Dr. Leilah C. Danielson

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Leilah Danielson
(BA University of Rochester, MA, PhD University of Texas at Austin, 2003)
Cultural and intellectual history, recent America, U.S./world
Email: Leilah.Danielson@nau.edu
Office phone: 928-523-8425
Office LA 205


My areas of research interest include cultural and intellectual history, social movements and the left, and U.S./world/empire.  I am the author of American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the Twentieth Century, a book that examines the evolving political thought and religious views of political activist A.J. Muste in the context of the U.S.’s rise to global superpower.  I am also co-editor (with Doug Rossinow and Marian Mollin) of a forthcoming anthology entitled The Religious Left in Modern America: Doorkeepers of a Radical Faith, a collection of exciting new scholarship that provides comprehensive coverage of the broad sweep of 20th-century religious activism on the American left.  The volume covers a diversity of perspectives, including Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish history, and important essays on African-American, Latino, and women’s spirituality.  My current project is an intellectual and cultural history of the workers’ education movement of the interwar years.


Select publications 

  • Co-editor with Marian Mollin and Doug Rossinow, The Religious Left in Modern America: Doorkeepers of a Radical Faith (Palgrave Macmillian, 2018)
  • American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the 20th Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) [winner of the Scott Bills Memorial Prize for best book in peace history]
  • “Supernaturalism and Peace Activism: Expanding the Boundaries of Peace History,” Peace and Change: A Journal of Peace Research 42, no. 2 (April 2017): 185-208 
  • “‘It is a Day of Judgment’:  The Peacemakers, Religion, and Radicalism in Cold War America,” Religion and American Culture:  A Journal of Interpretation 18:2 (summer 2008): 215-48
  • “Christianity, Dissent, and the Cold War: A.J. Muste’s Challenge to Realism and U.S. Empire,” Diplomatic History 30, no. 4 (September 2006): 645-70
  • “The ‘Two-ness’ of the Movement: James Farmer, Nonviolence, and Black Nationalism.” Peace and Change: A Journal of Peace Research 29, no. 3&4 (July 2004): 430-53
  • “‘In My Extremity I Turned to Gandhi’: American Pacifists, Christianity, and Gandhian Nonviolence, 1915-1941,” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 72, no. 2 (June 2003): 361-88

Teaching areas

My teaching reflects my interests in cultural and intellectual history; politics and social movements; American empire and race; labor and working-class history; and history/social studies education.  My courses include: 

The U.S. in the World (graduate and undergraduate)

U.S. Politics and Culture in the 20th Century (graduate seminar)

Labor and the Left in American History (graduate seminar)

The United States and the Cold War

U.S. Culture and Thought since 1865

U.S.-Latin American Relations in the 20th Century [taught summer 2017 in Havana, Cuba]

Labor and Working-Class History of North America

Women, Work, and Culture

The History of American Radicalism

U.S. History since 1865

History/Social Studies Teaching Methods

Teaching and Learning History and Geography

Practicum for History/Social Studies Teacher Candidates

My teaching extends to the mentorship of graduate students and undergraduate honor’s students who share similar interests.  Over the years, my advisees have conducted research on topics such as: the United Mine Workers of America and labor’s decline in the 1970s; hitch-hiking and post-war American politics and culture; American and Haitian intellectuals and the history of the U.S. occupation; gender, sexuality, and the history of the American peace movement; the history of the new left and Chicano movement at ASU (subsequently published in the Journal of Arizona History); and the history of Mormonism and the modern conservative movement.