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Shana Bernstein

Clinical Associate Professor

Ph.D., Stanford University
Curriculum Vitae

Shana Bernstein (Ph.D., Stanford University) specializes in 20th Century U.S. History, particularly comparative race and ethnicity. Before joining Northwestern’s faculty, she was Associate Professor of History at Southwestern University in Texas. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and has won fellowships from the Mellon Foundation and the Huntington Library, among other institutions. Her first book, Bridges of Reform: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Oxford University Press, 2011), reinterprets U.S. civil rights activism by revealing its roots in the interracial efforts of Mexican, Jewish, African, and Japanese Americans in mid-century Los Angeles, and showing how the early Cold War facilitated, rather than derailed, some forms of activism.

Prof Bernstein is currently researching in the filed of environmental history, including environmental justice. The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era recently published an article on this new work, "Health Activism from the Bottom Up: Progressive Era Immigrant Chicagoans’ Views on Germ Theory, Environmental Health, and Class Inequality" (April 2018).

Courses Taught

  • Legal_St 305 American Immigration
  • Legal_St 376 Comparative Race and Ethnicity in the 20th Century U.S.
  • Legal_St 376/Asian_Am 220 Japanese American "Internment"

Selected Publications

  • "Health Activism from the Bottom Up: Progressive Era Immigrant Chicagoans’ Views on Germ Theory, Environmental Health, and Class Inequality," Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, vol. 17, no. 2 (April 2018)
  • Bridges of Reform: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Oxford University Press, 2011). 
  • "Interracial Activism in the Los Angeles Community Service Organization: Linking the World War II and Civil Rights Eras," Pacific Historical Review vol. 80, no. 2 (May 2011)
  • "From the Southwest to the Nation: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in the Sunbelt Southwest," in Michelle Nickerson and Darren Dochuk, eds., Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region in the American South and Southwest (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011)
  • "From Civic Defense to Civil Rights: the Growth of Jewish-American Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Los Angeles," University of Southern California’s Casden Institute Journal, special volume on Jewish Los Angeles (Spring 2010)
  • "California Goes National: the Long 1950s," chapter in William Deverell and David Igler, eds., The Blackwell Companion to California History (November 2008)
  • "From California to the Nation: Rethinking the History of 20th Century U.S. Civil Rights Struggles through a Mexican-American, and Multiracial, Lens," Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, Vol. 18 (2007)
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