Dr. Karlos K. Hill is an expert on racism and race relations. Dr. Hill is an Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is also the founding director of the African and African American Studies Distinguished Lecture Series at the university.
Dr. Hill is a frequent commentator on issues of race, equity, and social justice. He has been quoted in Newswise, the Dallas Morning News, Texas Public Radio, and numerous times in local and regional news outlets. His weekly podcast Tapestry: A Conversation About Race and Culture has a global following.
Dr. Hill specializes in the history of lynching and the antilynching movement in America. His core research aim is to uncover the various ways in which racial violence has been central to the black experience in America. Additionally, Dr. Hill’s research explores how black Americans have resisted racial violence and how black resistance has changed over time.
His book Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory was published by Cambridge University Press in July 2016. Beyond the Rope is an interdisciplinary study that draws on narrative theory and cultural studies methodologies to trace African Americans’ changing attitudes and relationships to lynching over the twentieth century. Whereas African Americans are typically framed as victims of white lynch mob violence in both scholarly and public discourses, Dr. Hill reveals that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, African Americans lynched other African Americans in response to alleged criminality, and twentieth-century black writers envisaged African American lynch victims as exemplars of heroic manhood. Beyond the Rope illuminates the submerged histories of black vigilantism and black-authored narratives of the lynched black body in order to demonstrate that rather than being static and one-dimensional, African American attitudes toward lynching and the lynched black evolved in response to changing social and political contexts.
He is also completing a second book entitled The Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History to be published by Oxford University Press. Emmett Till is the most remembered lynch victim in American history. Till’s murder is often cited for sparking the Civil Rights Movement. The Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History’s primary aim is to commemorate the 60th anniversary [August 28, 2015] of the 1955 Emmett Till murder by providing an up-to-date and concise narrative of the murder that is reflective of the latest scholarship and recent developments in the case such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) reopening of the Emmett Till murder case in 2004, the US Senate’s formal apology for lynching in 2005, the FBI’s 2006 Emmett Till murder investigative report, and the passage of the 2008 Emmett Till Unsolved Crimes Act.
Dr. Hill has been awarded several prestigious fellowships and grants. Most notably, Dr. Hill was twice awarded the Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellowship (Luther College, 2008-2009 and St. Olaf College, 2007-2008) and the prestigious Coca Cola Museum Fellowship in 2001.
Besides teaching and research, Dr. Hill is heavily involved in community outreach and engagement.