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Prof. Anne Twitty

The University of Mississippi

Prof. Twitty’s research focuses on questions of nineteenth-century American social and cultural history, with a special emphasis on legal and labor history, slavery and freedom, gender and women’s history, and the history of the South and Midwest. She teaches courses on the rise and fall of American slavery, the early national and antebellum eras, gender history, and historical methods.

Prof. Twitty joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in the fall of 2010. She is currently a Kinder Institute Distinguished Visiting Professor of Legal History at the University of Missouri.

Prof. Twitty completed her bachelor’s degree in political science at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her master’s and doctoral degrees in history at Princeton University. 

Her first book, Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. It draws upon a remarkable collection of nearly 300 freedom suits filed in the St. Louis circuit court to examine the legal history of slavery and freedom in the American Confluence, a site where portions of present day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri meet. In this fluid region, it argues, ordinary people—including masters, slaves, indentured servants, and all those they came into contact with—developed a distinctive legal culture characterized by a sophisticated and widespread knowledge of formal law, the hallmark of which was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Scott v. Sandford.

Prof. Twitty also served as secretary for the American Society for Legal History from 2018-2021. She is pursuing a new book project that examines the multiple forms of unfreedom that persisted across the putatively "free North" in the early national and antebellum eras.