lawriep


Paul Lawrie

Photo of Paul Lawrie

Department of History

Associate Professor

Office: Vari Hall 2126
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext: 40609
Email: lawriep@yorku.ca

Media Requests Welcome
Accepting New Graduate Students


Dr. Paul Lawrie is a historian of Afro-America whose research examines the intersections
of race, labor, disability, urbanism, and time in modern America. He is the author of Forging
a Laboring Race: The African American Worker in the Progressive Imagination (NYU Press,
2016), which details how evolutionary science and industrial management crafted taxonomies of
racial labor fitness in early 20th century America. His article, “Mortality as the Life Story of a
People: Frederick L. Hoffman and Actuarial Narratives of African American Extinction,” won
the 2014 Ernest Redekop prize for Best Article in the Canadian Review of American Studies. He
was also a contributor (“Race, Work and Disability in Progressive Era America”) to the Oxford
Disability Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2018), winner of the 2021 George Rosen Book
prize from the American Association for the History of Medicine. His current SSHRC funded
project, The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Urban America traces how time -as
both lived experience and a category of analysis- mediated racial difference and identity in the
American city from the time-work management of the factory floor to the vagrancy statues of the
streets.

More...

Degrees

PhD (History), University of Toronto
M.A. (History), University of Toronto
B.A. (Hons.) (History), York University

Research Interests

History , Modern African American, Urban History, Labor, Disability History, Histories of Time

Current Research Projects

The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Urban America

    Summary:

    My current SSHRC (Insight Grant) funded project The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Urban America links African American, Labour and Urban histories to the emerging field of time studies to chart the temporal geographies of race in postwar Detroit. Time –much like race- possesses an ostensible ‘naturalism’ which often obscures the various historical factors which went into its making. How peoples and societies choose to mark time –via the rhythms of nature or the rigidity of the clock- varies across historical contexts. My research asks if time is indeed relative –as something born of specific historical contingencies- than how do different peoples experience time differently? Moreover, how does the experience of time create racial inequality within cities? Time and race intersected to shape the landscape of postwar Detroit in a number of ways: from vagrancy statues to curfews, time work management and transit. Positing time as a past, present and future agent of racial identity, reveals new insights into the spatial and temporal dynamics of urban race relations from the assembly line to the city streets. This project draws on a myriad of primary sources from transit schedules, curfew/vagrancy statutes, municipal housing authorities and industrial management literature to define the temporal geographies of race in postwar Detroit.

    See more
    Funders:
    SSHRC
Books

Publication
Year

Lawrie, Paul R.D. Forging a Laboring Race: The African American Worker in the Progressive Imagination. New York: NYU Press, 2016. muse.jhu.edu/book/46980.

2016

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Rembis, Michael A., Catherine Jean Kudlick, and Kim E. Nielsen. 2018. The Oxford handbook of disability history.

2018

Hannan, Jason. 2018. Truth in the public sphere. http://www.vlebooks.com/vleweb/product/openreader?id=none&isbn=9781498530835

2016

Burch, Susan, and Michael Rembis. Disability Histories. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2014. muse.jhu.edu/book/36115.

2016

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Lawrie, P.. “"Mortality as the Life Story of a People": Frederick L. Hoffman and Actuarial Narratives of African American Extinction, 1896-1915.” Canadian Review of American Studies 43 (2013): 352 - 387.

2013


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HIST4699 6.0 A Selected Topics in US History SEMR
Fall/Winter 2021 GS/HIST5701 6.0 A Modern Cultural History SEMR


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/HIST3618 3.0 M United States Since 1945 LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HIST4699 6.0 A Selected Topics in US History SEMR
Fall/Winter 2021 GS/HIST5701 6.0 A Modern Cultural History SEMR


Dr. Paul Lawrie is a historian of Afro-America whose research examines the intersections
of race, labor, disability, urbanism, and time in modern America. He is the author of Forging
a Laboring Race: The African American Worker in the Progressive Imagination (NYU Press,
2016), which details how evolutionary science and industrial management crafted taxonomies of
racial labor fitness in early 20th century America. His article, “Mortality as the Life Story of a
People: Frederick L. Hoffman and Actuarial Narratives of African American Extinction,” won
the 2014 Ernest Redekop prize for Best Article in the Canadian Review of American Studies. He
was also a contributor (“Race, Work and Disability in Progressive Era America”) to the Oxford
Disability Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2018), winner of the 2021 George Rosen Book
prize from the American Association for the History of Medicine. His current SSHRC funded
project, The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Urban America traces how time -as
both lived experience and a category of analysis- mediated racial difference and identity in the
American city from the time-work management of the factory floor to the vagrancy statues of the
streets.

Degrees

PhD (History), University of Toronto
M.A. (History), University of Toronto
B.A. (Hons.) (History), York University

Research Interests

History , Modern African American, Urban History, Labor, Disability History, Histories of Time

Current Research Projects

The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Urban America

    Summary:

    My current SSHRC (Insight Grant) funded project The Color of Hours: Race, Time and the Making of Urban America links African American, Labour and Urban histories to the emerging field of time studies to chart the temporal geographies of race in postwar Detroit. Time –much like race- possesses an ostensible ‘naturalism’ which often obscures the various historical factors which went into its making. How peoples and societies choose to mark time –via the rhythms of nature or the rigidity of the clock- varies across historical contexts. My research asks if time is indeed relative –as something born of specific historical contingencies- than how do different peoples experience time differently? Moreover, how does the experience of time create racial inequality within cities? Time and race intersected to shape the landscape of postwar Detroit in a number of ways: from vagrancy statues to curfews, time work management and transit. Positing time as a past, present and future agent of racial identity, reveals new insights into the spatial and temporal dynamics of urban race relations from the assembly line to the city streets. This project draws on a myriad of primary sources from transit schedules, curfew/vagrancy statutes, municipal housing authorities and industrial management literature to define the temporal geographies of race in postwar Detroit.

    Project Type: Funded
    Funders:
    SSHRC

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Rembis, Michael A., Catherine Jean Kudlick, and Kim E. Nielsen. 2018. The Oxford handbook of disability history.

2018

Hannan, Jason. 2018. Truth in the public sphere. http://www.vlebooks.com/vleweb/product/openreader?id=none&isbn=9781498530835

2016

Burch, Susan, and Michael Rembis. Disability Histories. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2014. muse.jhu.edu/book/36115.

2016

Books

Publication
Year

Lawrie, Paul R.D. Forging a Laboring Race: The African American Worker in the Progressive Imagination. New York: NYU Press, 2016. muse.jhu.edu/book/46980.

2016

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Lawrie, P.. “"Mortality as the Life Story of a People": Frederick L. Hoffman and Actuarial Narratives of African American Extinction, 1896-1915.” Canadian Review of American Studies 43 (2013): 352 - 387.

2013


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HIST4699 6.0 A Selected Topics in US History SEMR
Fall/Winter 2021 GS/HIST5701 6.0 A Modern Cultural History SEMR


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/HIST3618 3.0 M United States Since 1945 LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HIST4699 6.0 A Selected Topics in US History SEMR
Fall/Winter 2021 GS/HIST5701 6.0 A Modern Cultural History SEMR