John Stauffer, PhD

Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

John Stauffer is professor of English and African American studies at Harvard University, and the editor of 21st Editions, which publishes limited edition photography books. He is the author or editor of twenty books and over 100 articles, including two books that were briefly national bestsellers, Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (Twelve, 2008); and State of Jones, co-authored with Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins (Anchor, 2009).

The Black Hearts of Men (Harvard University Press, 2002) was the co-winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and second place for the Lincoln Prize. The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On, co-authored with Benjamin Soskis (Oxford University Press, 2013), was a Lincoln Prize finalist. His book, Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the 19th-Century's Most Photographed American (W.W. Norton, 2015), was also a Lincoln Prize finalist.

His essays and reviews have appeared in Time, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and in scholarly journals and books.

He has lectured throughout the US and Europe, and was an advisor for the 2012 film Django Unchained, an advisor and contributor to the traveling exhibition, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY (2012-14); and an advisor and talking head for the documentaries God in America (2010), The Abolitionists (2013), and The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013); and an advisor to The Free State of Jones (2015).


  • PhD Yale University