Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University
Donna Murch is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University and a former codirector of the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, where she directed the Black Atlantic seminar. Her teaching and research focus on postwar U.S. history, modern African American history, twentieth-century urban studies, and the political economy of drugs. She is the author of Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California (2010), which won the Phillis Wheatley Book Award. The book highlights the importance of urbanization and southern migration to the rise of Bay Area black power, broadening the scholarship of the long civil rights movement by documenting the contributions of black students and youth. She is currently researching a new book on the rise of crack cocaine and the war on drugs in Los Angeles, which explores how economic marginalization contributed to the growth of a vibrant and destructive informal economy in illicit drugs.