Robert Korstad, Professor of Sanford School of Public Policy and History and Bass Fellow of Sanford School of Public Policy

Robert Korstad

Robert Korstad is Professor of Public Policy and History at Duke University. He received his B.A. and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His research interests include twentieth century U. S. history, labor history, African American history, and contemporary social policy, and he is the Associate Director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. 

His publications include: To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America; (coauthor, University of North Carolina Press, 2010); Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South (University of North Carolina Press, 2003); Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Talk About Life in the Segregated South (coeditor, The New Press, 2001); Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World (coauthor, University of North Carolina Press, revised edition, 2000).

Office Location:  112 Sanford Inst Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 613-7335
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2018):


Ph.D.University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill1987

Labor and Working Class History
Race and Ethnicity
Politics, Public Life and Governance
Research Interests:

Social Policy from an historical perspective


History • Human Rights • Oral history • Public Policy

Current Ph.D. Students  

Recent Publications

  1. Korstad, R, Curing my historical schizophrenia, in Becoming Southern Writers: Essays in Honor of Charles Joyner (January, 2016), pp. 135-138, ISBN 9781611176537
  2. Korstad, R, Reformers to Radicals: The Appalachian Volunteers and the War on Poverty, Journal of Southern History, vol. 76 no. 3 (August, 2010), pp. 789-790, ISSN 0022-4642 [Gateway.cgi]
  3. Korstad, RR; Leloudis, JL, To right these wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the battle to end poverty and inequality in 1960s America (January, 2010), pp. 1-436, ISBN 9780807833797 [available here]  [abs]
  4. Korstad, RR, Civil Rights Unionism and the Black Freedom Struggle, American Communist History, vol. 8 no. 2 (December, 2008), pp. 255-258, ISSN 1474-33892
  5. Korstad, R, Could History Repeat Itself? The Prospects for a Second Reconstruction in Post-World War II South Carolina,, in Toward the Meeting of the Waters: Currents in the Civil Rights Movement of South Carolina during the Twentieth Century (2008), University of South Carolina Press, ISBN 978-1-57003-755-9