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Faculty and Staff

Richard M. Mizelle, Jr
Associate Professor

Mizelle Portrait

Phone: (713) 743-0130
Email: rmmizelle@uh.edu
Office: 533 Agnes Arnold Hall

Richard M. Mizelle, Jr. received his Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University in 2006. He holds a B.A. in history from North Carolina Central University (1994) and M.A. in history from the American University (2000). His work has been supported by the Chemical Heritage Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the McKnight Foundation.

Teaching

Professor Mizelle teaches courses on the history of race and medicine, medicine and society, environmental history and technology, and the Civil Rights Movement in modern America.

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Research Interests

Professor Mizelle’s research explores the historical borders and overlap between questions of race, environment, technology, and health in modern America.  His forthcoming book, Backwater Blues: The 1927 Mississippi River Flood and the African American Imagination  (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), offers a critique of long-standing ideas of black environmental complacency by showing the ways in which black commentators from W.E.B. Du Bois to Bessie Smith provided an ecological intellectual criticism of the disaster.  He is also co-editor of Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita (Brookings Institution Press, 2011).

Professor Mizelle is currently at work on a new project that will examine the long and complex history of race and diabetes from the turn of the 19th century through Hurricane Katrina. 

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Selected Publications

Books

  • Backwater Blues: The 1927 Mississippi River Flood in the African American Imagination (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

  • Co-editor, Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita (Brookings Institution Press, 2011).

Articles

  • “Black Levee Camp Workers, the NAACP, and the Mississippi Flood Control Project, 1927-1933,” Journal of African American History, 98, no.4 (2013): 511-530.

  • “Deamonte’s Epidemic: Uncertain Science, Citizenship, and the Landscape of Gum Disease” (Article in Progress)

  • “South of the Border: African American Migration to Mexico Between the Wars (Article in Progress)