Jesse Curtis

Assistant Professor of History


B.A. Moody Bible Institute
M.A. Kent State University
Ph.D. Temple University


Dr. Curtis received his Ph.D. in 2019 and joined the Valparaiso History department in 2021. He is a historian of the twentieth-century United States. His areas of teaching interest include the history of race in modern America, African American history, the history of Christianity, and global settler colonialism. Dr. Curtis is interested in helping students explore how changes in ideology and culture worked their way out in the daily lives of ordinary people. Classes taught include:

The American Experience in the Modern World
The Age of Anxiety
Black Politics and Black Power 
Race and War in the Twentieth Century

Much of Dr. Curtis’ early research focused on resistance to the civil rights movement and how the movement has been remembered over time. His new book broadens that focus to explore how white evangelical institutions changed during the civil rights era. It argues that white evangelicals turned to a new theology of race that defended their investments in an evangelical form of white identity.


The Myth of Colorblind Christians: Evangelicals and White Supremacy in the Civil Rights Era (New York: New York University Press, 2021).

“White Evangelicals as ‘a people’: The Church Growth Movement from India to the United States.” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 30 (2020): 108-146.

 “‘Will the jungle take over?’: National Review and the Defense of Western Civilization in the Era of Civil Rights and African Decolonization.” Journal of American Studies 53 (2019): 997-1023.

“Remembering Racial Progress, Forgetting White Resistance: The Death of Mississippi Senator John C. Stennis and the Consolidation of the Colorblind Consensus.” History & Memory 29 (2017): 134-160.