Faculty Name

Perkiss, Abby Ph.D.

Faculty Department


Perkiss, Abby Ph.D.

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My research centers on the history of race, ethnicity, and urban identity in post-WWII American cities, and has been guided by questions of identity creation, community cohesion, and historical memory. My first book, Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism, and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia, examines the creation of intentionally integrated neighborhoods in the latter half of the twentieth century.

I completed my J.D. and Ph.D. in U.S. history at Temple University in Philadelphia. I am a barred attorney in the state of Pennsylvania, a fellow at the Kean Center for History, Politics, and Policy, and a regular contributor to Constitution Daily, the official blog of the National Constitution Center. 

I am currently directing Staring out to Sea: The Story of Superstorm Sandy in Three Bayshore Communities, an oral history project documenting the impact and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in three neighborhoods along the Sandy Hook Bay.


Degree Information:

PhD in U.S. History - Temple University

JD - Temple University Beasley School of Law

AB in Sociology – Bryn Mawr College (magna cum laude)

Courses Taught:

Civil Society in America

Worlds of History

Research Methods

US History, post-1877

Advanced Oral History Methods

History and Memory

History of the Black American, Pre-1900

 20th Century Black History

Modern Civil Rights Movements

American Law and Liberty

The Emergence of Law in Society

Primary area of expertise:

Oral History, Urban History, African American History, 20th


Advice for students preparing for your class: 

My classes tend to be quite interactive; students will be expected to participate actively in discussion-centered learning and immersive role-playing experiences. I do not give exams, but my classes are writing-intensive.


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