Bicentennial Professor

Presidential Bicentennial Professor

President Schlissel has appointed distinguished faculty leaders to lead the planning and development of the Presidential Bicentennial Colloquia series, as well as surrounding activities and discussions. These faculty members are tasked with commemorating and celebrating the university’s distinguished 200-year history while also deeply and meaningfully exploring various topics related to the future of the university. Presidential Bicentennial Professor Martha S. Jones leads the Future University Community colloquium.

Martha S. Jones

Martha S. JonesMartha S. Jones is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan, where she is a member of the faculties in history and Afroamerican and African studies, and serves as a professor of law at the Michigan Law School. She is a co-director of the Law School’s Program in Race, Law & History, and a senior fellow with the Michigan Society of Fellows. Jones is a specialist in 19th-century U.S. history with a focus on African Americans, slavery, race and law. She is author of the 2007 book All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, and an editor of the just-released Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women,both from the University of North Carolina press. Jones’ work has been recognized with fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the National Constitutional Center, University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Jones is also a distinguished public historian, and has developed and curated exhibitions such as “Reframing the Color Line” and “Proclaiming Emancipation,” both in collaboration with the William L. Clements Library. Her work in the digital humanities includes The Arabella Chapman Project, a web-based exploration of early African American family photo albums.  Her commentary has appeared regularly on CNN, Huffington Post, and the Conservation. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in the Michigan Quarterly Review.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan faculty, Jones was a public interest attorney in New York City, where she worked with organizations including the HIV Law Project, MFY Legal Services and the New York Civil Liberties Union. Her work as a lawyer was recognized in 1995, at Columbia University, with a Charles H. Revson Fellowship on the Future of the City of New York.

Jones is currently completing “Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America,” a history of race and citizenship in the pre-Civil War era. Cambridge University Press will publish the book in 2017.