Wesleyan portrait of Jesse Evan Nasta

Jesse Evan Nasta

Visiting Assistant Professor of African American Studies

Center for African American St, 226

jnasta@wesleyan.edu

BA Wesleyan University
MA Northwestern University
PHD Northwestern University

Jesse Evan Nasta

Jesse Nasta (PhD, Northwestern University; BA, Wesleyan University) specializes in the social and legal histories of slavery, emancipation, and African American mobility during the eight decades before the Civil War. His current manuscript project, “Making Slavery’s Borders,” examines how ordinary people, black and white, enslaved and free, gradually gave force and meaning to Congress’s Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Although the Ordinance ostensibly banned slavery in the present-day Midwest, Nasta finds that it was the cross-border movement and the resulting legal claims of those present on the western frontier, especially of African Americans themselves, that made a slavery-free West a reality by the mid-19th century.

Nasta’s research has received support from the American Historical Association, the Illinois State Historical Society, the Missouri State Archives, and from fellowships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History and Northwestern University’s Center for Historical Studies.

He began his teaching, for which he received the Lacey Baldwin Smith Prize for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University, as a Ford Fellow in the Writing Programs at Wesleyan University. His research on 19th-century African American history also began at Wesleyan University, where he wrote an honors thesis on the Beman Triangle, a pre-Civil War activist community of free, property-owning African Americans on what is now Wesleyan’s campus.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tu, Th 10:30- 12

Courses

Fall 2017
AFAM 203 - 01
Early African American History

AFAM 206 - 01
African American Women's Hist

Spring 2018
AFAM 204 - 01
Intro to Modern Afam History

AFAM 277 - 01
NE Slavery and Emancipation

AFAM 307 - 01
Black Middletown Lives