Robert Billups

Image of Robert Billups


B.A. University of Norte Dame
O.M. University of Cambridge

Research Interests

Twentieth-century US
Southern History
Religious History
Civil Rights History

Dissertation Topic


Faculty Advisors

Joseph Crespino
Allen Tullos


My research interests lie at the intersections of race, religion and the State in twentieth-century American history. I explore the ways that religious traditions and government institutions projected and shaped popular conceptions of race in the United States, and I analyze regional and national debates about racial justice, particularly disputes over school and church desegregation. I tend to focus on the American South, and I want to learn more about the region’s private school movement as well as Southern religious communities’ long-term responses to Brown v. Board of Education. I am also interested in the history of school choice in America, and I want to understand how religious, economic and racial ideologies inspired different versions of school choice in the second half of the twentieth century.