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Dr. Robert Widell

Dr. Robert Widell


Associate Professor

Ph.D., Emory University
B.A., Duke University

Professor Widell grew up in Auburn, Alabama, and lived in North Carolina, Georgia, and Colorado, before moving to Rhode Island in 2004. He joined the History Department at URI in 2008. When he's not reading, writing, lecturing, and discussing history, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Lauren, and their daughter, Lily, and beagle, Dudley. He may also be found complaining about the fortunes of the Duke basketball and/or Auburn football teams. Prior to Lily's arrival he used to run marathons, cook, and attend concerts. He aspires to do those things again soon.

Research Interests:

African American History; Late-Twentieth Century U.S. History; Modern Black Freedom Struggle; Political Movements

Courses Taught:

  • HIS 142: History of the United States Since 1877
  • HIS 150: Intro to African American History
  • HIS 341: U.S. History from 1941-1974
  • HIS 342: U.S. History from 1968-2001
  • HIS 366: Twentieth Century Black Politics and Protest
  • HIS 441: Advanced Topics in American History (Comparative Political and Social Movements, 1945-2000)
  • HIS 495: Seminar in History
  • HIS 507: Graduate Seminar in U.S. History

Recent Publications:

"The Power Belongs to Us and We Belong to the Revolutionary Age: The Alabama Black Liberation Front and the Long Reach of the Black Panther Party." In Liberated Territory: Untold Local Perspectives on the Black Panther Party edited by Jama Lazerow and Yohuru Williams, 136-180. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

In progress:

Book Manuscript: "To Stay and Fight": Birmingham, Alabama, and the 20th-Century Black Freedom Struggle.

Contact Information:


Department of History
University of Rhode Island

80 Upper College Road
113 Washburn Hall
Kingston, RI 02881
Office: Washburn Hall
Phone: 401.874.2112

News and Events

URI History Student and Cithara: here

Watch interview of WWII veteran of the Battle of the Bulge created by Gregory Gentile here

Students interested in joining Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, please click here

New report finds U.S. History majors Highest Earners in Humanities

Read the Blog entry here

'Historian' Among Top Ten Jobs
The job historian is ranked as one of the top 10 careers in a recent survey discussed in the Wall Street Journal. See the story here


Links and Info