Alumni (National Fellow)

Danielle Wiggins

Jefferson Scholars Foundation National Fellow
B.A. Yale University (2012)
Ph.D. Emory University (2018)
Professional Sector:
Dream Mentor:
Elizabeth Hinton
Harvard University
Fields of Interest:
African American History
Political Economy
Political Parties
Social Issues
Urban History


Danielle Wiggins is an assistant professor of history at the California Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in history from Emory University in May 2018 and her B.A. in History from Yale in 2012. Her research examines the intersections between post-civil rights black politics and the rightward moving Democratic Party of the 1970s and 1980s. In her forthcoming manuscript, she uses the politics of crime, welfare, and job creation in Atlanta as a lens through which to examine these developments. Wiggins argues that Atlanta’s black leaders attempted to mediate between various, often competing interests by drawing upon keywords common within the various strains of modern American liberalism—specifically, community, responsibility, and opportunity. Through their triangulation, Atlanta’s black political leadership developed a modern black liberal centrist mode of governing that tempered the radical, redistributionist demands of black working class and poor residents, the threats of hypermobile capital, and the conservative mandates of an increasingly revanchist state. In doing so, Wiggins argues, black urban leaders modeled new modes of Democratic governance to fit the imperatives of late-twentieth-century America.

Thesis Description:

Crime Capital: Economic Development, Public Safety, Urban Development, and Black Politics in Post-Civil Rights Atlanta

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