Welcome to Educating Harlem


In collaboration with the Teachers College Institute for Urban and Minority Education and the Center on History and Education, the Program in History and Education seeks to establish a scholarly community focused on investigating the history of education, broadly defined, in 20th century Harlem. All of the forces that shaped education in the 20th century U.S. ran through Harlem, often in amplified form because of the particular confluence of people, ideas, and institutions in this community. Nonetheless, Harlem remains understudied in the history of education.

By investigating the historical forms and meanings of education — in schools and beyond — in Harlem, we hope to support and provoke a rich vision of the place of education in communities and the reciprocal relationships between communities and schools. We will help explain why and how education has taken the forms that it has, by considering the roles of communities, students, teachers, policy makers, local and national leaders, and political and economic trends in shaping learning and schooling in local context.

Our work includes a scholarly conference series, a digital repository for oral history and archival material, a youth research project, and classes at Teachers College (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016).

Call for Papers



We seek to establish a scholarly community focused on investigating the history of education, broadly defined, in 20th century Harlem. We invite proposals for papers to be presented at two conferences at Teachers College. The first conference, October 10-11, 2013, will offer authors an opportunity to present works-in-progress for discussion with fellow contributors and selected senior scholars participating as discussants. Revised and completed papers will be presented at a larger public conference in October 2014.  Most or all of the finalized papers will be published as an edited volume or journal special issue. We welcome submissions from graduate students as well as junior and senior scholars, and from historians as well as those undertaking historical analysis in other social science and humanities fields.