.


“Saltwater Antislavery: American Abolitionists on the Atlantic Ocean in the Age of Steam,” Atlantic Studies 8, no. 2 (June 2011), 141-163 (lead article for special issue on "Abolitionist Places").


"Repealing Unions: American Abolitionists, Irish Repeal, and the Origins of Garrisonian Disunionism," Journal of the Early Republic 28, no. 2 (2008), 243-269


"The Fourth and the First: Abolitionist Holidays, Respectability, and Radical Interracial Reform," American Quarterly 57, no. 1 (2005), 129-15



"The Bonds and Boundaries of Abolitionism," Journal of the Civil War Era 4, no. 1 (March 2014), 84-105


"New Approaches to Internationalizing the History of the Civil War Era: An Introduction," co-authored with Bethany L. Johnson, Journal of the Civil War Era 2, no. 2 (June 2012), 145-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/cwe.2012.0046


"John Brown, Quietist," Common Knowledge 16, no. 1 (Winter 2010), 31-47


The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013).

 Book chapters

W. Caleb McDaniel "“Involuntary Removals: ‘Refugeed Slaves’ in Confederate Texas,." Lone Star Unionism, Dissent, and Resistance: Other Sides of Civil War Texas (2016)


"Philadelphia Abolitionists and Antislavery Cosmopolitanism, 1760-1840," in Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia: Emancipation and the Long Struggle for Racial Justice in the City of Brotherly Love, ed. Richard Newman and James Mueller (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2011), 149-173.

 Book reviews

W. Caleb McDaniel "Feel the Birney: Review of Corey M. Brooks, The Liberty Power: Antislavery Third Parties and the Transformation of American Politics." Common-place, 17 (2017)


W. Caleb McDaniel "Review of David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation." New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, 89 (2015) : 295-297.


W. Caleb McDaniel "Review of Lewis Perry, Civil Disobedience: An American Tradition." Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 14 (April 2015) : 272-273.


“The Lincoln-Douglass Debates,” review essay on Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, by John Stauffer, Reviews in American History 38, no. 1 (March 2010), 169-176


W. Caleb McDaniel "The South Only Embraced States’ Rights as It Lost Control of the Federal Government." The Atlantic (November 1, 2017)


Coeditor, with Bethany Johnson, "New Approaches to Internationalizing the History of the Civil War Era," special issue of Journal of the Civil War Era 2, no. 2 (June 2012). Also published in an Amazon Kindle edition.


"Abolitionism" (1500 words), in The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, ed. Akira Iriye and Pierre-Yves Saunier (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

 Conference Paper

Conference on Remaking North American Sovereignty: "Beyond Failure: Rethinking Confederate State Policies on the Western Frontier," Banff, Alberta, Canada (August 1, 2015)


"OAH (Organization of American Historians) Annual Meeting: “Remembering Henry: Refugeed Slaves in Civil War Texas,” Atlanta, GA." (April 13, 2014)

 Invited Papers

"CUNY Graduate Center: “Garrisonian Abolitionists and the Half-Way House of Antislavery Politics."." (October 18, 2014)


"Texas State University: “Slaveholding Refugees in Wartime Texas." Symposium on Lone Star Unionism and Dissent.." (April 5, 2014)


"Ghosts of Distinction: Reconsidering John Brown's Interracial Relationships." Houston Area Southern Historians, Rice University. (2008)


"William Lloyd Garrison, Nonviolent Abolitionists, and John Brown." Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University. (Oct 29-31, 2009)

 Invited Talks

University of North Texas: “Slave Sales on Twitter” Symposium on Digital Scholarship, Denton, TX (November 16, 2015).


"AHA THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology): “Beyond Networking: Twitter as a Medium for History,” New School, New York City, NY.." (January 6, 2015)


"Louisiana State University: “Constitution Burning: The Radical Agitation of American Abolitionists in Transatlantic Context,” Modern History Colloquium.." (October 10, 2014)


Yale University: "How Slavery Survived the Civil War: Rethinking Confederate Refugees to Texas, 1862--1866," December 4, 2013. Brown Bag Lecture at Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.


Featured Speaker, Distinguished Lecture Series, Houston Museum of Natural Science: "Dick Dowling and the Battle of Sabine Pass: The View from Emancipation Park," April 24, 2012.


Plenary Speaker at "The Emancipation Proclamation: A Turning Point," a Regional Commemoration and Conference: "Before Juneteenth: The Emancipation Proclamation in Texas," September 22, 2012, Houston Baptist University.

 Keynote Speaker

"Saltwater Antislavery: Abolitionist Journeys on the Atlantic Ocean in the Age of Steam," Keynote Address at “Encounters along the Journey,” the Spring 2010 Interdisciplinary Symposium of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Texas A&M University, April 23, 2010


"Abolitionism and Slavery in the Coming of the Civil War." Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Rice University. (Fall 2011)


"AHA Annual Meeting: “The History Major in a Digital Age,” Roundtable on the Future of the History Major, New York City, NY." (January 4, 2015)


""American Abolitionists, John Stuart Mill, and the Transatlantic Problem of Democracy," Bi-Annual Meeting of BrANCH (British American Nineteenth Century Historians) in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, October 12-14, 2012.." (October 12, 2012)


""Resolutions for Teaching Digital History," Roundtable on Teaching Digital History Methods for History Graduate Students, Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New Orleans, January 6, 2013.." (January 6, 2013)


""'All Hail, Public Opinion!': American Abolitionists on British Liberalism and the Repeal of the Corn Laws"." Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Houston, TX. (March 17, 2011)


"The Case of John L. Brown: Slavery, Sex, South Carolina, and the Whispering Gallery of Transatlantic Abolitionism." Civil War--Global Conflict: 2011 international conference of the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World program, College of Charleston, South Carolina. (March 4, 2011)


“New Directions in the Study of the Civil War Era: A Roundtable Forum,” Invited Panelist for forum cosponsored by the Center for Public History and the Department of History at University of Houston, October 18, 2010.


"American Civic Identity and Practice in Comparative Perspective." Society for Historians of the Early Republic Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (2008)


"What Counts as Radical Abolitionism? A Reconsideration of Recent Scholarship." Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. (2009)

 Seminar Speaker

"The Ever-Restless Ocean: Wendell Phillips and the Problem of Democracy." Wendell Phillips Bicentennial Commemoration, Harvard Law School. (June 3, 2011)


"Teaching with Blogs," Invited Brown Bag Workshop Leader, Digital Media Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, October 14, 2010

Editorial Positions
 Book Review Editor, H-SHEAR. http://www.h-net.org. (2009 - 2009)

 Member of the Editorial Board, The Programming Historian. (2014 - 2014)

Supervised Theses & Dissertations
 Wesley A. Phelps, PhD A Grassroots War on Poverty: Community Action and Urban Politics in Houston, 1964-1976. (2010) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Carl Paulus, PhD The Slaveholding Crisis: The Fear of Insurrection, the Wilmot Proviso, and the Southern Turn against American Exceptionalism. (2012) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Joseph Locke, PhD Making the Bible Belt: Preachers, Prohibition, and the Politicization of Southern Religion, 1877-1918. (2012) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Andrew F. Lang, PhD The Garrison War: Culture, Race, and the Problem of Military Occupation during the American Civil War Era. (2013) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Zachary Dresser, PhD The Theology of Reconstruction: White Southern Religious Leaders in the Aftermath of the Civil War. (2013) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Sarah Bischoff Paulus, PhD Abraham Lincoln's Northwestern Approach to the Secession Crisis. (2013) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Mercedes Harper, PhD White Women's Heritage Organizations in Texas, 1870-1970. (2014) (Thesis Committee Member)

 Benjamin G. Wright, Ph.D Gospel of Liberty: Antislavery and American Salvation. (2014) (Thesis Committee Member)

Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
 George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, (2017)

 Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Faculty Achievement, Rice University (2015)

 Finalist, Sophia Meyer Farb Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Teaching, Rice University

 James H. Broussard First Book Prize, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (2014)

 Merle Curti Award for Best Book in American Intellectual History, Organization of American Historians (2014)

 Virginia and Griff Lawhon Digital Education Award, Rice University (2011)

 Ralph D. Gray Article Prize, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (2009)