Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce


Associate Professor; Concurrent Associate Professor of American Studies

Graduate Program Field

United States History


African American; Urban; Civil Rights


Ph.D., Indiana University

Research and Teaching Interests

Currently, Pierce is researching the processes by which African American families and institutions taught Jim Crow to their children in the United States during the time period 1895-1965. The resulting volume, tentatively titled, Teaching Jim Crow, will examine the methods and strategies African Americans employed to preserve self-esteem within a system designed to dehumanize. He is presently seeking interviews with parents, teachers, and community leaders who reared children during the Jim Crow segregation era to enrich his research.


Dr. Pierce's first manuscript, Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis, 1920-1970, was published by Indiana University Press. He was a consultant for the “Faith and Community Initiative” of the Project on Religion and Urban Culture” at POLIS Research Center and For Gold and Glory, an award-winning documentary that depicted the African American automobile racing league of the 1920s. He has published articles and essays that have appeared in the Journal of Urban History, The State of Indiana history 2000, Robert Taylor, ed., Chicago Tribune, and National Public Radio. Most recently, his essay, “In Pursuit of Civil Discourse in the Academy”, was featured in Diverse Magazine, formerly known as Black Issues in Higher Education.

In recent years, he has been awarded multiple fellowship and academic appointments. These include: Joan D. Kroc Institute for Peace Fellow (2002); Carl E. Koch, Jr., Assistant Professor of History Chair (2000), a Ford Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for African American Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) at Carnegie Mellon University (2000); and was a member of the Indiana Delegation to Capitol Hill in support of the NEH (1998). In 2004, he was elected the Indiana Historical Society board of directors.

Contact Information

Office: 456 Decio; 327 O'Shaughnessy
Phone: 574-631-7191

Mailing Address:
Department of History
219 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556