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

Robert Korstad

Robert Korstad is Emeritus 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.

His publications include: Fragile Democracy: The Struggle Over Race and Voting Rights in North Carolina (coauthor, University of North Carolina Press, 2020); 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:


Ph.D.University of North Carolina - 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 9781611176520
  2. Hall, JD; Korstad, R; Leloudis, J, Cotton mill people: Work, community, and Protest in the Textile South, 1880-1940, in The Intersection of Work and Family Life (February, 2013), pp. 497-538, ISBN 9783598414763
  3. 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]
  4. 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]
  5. 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