Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, “A View from the Choir: Forming Lutheran Culture in Pluriconfessional Westphalian Convents.” Past and Present 234 (2017), Supplement 12 [In Cultures of Lutheranism: Reformation Repertoires in the Early Modern Era, edited by Kat Hill]: 189-211.
About Tyina Steptoe
I write and teach about race, gender, and culture in the United States. My book, Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City, received the Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book of 2016 (North American) from the Urban History Association, the 2017 W. Jackson Turrentine Book Prize from the Western History Association, and the 2017 Julia Ideson Award from the Friends of the Texas Room (Houston Metropolitan Research Center). Houston Bound shows how, despite the existence of Jim Crow laws that created a black/white racial binary, converging migrations to Houston—particularly those of ethnic Mexicans and Creoles of color—complicated ideas of blackness and whiteness and introduced different understandings about race between the 1920s and 1960s. The book also uses music to examine these racial complexities, tracing the emergence of Houston's blues and jazz scenes as well as the hybrid forms of these genres that arose when migrants forged shared social space and carved out new communities and politics.
My latest project explores the history of sexuality and gender in popular music. An article on Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton and Little Richard appeared in the March 2018 issue of the American Quarterly.
I am also committed to academic work that reaches beyond the walls of the university. I served as a historical advisor on the television show Who Do You Think You Are, appearing on a 2016 episode that featured TV personality Aisha Tyler. While in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I helped organize a special summer course, “The Santa Fe Trail: In Search of the Multiracial West,” that took thirty-five undergraduate and graduate students on a two-week bus trip from Wisconsin to the Southwest in 2005.
HIST 498: Music and Society (senior capstone seminar)
HIST 695: U.S. Urban History
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of History, 2008
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Afro-American Studies, 2002
B.S., The University of Texas at Austin, Dept. of Radio-Television-Film, 1999
B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, Dept. of History, 1999
Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016)
* 2016 Kenneth Jackson Award for Best Book (North American), Urban History Association
* 2017 W. Turrentine Jackson Prize, Western History Association
*2017 Julia Ideson Award, Friends of the Texas Room at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center
*Honorable mention, 2015 Letitia Woods Article Prize, Association of Black Women Historians
*Honorable mention, 2015 Elli Köngäs-Maranda Professional Prize, American Folklore Society
“Jazz, Migration, and Community in Interwar Houston,” Journal of the West 53, no. 3 (2014): 42-50.
“An Ode to Country Music from a Black Dixie Chick,” The Oxford American, no. 54 (2006):pp. 26-7. Reprinted in The Presence of Others: Voices and Images That Call for Response, 5th Edition, (NY: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008).
Areas of Study
United States History
Comparative History of Race and Ethnicity; African American History; Gender and Sexuality; 19th- and 20th-century U.S.; Music and Society; U.S. South; U.S. West; Folklore