Fields of interest:
US: 19th century; Civil War and Reconstruction; slavery and emancipation; the history of violence; social and political history; cultural history including US popular music
Bradley Proctor is a Cassius Marcellus Clay Postdoctoral Associate with the Department of History. Originally from St. Louis, MO, he earned his BA from Bates College and his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His research and teaching interests include the history of race in the United States, particularly in the nineteenth century. He has taught courses in US, African American, and US southern history. He is currently writing a book manuscript on the history of the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction in North and South Carolina. The book argues that the racist vigilante violence committed by the Klan not only changed the political course of Reconstruction, but also worked to shape how white southerners thought about and acted around race. After the system of slavery had been destroyed by the Civil War, white southerners committed to racial oppression sought a new way to enforce that oppression. Vigilante violence, present but not commonplace before the war, became the chief mechanism through which racism operated in post-Civil War America. The Ku Klux Klan was a principal organization—perhaps the most infamous in US history—through which vigilantism became a chief method of racial oppression.
He has also written or is working on articles about black militia companies during Reconstruction and Radical Republicans and the Fourteenth Amendment. As an amateur banjo player, he has a longstanding interest in southern popular music.