Douglas Flowe

Assistant Professor of History​
PhD, University of Rochester
BA, Geneseo College, SUNY

contact info:

office hours:

  • On Leave
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mailing address:

  • CB 1062
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899
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Douglas Flowe's research is primarily concerned with themes of criminality, vice, leisure, and masculinity, and understanding how they converge with issues of race, class, and space in American cities.

His current book project, entitled “Tell the Whole White World": Crime, Violence, and Black Men in New York City, 1890-1930 (under contract, University of North Carolina press in the “Justice, Power, and Politics” series) analyzes black crime within the prism of masculine identity, migration, the varied uses of urban public space, and racialized supervision.

With this in mind, the book registers illegality as a response to the authoritative gaze of white progressives, civic leaders, and police, and to the restrictions of joblessness, violence, and discrimination. Secondly it seeks to understand how changes in notions of black manhood connect to criminal, or criminalized, behaviors, incarceration, and the politics of intimate relationships, while also delineating a streaming contest between white and black men on the conceptual terrain of manliness.

Flowe is a graduate of the History program at the University of Rochester where he also served as the Graduate Recruitment and Retention Specialist for the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity. In this role, Flowe also acted as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar Advisor, a National GEM Consortium Representative, and the chair of the Executive Committee for the New York Graduate Admissions Professionals (NYGAP).

Before joining WashU’s History Department, he was the Postdoctoral Fellow of Inequality and Identity in the American Culture Studies program from 2014-2016. Flowe is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Urban History Association (UHA), and an Editorial Board Member for the Annuals of the Next Generation journal. He has also recently been awarded a Faculty Fellowship by Washington University’s Center for the Humanities for the Fall of 2018.

Selected Publications

Works in Progress

“Tell the Whole White World”: Crime, Violence and Black Men in New York City, 1890-1930 (under contract with University of North Carolina press in the “Justice, Power and Politics” series)          

“Encyclopedia of Racial Violence in America,” (Tentative Title) ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Press, eds. Douglas Flowe and Sowande Mustakeem

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“‘Fighting and cutting and shooting, and carrying on:’ Saloons, Dives and the Black ‘Tough’ in Manhattan’s Tenderloin,” Journal of Urban History, forthcoming 2018

“Folklore, Urban Insurrection, and the Killing of the Black Hero in the Turn of the Century South,” The Mississippi Quarterly Journal, 67 (2016): 581-604 (awarded Louis D. Rubin Article Prize)


Excellence in Teaching Award
Council of Arts & Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis

Trailblazer Faculty Award 
Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Washington University in St. Louis

Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, Fall 2018
Washington University in St. Louis

Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Article Prize (for best article on Southern Literature), 2017
Society for the Study of Southern Literature

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Inequality and Identity, 2014
Washington University in St. Louis

Frederick Douglass Institute Research Award, 2012
Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies

Donald Marks "Dexter Perkins Prize" in History, 2012
University of Rochester - History Department

Recent Service to the Profession

Board of Directors for the Urban History Association, 2018-2021

Phi Alpha Theta Academic Essay Judge, 2016

Editorial Board Member and Manuscript reviewer for the Annuals of the Next Generation Journal, 2014-present

Courses at Washington University in St. Louis

HIST 487: Race and Drugs in American History

AMCS 330C: The Politics of Black Criminality and Popular Protest

HIST 301U: Historical Methods – American Masculinity

HIST 2561: Urban America

AMCS 206: Reading Culture: Engaging the City

AMCS 230: Exploring Urban Change