Saint Louis University

Heidi Ardizzone, Ph.D.


Heidi Ardizzone, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of American Studies
Department Chair, American Studies 

(314) 977-7212

Adorjan Hall 131
3800 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108












Ph.D. and M.A. in American Studies, University of Michigan
Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, University of Michigan
B.A. in Western Religions, Cornell University

Courses Taught

ASTD 2200 – American Homefronts, Global Wars
ASTD 3000 – American Decades: The Sixties
ASTD 3030 – History and Fiction: Narratives of Racial Identity
ASTD 3900 – Mixed Race America
ASTD 3930 – Marriage and Other American Traditions

ASTD 5000 – Perspectives in American Studies
ASTD 5010 – African American Politics, Culture, and Identity
ASTD 6930 – Civil Rights Activism and Cultural Memory
ASTD 6930 – Many Mid-Wests: Race and Citizenship in the Twentieth-Century Heartland
ASTD 6930 – Race and Citizenship in St. Louis
ASTD 6930 – Racial Crossings

Recipient, 2013 Donald G. Brennan Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, SLU College of Arts and Sciences

Research Interests

With an interdisciplinary training in social and cultural history, Dr. Ardizzone's research has focused on the study of race, African American experience, and people of mixed, primarily black-white, ancestry in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her two books and several reviewed articles have examined specific narratives of mixed-race identity from a variety of lens: Love on Trial explores the Rhinelander Case as a catalyst for public commentary and debate over racial definitions, interracial marriage, sex and gender in the 1920s. An Illuminated Life offers a social biography of Belle Da Costa Greene, whose mixed-race, African American parents had very different ways of understanding and negotiating their racial identity. Greene's own racial story defies the simple passing narratives: as the librarian for J.P. Morgan, she lived as white without public challenge even as her "secret" of having crossed the color line circulated among friends and associates, often fueled by her own references to having black ancestry. Articles have looked at film depictions of interracial marriage and mixed race identity, and Caroline Bond Day's anthropological use of family photographs in her study of "Negro-White families." Her current book project looks more broadly at the political work of the black-white figure, primarily in the context of movements for African American civil rights. 

Recent Publications 

BookThe Color of Blood: The Significance of the Black-White Figure in American History, book manuscript in revisions for University Press Review.

Book Chapter: "Catching up with History: Night of the Quarter Moon, The Rhinelander Case, and Interracial Marriage in 1959," in Camilla Fojas and Mary Beltran, eds., Mixed Race Hollywood, NYU Press, 87–112, 2008

BookAn Illuminated Life: Belle da Costa Greene's Journey from Prejudice to Privilege, W.W. Norton & Co. 2007

  • New York Times Editor's Choice, July 2007
  • Booklist 2007 Editor's Choice, January 2008

Book: Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White, W. W. Norton & Co., co-authored with Earl Lewis, 2001

Article: "'Such Fine Families': Photography and Race in the Work of Caroline Bond Day, Visual Studies,
106–132, October, 2006

Article"Love and Race Caught in the Public Eye," Chronicle of Higher Education, B7–9, with Earl Lewis,
June 8, 2001

Talks and Interviews

Dr. Ardizzone has given invited talks at numerous academic and public history institutions including Concordia University, IL; Dartmouth College; The Pierpont Morgan Library; Carnegie Mellon University, and the Newberry Library. She also regularly speaks to private and public community audiences, including several public libraries in Michigan and Indiana, and the Southwest Michigan Heritage Society.

An audio of a 2001 Talk of the Nation interview with co-authors Heidi Ardizzone and Earl Lewis on their book Love on Trial is available online at NPR.


Dr. Ardizzone has served as an OAH Lerner-Scott Women's History Dissertation Prize Committee Member (2010), and co-organized the 2009 meeting of the Great Lakes American Studies Association. She regularly serves as a peer reviewer for academic presses.

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