Author to discuss Obama, race and politics at MTSU...

Author to discuss Obama, race and politics at MTSU Sept. 24 (+VIDEO)

Dr. Thomas J. Sugrue, author, professor and specialist in 20th century American politics, delivered the 2013 Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture in History on Sept. 24 in MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

The topic of his address in the State Farm Lecture Hall, Room S-102, was “The Education of Barack Obama: Race and Politics in the Age of Fracture.”

Dr. Thomas J. Sugrue

Sugrue, the David Boies Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Penn Social Science and Policy Forum there, also met for formal and informal classes and workshops with students and faculty during his visit to MTSU, which is coordinated by the College of Liberal Arts.

The Strickland Visiting Scholar program allows students to meet with renowned scholars whose expertise spans a variety of historical issues. The Strickland family established the program in memory of Dr. Roscoe Lee Strickland Jr., a longtime professor of European history at MTSU and the first president of the university’s Faculty Senate.

Sugrue has been teaching about and writing on politics, urban history, civil rights and race since the 1990s, earning numerous grants and fellowships from organizations such as the Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and the Brookings Institution along the way.

His first book, “The Origins of the Urban Crisis” (1996), won the Bancroft Prize in American History and helped to redefine the field of postwar urban history by focusing on the role of racial violence, discrimination, and deindustrialization in the collapse of Rust Belt cities. Since then he has written and edited books on suburban history, W. E. B. DuBois, the northern civil rights movement and, most recently, Barack Obama.

Sugrue was educated at Columbia University, King’s College at Cambridge and at Harvard, where he earned his doctorate in 1992. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and president of the Urban History Association.

Sugrue also was a guest “MTSU On the Record” airing earlier this month on WMOT-FM (89.5 and You can listen to his conversation with host Gina Logue here.

For more information about this Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture, please contact Dr. Mark Doyle at

Watch a video report from Sugrue’s lecture below: