Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle imageAs a distinguished teacher, mentor, and scholar, Professor Emeritus Bill Tuttle guided generations of KU students. Bill taught in American studies, history, and African and African-American studies, offering the first courses at KU in African American history and post-World War II American history. His teaching awards include a 1998 W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, the H.O.P.E Teaching Award from the Class of 2001, and the Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award in 2004. His course on Recent America was legendary for attracting the very best seniors on campus. In 2007, he taught at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, holding the John Adams Distinguished Fulbright Chair. He has also lectured in Cuba and Japan.

Bill Tuttle has written seminal work in African American history, labor history, the history of childhood, and recent American history which has influenced scholars and students around the world. As a pioneer in history from the bottom up, he produced the classic books Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919, "Daddy's Gone to War": The Second World War in the Lives of America's Children, and the co-edited Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. Through seven editions of the co-authored A People and a Nation, Bill reached millions of students. His scholarly articles have been frequently reprinted and widely cited.

Bill is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians, and he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, NEH, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute of Southern History, Johns Hopkins University, the Charles Warren Center, Harvard University, and the Stanford Humanities Center. In 2004 KU honored him with a Higuchi Award, the Balfour S. Jeffrey Award for Achievement in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

In Lawrence Bill Tuttle most recently co-chaired the Second Century Fund to restore Lawrence's historic St. Luke AME Church. He was a founding member of the University of Kansas branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and has worked with the Lorenzo J. Greene Branch in Kansas City. He is also a longtime member of the NAACP. For his community work, in 2006, Bill was recognized with the Steeples Service to Kansans Award. He and his wife Kathy are members of the Old West Lawrence Association, and they have made their historic home a center of university and community life.

  • Listen to Margaret Kelley discuss it's not just fear of violence or belief in the second amendment and gun rights prompting gun ownership.  On this episode of WhenExpertsAttack she explains that concerns about Armageddon and "supernatural" evil also are at play.  
  • Congratulations to Bobby Cervantes for being awarded the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies!
  • Read about Afro-Puerto Rican illustrator Eric Velasquez in this piece written by William García-Medina for Teaching For Change.
  • Geoffrey Newman did a podcast for the journal Kansas History that was broadcast on 91.9 KSDB-FM.  It is available online here.
  • Congratulations to Sam Steuart for being named KU's 20th Truman scholar!
  • This article, written by Geoffrey Newman, was published in the August edition of the Kansas History Journal. Congratulations Geoffrey!
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kathryn Vaggalis for being awarded the American Studies Association's 2018 Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
Upcoming Events
Hall Center Humanities Lecture Series

A forum for interdisciplinary dialogue between renowned speakers, the university and the surrounding communities.
Schedule of Lectures


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
Follow us:

Twitter Facebook


Far Above - The Campaign for KansasGive to American Studies

KU Today