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Theresa Runstedtler

Department Chair, Critical Race, Gender, and Cultural Studies Collaborative Department of History

Theresa Runstedtler is the Chair of the Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies Collaborative. She is a scholar of African American history whose research focuses on black popular culture and black internationalism. She is the author of Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line (UC Press, 2012), a book that explores the first African American world heavyweight champion’s legacy as a black sporting hero and anticolonial icon in places as far-flung as Sydney, London, Cape Town, Manila, Paris, Havana, and Mexico City. Her book won the 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Prize from the Northeast Black Studies Association. Dr. Runstedtler has also published scholarly articles in the Radical History Review and the Journal of World History, and book chapters in Escape from New York: The New Negro Renaissance Beyond Harlem, and In the Game: Race, Identity, and Sports in the Twentieth Century. She is currently working on a book that explores the cocaine-related death of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias in 1986 as a racialized flashpoint in both the War on Drugs and big-time college athletics. Prof. Runstedtler offers courses on race and popular culture and African American history. She has taught at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and at the University of Pennsylvania. Before returning to school to earn a PhD in History and African American studies at Yale University, Dr. Runstedtler started out as a professional dancer/actress and then worked in public relations for a national sports network in Toronto, Canada.


PhD, History, Yale University, 2007

BA Honours (summa cum laude), History and English Literature, York University (Toronto), 1998

Languages Spoken

Download CV (PDF)

CAS - History
Battelle Tompkins - T23
Monday & Thursday 1-2pm or by appt.
Contact Info
(202) 885-6991 (Office)

Send email to Theresa Runstedtler

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.
See Also
Dr. Runstedtler's Blog
Follow Dr. Runstedtler on Twitter


  • Spring 2017

AU News and Achievements