Department of History

Washburn Hall, 80 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– 401.874.2528 (p); 401.874.2595 (f)

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Robert Widell



Professor Widell grew up in Auburn, Alabama, and lived in North Carolina, Georgia, and Colorado, before moving to Rhode Island in 2004. He joined the History Department at URI in 2008. When he’s not reading, writing, lecturing, and discussing history, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Lauren, and their daughter, Lily, and beagle, Dudley. He may also be found complaining about the fortunes of the Duke basketball and/or Auburn football teams. Prior to Lily’s arrival he used to run marathons, cook, and attend concerts. He aspires to do those things again soon.


  • African American History
  • Late-Twentieth-Century U.S. History
  • Modern Black Freedom Struggle
  • Political Movements


Ph.D., Emory University
B.A., Duke University


“The Power Belongs to Us and We Belong to the Revolutionary Age: The Alabama Black Liberation Front and the Long Reach of the Black Panther Party.” In Liberated Territory: Untold Local Perspectives on the Black Panther Party edited by Jama Lazerow and Yohuru Williams, 136-180. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

In progress:

Book Manuscript: “To Stay and Fight”: Birmingham, Alabama, and the 20th-Century Black Freedom Struggle.


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