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Torren Gatson

Dr. Torren Gatson

Contact Information

Email: tlgatson@uncg.edu 
Office: 2119 MHRA 


Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University, 2018
M.A., North Carolina Central University, 2013
B.A. in History, North Carolina Central University, 2010

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2019-present
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2018-2019
  • Dissertation Fellow, Middle Tennessee State University, 2017-2018

Research Interests

  • Public History and Material Culture
  • African American History
  • Southern History
  • Urban History (Housing)
  • Civil War and Reconstruction

Current Project

My current book project addresses a gap in the existing historiography of African Americans and housing in the 20th century urban South. Scholars have explored this issue of African American housing, and the lack thereof, from a sociological, anthropological, and historical perspective. Many contributions largely positioned African Americans as either champions or victims, a vein of scholarship that has opened the door for my study of the causes and parties responsible for the inequitable treatment of African Americans and housing in the urban South. In particular, I explore in depth the NAACP's efforts to methodically tackle the Federal Housing Administration's continuous suppression of African American housing through case studies of Atlanta and Nashville from 1920 to 1970.

Courses Taught

  • HIS 213, Topics in American History: The Quest for African American Citizenship
  • HIS 317, Introduction to Public History
  • HIS 546/446, American Material Culture
  • HIS 626, The Practice of Public History
  • HIS 627, Museum and Historic Site Interpretation: Principles and Practice
  • HIS 631, Digital History
  • HIS 720, Public History Capstone I (Graduate Seminar)
  • HIS 721, Public History Capstone II (Graduate Seminar)

Selected Publications

  • "Upbuilding an Inclusive Future: A Semester of Reciprocal Learning," in History in Action: Essays on Teaching Public History, edited by Evan Faulkenbury and Julia Brock. (Forthcoming, UNC Press)
  • Gatson, Torren and Tiffany Momon. "Woven into the American Fabric: Black Craftspeople and the Clothing Trades in Pre-Civil War Charleston, South Carolina." In Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour, edited by Michelle Tolini Finamore, Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2022. (Forthcoming in conjunction with an exhibition of the same title, organized by and presented at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, Fall 2022.)
  • Gatson, Torren, and Tiffany Momon. "Labor or Artistry? Reconceptualizing Black Craftsmen: The Creation of the Black Craftsman Digital Archive." The Southern Quarterly, (November 2021)
  • Gatson, Torren and Louis Woods II. "To Tighten the Walls of the Negro Ghettos: The NAACP's Fight Against Discriminatory Federal Housing Administration Mortgage Insurance Policies, 1937-1962." The Journal of North Carolina Association of Historians, Vol. 28, (September 2020).
  • Guest Editor. "Introduction for the Special Edition on African American Material Culture." The Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts (The MESDA Journal) Vol. 41, (Summer 2020).
  • Other publications listed on Vitae.

Podcast, Radio, Docu-Series Featured Appearances

  • Classical American Homes Preservation Trust mini-video on “Ayr Mount” (Fall 2021)
  • NC Public Radio- WUNC (station) “The State of Things” segment, (Fall 2020)
  • 'YES! And Café' Podcast, UNCG, episode 12 (Fall 2020)
  • UNCG Research Magazine (Winter Issue) (Fall 2020)
  • "Curious Objects" podcast, The Magazine Antiques, hosted by Ben Miller (Fall 2020)
  • "The Slave Deeds of Guilford County," Guilford County Register of Deeds (Spring 2019)

Directed Public History Student Exhibitions/Projects

Curriculum Vitae

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