Vice President, Teaching Division


Iowa State University

Kathleen Hilliard is associate professor of history and director of graduate education at Iowa State University. Her research and teaching focus on informal economies, slavery, and emancipation in the nineteenth-century American South. She is the author of Masters, Slaves, and Exchange: Power’s Purchase in the Old South (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Her current projects examine the political economy of “getting by” during the era of emancipation and, with Lawrence McDonnell, unearth a narrative of community complicity in an ill-fated murder-for-hire plot in antebellum South Carolina. Since 2018, she has filled a variety of roles with AHA’s Career Diversity initiative. Her experience—as a roving “military brat,” liberal arts college history major, doctoral student at a public flagship, and faculty member at a STEM-oriented state university—shapes her thinking about history and its teaching, responsibilities, and purposes in a diverse and complex world. She hopes to create opportunities and resources for educators to share tools to sharpen students’ inquiries of the past, and of the structures and communities in which they live.