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Austin McCoy

Austin McCoy

Assistant Professor


Austin McCoy

Contact Me


323 Thach Hall

Office Hours

Tuesday 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Wednesday 2:00 - 3:00 pm


PhD, University of Michigan

MA, Kent State University

MA, The Ohio State University

BA, The Ohio State University

About Me

Austin McCoy’s research interests focus on political economy, the Left, labor, social movements and activism, the carceral state, and hip hop culture. His current book project, entitled The Quest for Democracy: Black Power, New Left, and Progressive Politics in the Post-Industrial Midwest, analyzes movements against the criminal state and campaigns for participatory democracy in economics, foreign policy, and criminal justice after 1967. McCoy is also a public historian and scholar, publishing current social criticism in numerous media outlets, including The Washington PostNursing Clio, and Black Perspectives

McCoy earned his PhD in history at the University of Michigan in 2016. He served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Michigan-Mellon Project on Egalitarianism and the Metropolis from 2016-2018. At Auburn, McCoy teaches classes on African-American and U.S. history, including courses on the civil rights and black power movements, black politics, policing and the carceral state, and hip hop culture.

Research Interests

African-American history, 20th-century U.S. politics, the Left, social movements, activism



  • “Prison Unions and Mass Incarceration: Prospects for an Improbable Alliance,” New Labor Forum (Jan. 2017): 74-83.
  • “Bringing the Social Back: Rethinking the Declension Narrative of Twentieth Century U.S. Labor History,” Social History, Vol. 41, Issue 1 (Feb. 2016): 1-13.

Other Publications

  • “The Riots Goin’ On: Media and the Riots: 1968 and Now,” The Common Reader, Issue 9 (Summer 2018)
  • “Rap Music,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History. Douglas Rossinow, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Sept. 2017)

Courses Taught

African American History: From Enslavement to Present

History of Hip Hop Culture in America