Carl Nightingale


Interlocking UB logo.

Carl Nightingale


Carl Nightingale


Fields of Interest

Race, critical race theory, and racial justice; Urban history; World history; Urban racial segregation in global perspective; Youth culture and activism; youth culture as a global phenomenon; Community organizing; African American history


  • PhD in History, Princeton University, 1992
  • MA in History, Princeton University, 1986 
  • BA, Haverford College, 1981


Carl Nightingale’s new book "Segregation: a World History of Divided Cities." University of Chicago Press, 2012) is the co-winner of the 2012 Jerry Bentley Prize in World History from the World History Association and the American Historical Association.

The book traces the spread of practices of racial segregationist in cities from their most ancient roots through the rise of racial segregation as a global phenomenon in the years from 1700 to the present. It ties together primary research on cities in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas with an extensive synthetic reading of the history of urban politics worldwide.

Prof. Nightingale has published numerous articles on the intersections of urban history, world history and critical race theory in the American Historical Review, the Journal of Social History, and the Journal of Urban History among other places. He is also the author of the blog “Global Segregation: Human-Made Obstacles to Human Movement across Oceans, Borders, and Urban Space”.

Prof. Nightingale curates the exhibition “Buffalo Divided and Unequal: How it Happened and What People are Doing about It,” which is available for installation in appropriate venues.

Prof. Nightingale’s first book, On the Edge: A History of Poor Black Children and Their American Dreams (Basic Books, 1993), combined ethnographic and archival research to show how broader currents in global popular and political culture affected low-income children’s collective experiences in black Philadelphia.

Current Research

New projects include the history of scholars’ explorations of the origins of race; transnational analysis of ideologies of race and sex in British, American, and French settler societies; and the history of Johannesburg and Soweto.

Also, ongoing work on the blog “Global Segregation: Human-Made Obstacles to Human Movement across Oceans, Borders, and Urban Space,” which will offer periodic glosses on the book Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities, as well as a growing collection of scholarly resources on the topics of urban segregation and migration control.

Selected Publications

Courses Taught

  • UGC 112 – World Civilizations
  • AMS 387 – Race in the City
  • AMS 500/520 – Race in the US and in Transnational Perspective
  • AMS 520 – The Politics of Urban Space
  • AMS 504 – Topics in Cultural History (introductory graduate seminar)
  • AMS 560 – Racial Justice in Western New York and the World, a seminar in action research

Awards and Honors

  • Co-winner, 2012 Jerry Bentley Prize in World History for Segregation: a World History of Divided Cities
  • Individual Grant, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, 2011-12
  • Research Grant, Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, 2011-12.
  • Named Most Exemplary Scholar of the Year by Undergraduate Majors of Urban Studies Program, Stanford University, 2007.
  • Annual Research Grant, Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, SUNY Buffalo, for research pertaining to Segregation renewed in 2007-08 and 2008-09
  • Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 1997-98
  • Lilly Fellowship, Provost’s Office and the Center for Teaching, University of Massachusetts, 1995-96
  • Harry Chapin Media Award, 1994. Runner-up for best book on Poverty in 1993 for On the Edge

Professional Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, Urban History Association
  • American Studies Association
  • American Historical Association
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Association for the Study of African American Life and Culture 
  • World History Association