Dr. Kevin Leonard

Chairperson

Dr. Kevin Leonard
(615) 898-2642
(615) 898-5881
Room 223C, Peck Hall (PH)
MTSU Box 23, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Departments/Programs

Degree Information

  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis (1992)
  • M.A., University of California, Davis (1988)
  • B.A., Pomona College (1986)

Areas of Expertise

  • Twentieth-century U.S. history
  • History of the U.S. West
  • African American history
  • LGBTQ history

Biography

Kevin Leonard became the chair of the Department of History in 2017 after spending twenty years on the faculty of Western Washington University. He previously taught at Antioch College and the University of New Mexico.

Publications

Book

The Battle for Los Angeles: Racial Ideology and World War II (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006)

Selected Journal Articles

“Containing ‘Perversion’: African Americans and Same-Sex Desire in Cold War Los Angeles,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 20, no. 3 (September 2011): 545-567

“‘I Am Sure You Can Read between the Lines’: Cold War Anti-Commun...

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Book

The Battle for Los Angeles: Racial Ideology and World War II (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006)

Selected Journal Articles

“Containing ‘Perversion’: African Americans and Same-Sex Desire in Cold War Los Angeles,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 20, no. 3 (September 2011): 545-567

“‘I Am Sure You Can Read between the Lines’: Cold War Anti-Communism and the NAACP in Los Angeles,” Journal of the West 44, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 16-23

“‘Is That What We Fought For?’ Japanese Americans and Racism in California: The Impact of World War II,” Western Historical Quarterly 21 (November 1990): 463-482

Selected Book Chapters

“From the ‘Next Best Thing to One of Us’ to ‘One of Us’: Edward Roybal, Gilbert Lindsay, and Racial Politics in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s,” in Civil Rights and Beyond: African American and Latino/a Activism in the Twentieth-Century United States, ed. Brian D. Behnken (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016), 20-41

“Making Multiculturalism: Immigration and Race in the Twentieth Century,” in A Companion to California History, ed. William Deverell and David Igler (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2008)

“‘In the Interest of All Races’: African Americans and Interracial Cooperation in Los Angeles during and after World War II,” in Seeking El Dorado: African Americans in California, ed. Lawrence B. de Graaf, Kevin Mulroy, and Quintard Taylor (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001), 309-340

“‘Brothers Under the Skin’? African Americans, Mexican Americans, and World War II in California,” in The Way We Really Were: The Golden State in the Second Great War, ed. Roger W. Lotchin (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), 187-214

“Federal Power and Racial Politics in Los Angeles during World War II,” in Power and Place in the North American West, ed. Richard White and John M. Findlay (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 87-116

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Presentations

Selected Recent Presentations

“‘A Case of National Proportions’: The ‘Jim Crow’ Baby Contest of 1947 in Casper, Wyoming,” 2016 Annual Meeting, American Historical Association, January 8, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia

“‘Progress and Peace, or Turmoil, Which?’: The Ku Klux Klan, Patriotism, and Religious Liberty in Bellingham, Washington, in the 1920s,” 2014 Annual Meeting, Pacific Coast Branch, American Histo...

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Selected Recent Presentations

“‘A Case of National Proportions’: The ‘Jim Crow’ Baby Contest of 1947 in Casper, Wyoming,” 2016 Annual Meeting, American Historical Association, January 8, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia

“‘Progress and Peace, or Turmoil, Which?’: The Ku Klux Klan, Patriotism, and Religious Liberty in Bellingham, Washington, in the 1920s,” 2014 Annual Meeting, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, August 16, 2014, Portland, Oregon

“‘I Do Not Believe God Would Punish Parents for Following the Laws’:  The Tremain Case, Religion and Citizenship in the Pacific Northwest in the 1920s,” 2014 Pacific Northwest History Conference, April 3-5, 2014, Vancouver, Washington

“The Trial of Rommie Loudd: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Cold War Los Angeles,” 2013 Annual Meeting, Western History Association, October 9-12, 2013, Tucson, Arizona

“‘It Would Not Be Tolerated in an All-White Neighborhood’: African Americans and Weeds in Mid-Twentieth-Century Los Angeles,” 2102 Conference, American Society for Environmental History, March 29, 2012, Madison, Wisconsin

“African Americans, Pershing Square, and the Transformation of Queer Space in Los Angeles,” 2011 Annual Meeting, American Studies Association, October 20-23, 2011, Baltimore, Maryland

“The Campaign to Save Sugar Hill: African American Opposition to the Olympic Freeway,” 2011 Annual Meeting, Western History Association, October 13-16, 2011, Oakland, California

“Drowning in Los Angeles: Recognizing the Importance of Place in African American History,” 2008 Annual Meeting, Western History Association, October 22-25, 2008, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Race and Rabies: Public Health and Political Power in Cold War Los Angeles,” 2008 Annual Meeting, American Studies Association, October 16-19, 2008, Albuquerque, New Mexico

“‘Save Our Incinerators!’ African Americans and the Garbage Wars in Cold War Los Angeles,” 2008 Annual Meeting, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, August 9, 2008, Pasadena, California

“The Explosive Impact of Racial Discrimination: Politics and Disaster in Los Angeles,” 2005 Annual Meeting, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, August 5, 2005, Corvallis, Oregon

“‘I’m Just a Servant of the Moon’: Lucy Hicks, Race, and Gender in the Mid-Twentieth Century West,” 2004 Annual Meeting, Western History Association, October 13-16, 2004, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Awards

  • Western Washington University Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award, 2013
  • W. Turrentine Jackson Award, for the most outstanding dissertation on any aspect of the history of the western United States in the twentieth century, given by the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, 1993
  • Western History Association Bert M. Fireman Prize, for the best article by a graduate student published in the Western Historical Quarterly, 1990.

Research/Scholarly Activity

Leonard is currently working to complete a book that focuses on African Americans and the environment in Los Angeles after World War II. He is also working on an article on the African American community in Casper, Wyoming.