Shannon Smith

Academic Interests:

Nineteenth-century U.S. history, especially the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, African American history and race, gender, and urban and labor history film.


I study riots, particularly the interplay between public celebrations, protests, and rioting, and competition over who gets to define if a protest is a "riot." Additionally, I focus on the rise of military and police organizations as a way to quell rebellions and uprisings when working-class Americans and people of color asserted their right to full political and social citizenship.


"They Met Force with Force": African Americans as Citizen Workers in Louisville's 1877 Strike," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Winter 2017

"Teaching Civil War Union Politics: Draft Riots in the Midwest," OAH Magazine of History, 27 (April 2013), 31-34.

"Draft Resistance and Rioting" in Civil War America: A Social and Cultural History, Zoe Trodd and Maggi Morehouse, eds. (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 3-12, with accompanying primary documents available at