A.B., History & Philosophy, Reed College, 1989
M.A., History, John Hopkins University, 1992
Ph.D., History, John Hopkins University, 1998
Dr. Mullins teaches classes in American History, with an emphasis on early America.
In recent years he has taught:
Dr. Mullins researches and writes about early America, especially the era between the Revolution and the Civil War. Broadly speaking, he is interested in how contemporary ideas about human nature and individual agency played out “on the ground”, in a variety of situations: schools, legal battles, religious revivals, health reform movements, etc. He is especially interested in how understandings of racial difference in that era created conflicting answers to the questions of “What does it mean to lead a self-governed life?” and “Who can be held accountable for their actions?” In addition to pursuing these questions in a variety of articles and book chapters, he is completing a book project entitled, A ‘Monster in Human Shape’: Race, Reason, and Responsibility in American Culture. Here he explores how a seemingly “open and shut” cross-racial murder case became headline news across the country, pulling in national-level politicians to take on the prosecution and defense roles in a trial lasting months and setting precedents still invoked in courtrooms today.
“A ‘Fiend Incarnate’: Sin, Science, and the Problem of Evil in the New American Nation,” in Malcah Effron and Brian Johnson, eds., The Functions of Evil Across Disciplinary Contexts (2017).
“Shifting Our Focus on New York’s Rural History: Politics, Prisons, and Social Reform,” New York History 97.4 (Fall 2016).
“‘Hurrah for Hanging’: Monsters, Irony, and the Contested Meaning of Horror in Nineteenth-Century America,” Interdisciplinary Humanities 33.2 (Fall 2016).
“‘Equivocating upon Law and Science’: Medicine, Politics, and Humanitarianism in Nineteenth-Century America,” in Cyril Besson and Veronique Molinari, eds., Using and Abusing Science: Science and Political Discourse from Burke’s “French Revolution” to Obama's Science Fair (2016).
“Race, Place, and African-American Disenfranchisement in the Early Nineteenth-Century American North,” Citizenship Studies 10 (2006).
“‘Fitted to Receive the Word of God’: Emotions and Scientific Naturalism in the Religious Revivals of the 1830s,” International Social Science Review 81 (2006).
“Standing on Their Own: African American Engagements with Philanthropy in Antebellum America,” in Mary Beth Gasman, ed., Uplifting a People: Essays on Black Philanthropy and Education (2005).
“‘In the Sweat of Thy Brow’: Education, Manual Labor, and the Market Revolution,” in Scott Martin, ed., Cultural Change and the Market Revolution, 1789-1860 (2005).
“Honorable Violence: Youth Culture, Masculinity, and Contested Authority in Liberal Education in the Early Republic,” ATQ: 19th-Century American Literature and Culture, Vol. 17.3 (Fall, 2003).
Dr. Mullins has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Prindle Institute for Ethics—DePauw University, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry—Emory University, the Spencer Foundation for Research in Education, the Pew Program in Religion and American History, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, St. Cloud State University, the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship (University of Oklahoma), and the American Philosophical Society.