Jane Dabel

Jane Dabel, Ph.D.

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (History)
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles (History)
B.A., University of California, Berkeley (History and Political Science)
Contact Information:
562 985-2408
Office: FO2-202
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS 1601
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601

Professor Dabel has been at CSULB since 2001. She had the honor of being awarded the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2007. She also is the editor of The History Teacher, the most widely recognized journal in the United States supporting all areas of history education, pre-collegiate through the university-level. She published A Respectable Woman: The Public Roles of African American Women in 19th-Century New York with New York University Press in 2008.

Research interests:

My current book project is about the experiences of African-American children in the northern states during the 19th century. In particular, I am examining their work and school lives, how their families and communities provided support and love, and how they met the challenges of living through the Civil War.


What courses do you teach? I teach the US survey, African-American history, Civil War and Reconstruction, Historical Research Methods, and the Senior Seminar.

What will students learn if they take a course with you? I hope they learn to take ideas (including their own) seriously, to have respect for their work, and to learn to think critically.

What kind of professor are you in the classroom? I take work seriously, but I don’t always take myself seriously in the classroom. Most of all, I hope that my enthusiasm for reading and writing is contagious!

What do you like best about teaching at Cal State Long Beach? Classes are pretty diverse, students are very friendly, and I value the opportunity to get to know students from different walks of life.

What’s your favorite…

Book? Any and all Sherlock Holmes.

Movie? Hmmm. Tough one. My husband and son would interject at this point and say, “Star Wars!”

Music/band? I love old blues, jazz, and Motown. If you take a class with me, there will be music. In fact, I developed an entire soundtrack for History 486: African-American History.

What are some of your hobbies? Reading mystery novels, swimming, and cooking. I’m learning how to speak Spanish and how to play acoustic guitar.

What tips for success can you give your students?Be ceaselessly curious. Learning is a lifelong process.  Also, you should take notes on everything! You never know when they will come in handy.

Selected Publications

  • A Respectable Woman: The Public Riles of African American Women in Nineteenth-Century New York City, New York University Press, forthcoming 2008.
  • “’A superior colored man …and a Scotch woman:’ Interracial Marriages in New York City, 1850-1870” in the International Social Science Review, Fall/Winter (2005).
  • “”I have Gone Quietly to Work for the Support of My Three Children”: African-American Mothers in New York City, 1827-1877.” Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 27, no. 2 (2003).
  • “African-American Women and Household Composition in New York City, 1827-1877” in Black Cultures and Race Relations edited by James L. Conyers. Chicago: Burnham Inc., Publishers, 2002.
  • “”My Ma Went to Work Early Every Mornin'”: Color, Gender, and Occupation in New Orleans, 1840-1860.” Louisiana History 41, no. 2 (2000).

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, California State University, Long Beach (2007)
  • W.M. Keck Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Research Library, San Marino, California (2003)
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Post-Doctoral Fellowship, New-York Historical Society