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Current Postdoctoral Fellow


David Varel



David A. Varel is a historian of the modern United States who specializes in intellectual history, African American history, the history of race and class, and the civil rights movement. His research examines the socio-historical construction of race, paying special attention to the role of Black intellectuals in combating scientific racism during the first half of the twentieth century. His current book manuscript, The Lost Black Scholar: Resurrecting Allison Davis in American Social Thought, 1902-1983, explores these themes through the neglected career and thought of Black anthropologist Allison Davis. It is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.


Varel earned his Ph.D. from the Department of History at the University of Colorado in 2015. During the previous academic year, he was a lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he taught courses in modern U.S. history, African American history, and U.S. Intellectual History. He is also a licensed history teacher at the secondary level. Before graduate school, he taught high school in the Chicago area, which is where he was born and raised.


Besides the upcoming book, Varel has had his work accepted for publication in various journals, including the Journal of Negro Education, American Studies, and Knowledge Cultures. His research and writing has also been funded by a number of grants and fellowships, including a Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship from the University of Chicago Library and two dissertation-completion fellowships through the University of Colorado—one from the Graduate School and the other from Department of History.




Case Western Reserve University
Department of History
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7107

Mather House 8

Page last modified: February 27, 2017