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Amy Wood

Professor
History
Office
Schroeder Hall - SCH 307B
Office Hours
On Leave
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research

Teaching Interests & Areas

She teaches courses on American cultural and intellectual history, on U.S. southern history, and on historical methods and research.

Research Interests & Areas

Professor Wood specializes in American cultural and intellectual history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the history of the U.S. South. She is the author of Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), which examines visual representations of lynching and the construction of white supremacy in the Jim Crow era. Lynching and Spectacle won the Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History. Her most recent book is Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South (University of Illinois Press, 2019), co-edited with Natalie Ring (UT-Dallas). She is also the co-guest editor of issue of Mississippi Quarterly on lynching, representation, and memory (2008) and the editor of the volume on violence for the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Her current book project, "Sympathy for the Devil: The Criminal in the American Imagination" (under contract, Oxford University Press) is an intellectual and cultural history of crime and punishment at the turn of the twentieth century.

Ph D

Emory University

MA

University of Mississippi

BA

Wesleyan University

Outstanding College Service Award - Humanities

College of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University
2021

Outstanding College Teacher Award - Social Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University
2017

Outstanding College Researcher Award - Social Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University
2015

Best Article in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era for 2012-2013

Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
2014

Excellence Award for Outstanding Scholarship

College of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University
2010

Lillian Smith Book Award

Southern Regional Council
2010

Los Angeles Times Book Award in History

Los Angeles Times
2010

Book, Authored

Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1880-1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009)

Book, Chapter

Wood, Amy Louise. "Cole Blease's Pardoning Pen: State Power and Penal Reform in South Carolina" in Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South. Eds. Amy Louise Wood and Natalie J. Ring. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2019.
"The South," Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era , eds. Christopher McKnight Nichols and Nancy Unger (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017)
The "Vicarious" Play of Lynching Melodramas: Cinema and Mob Violence in the United States, 1895-1905 in Violence and Visibility in Modern History, eds. Jurgen Martschukat and Silvan Niedermeier (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Book, Edited

Wood, Amy Louise and Natalie J. Ring, eds. Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2019
Editor, New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Violence (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

Journal Article

Amy Louise Wood, "Without Sanctuary: The Symbolic Representation of Lynching in Photography," The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 20:1 (January 2021), 87-94.

"'Somebody Do Something!': Lynching Photographs, Historical Memory, and the Possibility of Sympathetic Spectatorship," The European Journal of American Studies 14:4 (Winter 2019)

Wood, Amy Louise. "The Spectacle of Lynching: Rituals White Supremacy in the Jim Crow South," American Journal of Economics and Sociology 77:3-4 (2018): 757-788
Amy Louise Wood, “Critical Conversation on Donald Mathews’ ‘The Southern Rite of Human Sacrifice’,” Journal of Southern Religion 17 (2015): http://jsreligion.org/issues/vol17/Wood.html
Killing the Elephant: Murderous Beasts and the Thrill of Retribution, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 11:3 (2012): 405-44

Presentations

’A World Without Warmth’: Social Darwinism and the Criminal Redemption Narrative". British American Nineteenth Century History Conference. British American Nineteenth Century Historians. (2019)
Prison Reform and the Limits of State Power in Jim Crow South Carolina. Southern Historical Association. (2018)
The Legacy of Lynching in American Life. Sewanee, the University of the South. Sewanee, The University of the South. (2018)
The Lynching of Ed Johnson in Historical Perspective. University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. (2018)
"We Can't Breathe": Ethical Engagement, Historical Memory, and the Spectacle of Black Suffering. Symposium on Spectacle and Spectatorship. American Studies Working Group. University of Manchester, UK. (2017)
Crime and Punishment in the Age of Jim Crow. Race and Incarceration Speaker Series. Colorado College. (2016)
Fear and Sympathy in Progressive-Era Criminal Justice: The Strange Case of Jesse Pomeroy. American Studies Association of Norway Annual Meeting. (2016)
Sympathetic Sentiment and the Psychological Treatment of Prisoners in the Progressive Era. Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting. Organization of American Historians. (2015)
Vengeance and Sympathy: Criminal Justice in America. Violence in the American Imagination. Loughborough University. (2015)
’For the Sake of his Heartbroken Mother’: Gender and Sympathy in Southern Prison Reform, 1890-1940. Southern Association of Women Historians Triennial Meeting. (2015)

Grants & Contracts

Andrew M. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. Huntington Library. Federal. (2017)
Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Grant. New York State Archives Partnership Trust and the New York State Archives. State. (2014)