Tera W. Hunter

Department Chair
Department of African American Studies & Department of History
Edwards Professor of American History
Office Phone
101 Morrison Hall
Office Hours

Please contact Shanda Carmichael ([email protected]) to schedule office hours appointments.


Tera W. Hunter is Professor of History and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is a scholar of labor, gender, race, and Southern history in the 19th and 20th centuries.

A native of Miami, Professor Hunter attended Duke University where she graduated with distinction in History. She received a MPhil in History from Yale University and a doctoral degree from Yale. Professor Hunter previously taught at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined Princeton faculty in the fall of 2007.

Her first book, To Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War(Harvard University Press, 1997), was awarded the H. L. Mitchell Award in 1998 from the Southern Historical Association, the Letitia Brown Memorial Book Prize in 1997 from the Association of Black Women’s Historians and the Book of the Year Award in 1997 from the International Labor History Association. Her most recent book, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century(Harvard University Press, 2017) was awarded the Stone Book Award, Museum of African American History; Mary Nickliss Prize, Organization of American Historians; Joan Kelly Memorial Prize, American Historical Association; Littleton-Griswold Prize, American Historical Association; and The Deep South Book Prize, Frances S. Sumersell Center for the Study of the South. It was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize, Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute; and the Longman-History Today Book Prize. She is the co-editor of  Dialogues of Dispersal: Gender, Sexuality and African Diasporas (Blackwell Publishing, 2004) with Sandra Gunning and Michele Mitchell; and African American Urban Studies: Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) with Joe W. Trotter and Earl Lewis.

Professor Hunter is also co-authoring The Making of People: A History of African Americans with Robin D. G. Kelley under contract with W. W. Norton Press.

In 2021-2022, she was the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th-Century American History, Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA.