Ashley M. Howard

Assistant Professor of African American History, University of Iowa

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About Ashley

Howard’s research examines the interplay between violence and resistance in black America. Specifically her book manuscript (in progress) analyzes the 1960s urban rebellions in the Midwest, grounded in the way race, class, gender, and region played critical and overlapping roles in defining resistance to racialized oppression. Her research agenda is driven by the desire to provide historical perspectives on salient issues in the black community today, including the growing prison industrial complex and resurgence of anti-black violence. She serves as Book Review Editor for The Black Scholar.

In the News

Quoted by in "Protesters Heartened by Swift Reform, but Vow Broader Change," The Associated Press, June 9, 2020.
Guest on Profs and Pints Online, June 8, 2020.
Opinion: "100, 50, 25, 3: Reflections on Anti-Black Violence in America," Ashley M. Howard, The Black Scholar, July 31, 2017.
Opinion: "Milwaukee Revisited," Ashley M. Howard, The Black Scholar, August 17, 2016.
Interviewed in "Scholar of Urban Riots: Expect More Unrest," Chronicle of Higher Education, May 5, 2015.
Research discussed by Nathan Pippenger, in "Police Reform in Baltimore and Beyond," Democracy Journal, April 29, 2015.
Guest on Real News Network, September 3, 2014.
Opinion: "Why Ferguson Isn’t the Tale of Two Protests," Ashley M. Howard, The Black Scholar, August 18, 2014.


"Then the Burnings Began: Omaha’s 1966 Revolt and the Efficacy of Political Violence" Nebraska History 98, no. 2 (2017): 82-97.

Argues that violent protest does not occur in a vacuum. Historically, it has been the purview of the most desperate, the most oppressed, those with little to lose and even fewer options for recompense. Urban rebellions, both in the contemporary moment and in the 1960s, are a continuation of previous protests through extralegal channels.

"Linked Fates: Social Media as a Framing, Tactical and Witnessing Tool in the Black Lives Matter Movement" in News of Baltimore: Race, Rage, and the City eds, edited by Linda Steiner and Silvio Waisboard (Routledge Press, 2017), 120-139.

Examines how the media approached long-standing and long-simmering issues of race, class, violence, and social responsibility in Baltimore during the demonstrations, violence, and public debate in the spring of 2015