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Kean University


  • Ph.D., Temple University, U.S. History
  • J.D., Temple University
  • Graduate Certificate, Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, Documentary Writing
  • A.B., Bryn Mawr College, Sociology (creative writing minor)

Areas of Expertise

Abigail Perkiss is an Associate Professor of History at Kean, where she coordinates the history/pre-law major and teaches courses in 20th century US history, oral and public history, African American history, and legal history. 

Her first book, Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism, and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia (Cornell University Press, 2014), examines the creation of intentionally integrated neighborhoods in the latter half of the twentieth century. Her forthcoming second book, Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore?(Cornell University Press, 2022) documents the uneven recovery of Hurricane Sandy along New Jersey’s coastline. This book is an outgrowth of a longitudinal oral history project, developed with Kean undergraduates, to tell the story of the relief and recovery efforts after the storm along the Sandy Hook and Raritan bays. She was awarded the 2015 New Jersey Historical Commission Teaching Award for this work.

She has also co-authored two books in the Reacting to the Past series for W.W. NortonChanging the Game: Title IX, Gender, and College Athletics (2019, with Kelly McFall) and Monuments and Memory-Making: The Debate Over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1981-82 (forthcoming 2021, with Rebecca Livingstone and Kelly McFall).

Perkiss completed a joint J.D./Ph.D. in U.S. history at Temple University. Previously, she earned a graduate certificate from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. She is co-editor of the Oral History Review

Courses Taught

  • 20th Century Black History
  • Pre-1900 Black History
  • Public History
  • Oral History
  • 20th Century US History
  • Emergence of Law in Society
  • American Law and Liberty
  • Postcolonial Africa
  • Worlds of History
  • Post-1877 US History
  • Junior Historiography Seminar
  • Senior Research Seminar