Will Goldsmith

I specialize in the history of political economy, the postwar U.S., African American history, and public policy. 

My dissertation, “Kids, the New Cash Crop: The Promise and Limits of Educating for Economic Development in the New South,” traces how North Carolina—a rural Jim Crow state which long had the nation’s lowest manufacturing wages, abysmal educational attainment, and massive outmigration—became an emblem of the “New Economy,” focused on research, marketing, and financial services. Through archival government and nonprofit records, personal papers, and oral history, my work examines policy construction at the state level and its effects in the plantation belt, where rural white elites had long stymied equitable development. 

Before returning to school, I worked as a high school teacher in northeastern North Carolina and a journalist in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Ph.D., History, Fall 2018 (Expected)
Duke University

Masters, History, Spring 2014
Duke University

Bachelor of Arts, Spring 2002
Yale University

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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