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Dr. Cory James Young is a historian of abolition and slavery in the American North.
Dr. Young earned a BA in history from the State University of New York, College at Geneseo. He earned a PhD in history at Georgetown University. In 2022, he won the Best Dissertation Prize from the Society for the History of the Early American Republic. His research has been supported by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Library Company of Philadelphia, and McNeil Center for Early American Studies, among other institutions. As postdoctoral research associate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he was responsible for managing Katrina Jagodinsky’s digital history project, “Petitioning for Freedom: Habeas Corpus in the American West, 1812-1924."
Dr. Young's book manuscript, “For Life or Otherwise: Pennsylvania Slavery in the Age of Gradual Abolition,” under advance contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press, contends that the first US state to enact an abolition program implemented a slavery regime as well as an emancipation scheme. It examines how enslavers refashioned bondage in the early republic, describes the material consequences of their actions, and centers how Black communities responded to these ongoing and novel forms of oppression. An ongoing and related digital history project, “A Just and True Return,” will transcribe, preserve, and contextualize Pennsylvania’s surviving county slave registries.
Commentary and popular writing