Danielle Wiggins



BA in History, Yale University, 2012

Research Interests

20th Century African American History
Urban/Metropolitan History
History of Capitalism
History of Crime and Crime Control

Dissertation Topic

"Crime, Capital, and the Politics of Atlanta's Black Middle Class in the Post-Civil Rights Era"

Faculty Advisors

Joseph Crespino
Brett Gadsden
Carol Anderson


I'm a PhD candidate in History specializing in African American political history and urban political economy. My dissertation examines the politics of capital development and crime control among Atlanta’s black middle classes during the 1970s and 1980s. I argue that through the politics of capitalism and crime prevention specifically, black elites and aspiring elites developed a distinct post-civil rights black neoliberal politics that privileged individualism, meritocracy, and self-help. At Emory, I've been involved in the leadership of the Workshop in U.S. History and the African American Studies Collective and have served as a graduate assistant at the James Weldon Johnson Institute, a graduate assistant in the Mellon-Mays/UNCF Summer Institute, a teaching assistant and editor with the Emory Civil Rights Cold Cases Project, and a graduate fellow at the Laney Graduate School's Office for Emory Diversifying Graduate Education (EDGE). Outside of my work, I enjoy cooking for friends, bar trivia, finding good meals in Atlanta, and watching live music.