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Zoe Burkholder

Professor, Educational Foundations

University Hall 2129
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Zoë Burkholder, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Foundations
Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project

Facebook: @MSUHumanRights
Twitter: @zoeburk

Office: University Hall, room 2137
Phone Number: 973-655-3481

Ph.D. History of Education, New York University; M.A. Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley; B.A. Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Dr. Burkholder is an historian of education whose research focuses on the history of racial equality and school integration in the United States, from the 1840s through the present. She is an expert on the history of antiracist education and Director of the MSU Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education Project.


An African American Dilemma: A History of School Integration and Civil Rights in the North. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Integrations: The Struggle for Racial Equality and Civic Renewal in Public Education. co-authored with Dr. Lawrence Blum. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021.

Color in the Classroom: How American Schools Taught Race, 1900-1954. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.;


"From the Diffusion of Knowledge to the Cultivation of Agency: A Short History of Civic Education Policy and Practice in the United States," (with Nancy Beadie) National Academy of Education Civic Reasoning and Discourse Project, April 2021.

“The Perils of Integration: Conflicting Northern Black Responses to the Coleman Report in the Black Power Era, 1966-1974,” History of Education Quarterly 57, no. 4 (2017): 579-90.

“Integrated Out of Existence: African American Debates over School Integration versus Separation at the Bordentown School in New Jersey, 1886-1955,” Journal of Social History 51, no. 1 (2017): 47-79.

“’A War of Ideas’: The Rise of Conservative Teachers in Wartime New York City, 1938-1946,” History of Education Quarterly 55, no. 2 (2015): 218-43.

“’Education for Citizenship in a Bi-Racial Civilization’: Black Teachers and the Social Construction of Race, 1929-1954,” Journal of Social History, 46, no. 2 (2012): 335-63.

“Can Anthropology Improve Antiracist Education,” Anthropology Now 3, no. 3 (2011): 36-46.

“From Wops and Dagoes and Hunkies to ‘Caucasian’: Changing Racial Discourse in American Classrooms during World War II,” History of Education Quarterly 50, no.3 (2010) 359-89.

“From Forced Tolerance to Forced Busing: Wartime Intercultural Education and the Rise of Black Educational Activism in Boston, 1943-1965,” Harvard Educational Review 80, no. 3 (2010): 293-326.


History of U.S. education, racial equality in public schools, educational policy, school desegregation, antiracist education, African American educational history, social construction of race in schools.