Evan Turiano, Ph.D.

Historian & Postdoctoral Fellow


Evan Turiano is a historian, writer, and teacher based in Queens, New York.

He is the 2024 Long-Term Fellow at the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis  of Transatlantic Slavery, housed in the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He recently completed a semester as the Walter O. Evans Fellow for the Study of Slavery and Race at Yale University.  He received his Ph.D. in History from the Graduate Center, CUNY in 2022.

Evan researches nineteenth-century United States History, with a focus on slavery, politics, and law. His book manuscript, under advance contract with LSU Press's "Antislavery, Abolition, and the Atlantic World" series, examines the contested legal rights of African Americans accused of being fugitive slaves from before the American Revolution through the onset of the Civil War. His research offers a new origin story for the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and demonstrates new connections between freedom seekers and the coming of the Civil War.

His scholarship has appeared in the Journal of the Civil War Era, and he has reviewed books in the Journal of Southern History, American Nineteenth Century History, Pennsylvania History, and other venues. His public writing has appeared in The Washington Post's  Made By History and Jacobin. He is a contributing editor at The Gotham Center for New York City History.

His dissertation has received numerous national awards and accolades. It received the 2024 Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize (Abraham Lincoln Association and the Abraham Lincoln Institute), the 2023 Rachel Hines Prize (College of Charleston Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program); and the 2023 Bradford-Delaney Dissertation Prize from the St. George Tucker Society. Additionally, it was a finalist for the Southern Historical Association's C. Vann Woodward Award. 

His research has been supported by fellowships from the John Carter Brown Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and the University of Virginia's Nau Center for Civil War History.
Before coming to the Lapidus Center, Evan was the Macaulay Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY, where he taught courses on US History, African American History, and Legal History from 2017 to 2023.

Journal Articles

"Prophecies of Loss": Debating Slave Flight During Virginia's Secession Crisis

Evan Turiano

Journal of the Civil War Era, vol. 12(3), 2022, pp. 338-361

Encyclopedia Entries

Underground Railroad

Evan Turiano

Race and Ethnicity from Pre-contact to Present, Volume 2, ABC-Clio, 2019

Book Reviews

Review of Bell, John Frederick, Degrees of Equality: Abolitionist Colleges and the Politics of Race

Evan Turiano

Journal of Southern History, vol. 89(3), 2023, pp. 557-558

Review of Escott, Paul D.. The Worst Passions of Human Nature: White Supremacy in the Civil War North

Evan Turiano

Indiana Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 118(4), 2022, pp. 336-7

Book in Progress

The Politics of Fugitive Slave Rendition and the Coming of the Civil War

Drawing from political history, legal theory, and the study of enslaved resistance, my book manuscript, The Politics of Fugitive Slave Rendition and the Coming of the Civil War, uncovers the conflict surrounding the contested legal rights of people acc...


Graduate Courses

Black Citizenship in the U.S. from the Revolution to Reconstruction

Queens College, Hist. 797 (Studies in U.S. History)

This graduate course introduced students to political, legal, social, and cultural history scholarship on Black rights before the Civil War. Students had the opportunity to interact with authors who made guest appearances in class, including Kate Masur...

Undergraduate Courses

Fugitive Slaves: Fighting for Freedom in the Courts

Queens College, Hist. 288 (Law, Crime & Society in U.S. History)

This course used my research subject as a gateway to introduce History majors to topics and methods in Legal History (Spring 2021, Online, 30 students).

Nation, Community, and Identity: U.S. History to 1877 (Honors)

Queens College, Hist. 163H

This course-which I designed for first-year honors students-used early U.S. history as a lens for considered key historiographical themes including nationalism and identity-formation. I collaborated with a member of the English faculty to design a cumu...

The New Nation, 1800-1850

Queens College, Hist. 260

This course introduced intermediate history students to the Early Republic and Antebellum eras, with particular focus on slavery, the Indian Removal Act, and the US War with Mexico (Fall 2020, Online, 30 students).

Civil War and Reconstruction

Queens College, Hist. 262

This course for intermediate history courses surveyed the conflict over slavery in the U.S., the political, legal, military, social, and cultural history of the war, and key themes in the Reconstruction era (Spring 2023, in person, 15 students).

American History, 1607-1865

Queens College, Hist. 103

This introductory history course offers students a chance to study key themes in early U.S. history, explore a range of historical methodologies, and produce a scaffolded research project (2017-2022, In-person and online, 35-55 students).

American History, 1865-present

Queens College, Hist. 104

This introductory history course offers students a chance to study key themes in contemporary U.S. history, explore a range of historical methodologies, and produce a scaffolded research project (Fall 2018, In-person, 50 students).

Faculty Development Courses

Writing In the Disciplines (WID) Faculty Seminar

LaGuardia Community College

In this seminar, I introduced faculty members to Writing in the Disciplines and Writing Across the Curriculum pedagogical techniques (2020-2021, Online, 6-8 participants).

Other Work

Public Writing

In addition to my scholarly work, I write articles and op-eds about politics, education, history, and New York City for a variety of national and local publications


Here are some opportunities to hear me speak about my scholarship, public interest writing, and other subjects.


Evan Turiano

Lapidus Center Long-Term Fellow

Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037


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