Renee Romano is the Robert S. Danforth Professor of History and Professor of Comparative American Studies and Africana Studies at Oberlin College. A specialist in 20th and 21st century history of American racial politics and in the field of historical memory, she is the author of Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders (Harvard University Press, 2014) and Race Mixing: Black-White Marriage in Postwar America (Harvard University Press, 2003.) She is also the co-editor of three collections: Historians on Hamilton (Rutgers Press, 2018) and Doing Recent History (University of Georgia Press, 2012), both co-edited with Claire Potter; and The Civil Rights Movement in American History (University of Georgia Press, 2006), co-edited with Leigh Raiford.
Her public humanities work includes directing the Oberlin visit of “Courage and Compassion: Our Shared Story of the Japanese American World War II Experience,” working as a researcher for an exhibit on climate change and biodiversity loss at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and serving as an advisor or consultant for the Kent State May 4th Walking Tour and Visitor’s Center, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Maltz Museum of Jewish History, and numerous documentary film projects.
Her current research explores how historical storytelling and cultural representations can be used to advocate for social and political change, especially through the technology of the exhibit. Focusing on the issue of gun violence and America’s gun culture, she will be drawing on work in psychology, communications, marketing, and museum studies to develop plans for an exhibit that empowers viewers to take action in response to the impact of firearms on American society.