Rachel Donaldson

Assistant Professor

Phone: 843.953.1420
E-mail: donaldsonrc@cofc.edu

Rachel Donaldson is a historian and historic preservationist whose work focuses and cultural and labor history. She has written two books on the history of the folk music revival and leftwing politics, “I Hear America Singing”: Folk Music and National Identity (Temple Press, 2014) and Roots of the Revival: American and British Folk Music in the 1950s (Illinois, 2014), co-authored with Ronald D. Cohen. Her scholarship has also appeared in the Journal of Popular Culture, History of Education QuarterlyThe Public Historian, Left HistoryJournal of Urban History, and Labor. She has contributed to two edited volumes that respectively explore the radical roots of public history and the ways in which labor history is interpreted at historic sites.

Her current work focuses on adapting a place-based approach to labor history. She has worked for the National Historic Landmarks Program (NHL) of the National Park Service, during which time she revised and contributed new scholarship to the Labor History Theme Study and co-authored an NHL nomination for the Jefferson County Courthouse (WV) for its association with the legal aftermath of the West Virginia Mine Wars (1912-1921).


MHP, University of Maryland College Park

PhD, Vanderbilt University

MA, Vanderbilt University

BA, Fordham University

Research Interests

Public History/Historic Preservation

Labor History

Twentieth Century U.S. History

Social and Political Movements

Courses Taught

Introduction to American Studies

United States History Since 1865

United States History 1877-1945

History of the American People from 1865

Honors and Awards

Ten Best Books by Local Authors for “I Hear America Singing,” Baltimore City Paper

Leon Helguera Fellowship, Vanderbilt University Department of History, 2010-2011

Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship, 2008-2009

Social Science and History Rockefeller Award, 2006


"I Hear America Singing": Folk Music and National Identity,  Temple University Press (2014) 

Roots of the Revival: Folk Music in the United States and Great Britain in the 1950s, Co-authored with Ronald D. Cohen, University of Illinois Press (2014)

“Teaching Democracy: Folkways Records and Cold War Education,” History of Education Quarterly (February 2015)

“From Sun Up to Sun Down: Agricultural Labor in the United States,” The Labor History Theme Study, National Historic Landmarks Program (2015)

“Diversity on the Radio: Alan Lomax and Multiculturalism,” The Journal of Popular Culture (February 2013)

Encyclopedia of the Culture Wars (2008) Contributions: “Pete Seeger” and “Studs Terkel”

Digital Projects

Labor Heritage in Southeast Baltimore,” Baltimore Heritageb  http://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/tour-builder/tours/show/id/18#.VEuiMot4rGS

“The Almanac Singers” The Ultimate History Project  http://www.ultimatehistoryproject.com/the-almanac-singers.html