Deborah Karyn King

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of Sociology


Blunt Alum Ctr, Room 308B
HB 6104




  • B.A. Northwestern University
  • M.A. Yale University
  • M. Phil. Yale University
  • Ph.D. Yale University

Selected Publications

  • King, Deborah K. 2010. "Mom-in-Chief:  Community Othermothering and Michelle Obama, The First Lady of the People's House," in Race in the Age of Obama, edited by Donald Cunnigen and Marino A. Bruce.  UK: Emerald Group Publishing. Research in Race and Ethnic Relations Series, Volume 16: 77-123.

  • “Multiple Jeopardy, Multiple Consciousness: The Context of Black Feminist Ideology,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society,  v14 n1 (Autumn 1988) 88-111.

  • Durr, Marlese and King, Deborah K.  “Braiding, Slicing, and Dicing:  The African American Woman’s Home as a Site of Work.” (under review)

  • “Missing the Beat, Unraveling the Threads: Class and Gender in Afro-American Social Issues,” The Black Scholar, 22:3 (Summer 1992) 36-44.

Works In Progress

  • "The Mammy in the North: Slavery and Black Women's Apotheosis in the Early History of Elite Colleges."  (revise & resubmit)

  • "A Voice Crying in the Wilderness:  Explicating Dartmouth's Invisible Relationships to Slavery" 

  • "Gender and Race in the Prison House:  Domesticity as Carceral Punishment"

    "Early Contestations over Carceral Spaces for Colored Girls:  From Private to Public Prisons" 

  • with Lourdes Gutierrez Najera. "Circulating Iconographies of Resistance: Latino and African American Freedom Broadsides"

  • "We Who Believe in Freedom, Can Not Rest: Sweet Honey in the Rock as Cultural Workers for Global Justice"

  • Improvisational Politics, Race, Class and Gender and the Political Aesthetics of Black Womanhood  (book manuscript)

  • ‘Wish You Were Here’: Representing Prison on Picture Postcards, 1900-1950  (book manuscript)

Selected Works & Activities

"Lest We Forget:  Dartmouth Slavery Project"

The Dartmouth Slavery Project is situated at the juncture of two significant developments in the scholarship on slavery in the United States. The first encompasses the critical interrogation of a collective memory that not only disavowed the presence of enslaved persons in New England but cloaked its complicity with and profits from the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The second intellectual project is the recovery of the history of colleges’ and universities’ economic, intellectual, and moral entanglements with the institution of slavery.

The origins of this project are rooted in a former president of the College’s causal observation that Dartmouth — besides the well-known fact that its founder Eleazar Wheelock owned slaves — had minimal engagement with slavery. Sociology professor Deborah K. King found this assertion incongruent with New England’s maritime history, the cotton mills scattered across its landscape, the routes northward to freedom that traversed its valleys and mountains, and the political contestations over slavery and abolition. In addition to her own scholarship, she had wanted to train and support a number of students investigating Dartmouth’s ties to slavery.  Since 2014, she has offered an advanced research practicum, independent studies, and paid research assistants.  Their contributions are incorporated into The Dartmouth Slavery Project website.