Alexander Manevitz

Alexander Manevitz

Asst Professor

Weissman School of Arts and Sciences

Department: History

Areas of expertise: African American History, 19th Century United States History, History of New York City, History of Capitalism, Historical Memory

Email Address: alexander.manevitz@baruch.cuny.edu

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Alexander Manevitz is an historian, educator, and public scholar on race, freedom, and urbanism in the nineteenth-century United States and New York City. He specializes in African American history, the history of early American capitalism, and how a diverse array of Americans shaped the growth of the cities we live in today.

His current research project and book manuscript, The Rise and Fall of Seneca Village: Remaking Race and Space in Nineteenth-Century New York City, is under contract with Cornell University Press. At the intersection of African American history, the history of urban development, and questions of historical memory, Professor Manevitz investigates Seneca Village, the largest African American landowning community in New York City until it was destroyed to build Central Park in the late antebellum period. Piecing together forgotten traces of the neighborhood and highlighting the voices of marginalized New Yorkers, he analyzes the creation, destruction, and dispersal of a free Black community that grappled with racial discrimination, internal class tensions, and the inequalities of a transforming urban property regime to establish an experimental model of Black freedom and citizenship.

Professor Manevitz teaches courses in American history, African American history, as well as the histories of capitalism and New York City. With experience in both higher education and secondary schools, he seeks to expand students’ views of the world and enable them to analyze the past from multiple perspectives, using interdisciplinary methods to highlight diverse voices and experiences. By thinking critically about the past’s implications for the world around them today, students learn that history is an ongoing process in which they have the power to intervene.

Professor Manevitz received his Ph.D. in U.S. History from New York University in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty and students of Baruch, he has been a Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at Trinity College (Hartford), a Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellow at the New-York Historical Society and the New School University, and a history teacher at an independent secondary school. He has collaborated with New York City cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New-York Historical Society, and you can find his work in publications from the Journal of Urban History to the Washington Post.

Education

Ph.D., History, New York University New York United States

B.A., History, Trinity College Hartford United States

SemesterCourse PrefixCourse NumberCourse Name
Fall 2023HIS3060African American History
Fall 2023BLS3060African American History
Spring 2023BLS3060African American History
Spring 2023HIS3060African American History
Spring 2023HIS1005Modern American History
Spring 2023HIS1005Modern American History
Fall 2022HIS1005Modern American History
Fall 2022HIS1005Modern American History
Fall 2022BLS3060African American History
Fall 2022HIS3060African American History

Books

Manevitz, A. The Rise and Fall of Seneca Village: Remaking Race and Space in Nineteenth-Century New York City. Cornell University Press. In Progress.

Journal Articles

Manevitz, A. (2022). “A Great Injustice”: Urban Capitalism and the Limits of Freedom in Nineteenth-Century New York City. Journal of Urban History, 48(6). pp. 1365–1382.

Media Contributions

Manevitz, A. (2020). “Seneca Village,” Sites and Sounds Podcast, Season 3: Lost NYC, Gotham Center for New York City History, City University of New York. .

Manevitz, A. (2020). “The Failures of Reconstruction Have Never Been More Evident — or Relevant — Than Today,” Washington Post.

Manevitz, A. (2014). “Seneca Village Memory: The Problem of Forgetting,” The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History .

Presentations

Manevitz, A. (2024, February 16). Foundations of Seneca Village. Faculty Fellowship Publication Program. New York: CUNY.

Manevitz, A. Power and the Possibilities of Remembering: Unearthing Hidden Black Histories in New York City. Trinity Social Justice Institute: Trinity College.

Manevitz, A. "Seneca Village Stories: Opportunities and Inequalities". Early American Republic Seminar, Department of History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York. The Graduate Center: City University of New York.

Manevitz, A. Graduate History Teaching Workshop and Orientation. : Department of History, New York University.

Manevitz, A. (2024, March 16). “Partnerships in History Education: K – 12 Educators, Public historians, and Academic Historians in Collaboration”. "Confronting Crises: History for Uncertain Times" Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians. Lost Angeles, California: Organization of American Historians.

Manevitz, A. (2024, October 16). “The Social Destruction of Seneca Village: Environmental Propaganda and the Creation of Central Park”. Olmsted: Bicentennial Perspectives. : Harvard University, Graduate School of Design.

Manevitz, A. “Recovering Fragments and the Stories of Seneca Village". Before Yesterday We Could Fly: A Creative Convening on Afrofuturism. : Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Manevitz, A. “Redefining African American Freedom in Seneca Village and the Archives”. Slavery in New York. : New York University.

Manevitz, A. “Racialized Urban Reform and the Dispossession of Village”. Race and the Environment. : New York University.

Manevitz, A. “Fairness, Power, and Progress in Seneca Village and New York City”. Sixth Grade Assembly. : Riverdale Country School.

Manevitz, A. “Finding Freedom in Seneca Village and New York City”. History Club. : California State University, Chico.

Manevitz, A. “Freedom and the Built Environment of Seneca Village”. Building Urban America. : Suffolk University.

Manevitz, A. “Seneca Village: Yorkville and the Transformation of New York City”. Past and Future. : 1014, Inc..

Manevitz, A. “Urban Capitalism and the Limits of Freedom”. History Department Workshop. : The New School.

Manevitz, A. “Living a Free Life in Seneca Village”. Teen Scholars Program. : New-York Historical Society.

Manevitz, A. “The Meaning of Freedom in Seneca Village”. Library Fellows Series. : New-York Historical Society.

Manevitz, A. “Living and Finding a Free Life in Seneca Village”. Lab for Teen Thinkers. : Bard Graduate Center.

Manevitz, A. “Real Estate and Reimagining African American Free Space in New York City”. 2020 Annual Meeting. : Vernacular Architecture Forum – New England.

Manevitz, A. “Where Death Himself Hesitates to Enter”: The Social Destruction of Seneca Village and the Struggle for Environmental Control in Antebellum New York City”. The Atlantic History Workshop. : New York University.

Manevitz, A. “The Liberatory Limits of Urban Capitalism: Freedom and Property in Seneca Village”. Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. : Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and Harvard Law School.

Manevitz, A. “How to Destroy a Neighborhood: Marginalizing Land and People to Build Central Park in Nineteenth-Century New York City”. Global Vantage Points Lecture Series. : Center for Urban and Global Studies, Trinity College.

Manevitz, A. “Seneca Village and the Contested Meanings of Property in Nineteenth-Century New York City”. : McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Manevitz, A. “‘A Great Injustice:’ Seneca Villagers’ Fight for Land in Antebellum New York City”. Engaging the Urban in the Liberal Arts. : Center for Urban and Global Studies, Trinity College.

Manevitz, A. “Stories of Seneca Village in Early Republic New York City”. Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. : Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and Yale University.

Manevitz, A. “Seneca Village Stories: Race, Space, and Freedom on the Edges of Nineteenth-Century New York City”. : Program in American Studies, Trinity College.

Manevitz, A. “Central Park Walking Tour”. Historic Sites Seminar. : Department of Museum Studies, New York University.

Manevitz, A. “Seneca Village, Racial Elevation, and the Anxieties of Antebellum New York’s Black Middle Class”. Conference on the Early American Republic. : Early American Republic Seminar, City University of New York.

Manevitz, A. “Race, Rhetoric, and the Politics of Movement,” Panel Chair. Bustle and Stir: Movement and Exchange in Early America. : McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Manevitz, A. “Creating Handbooks to Promote Excellent Teaching by Graduate Students”. Teaching Development Lunch Program. : Center for the Advancement of Teaching, New York University.

Manevitz, A. “Permanence and the Construction of Freedom in Seneca Village”. “New Perspectives on Migration and Mobility in the Long Nineteenth Century”. : George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center Emerging Scholars Workshop, Pennsylvania State University.

Manevitz, A. “Seneca Village: Life and Community at the Edges of Antebellum New York," conference on “Metropolitics”. Metropolitics. : Urban History Association and the University of Pennsylvania.

Manevitz, A. “Remembering Seneca Village as an Urban Alternative”. “Abiding Cities and Remnant Sites”. : Department of Comparative Literature, City University of New York.

Manevitz, A. "Foundations of Seneca Village". Early American Republic Seminar, Department of History, Graduate Center, City University of New York. Graduate Center: City University of New York.

Manevitz, A. Finding Seneca Village in the Archives”. Slavery in Early North America Seminar. : Department of History, University of Richmond.

Manevitz, A. “The Physical and Historical Destruction of Seneca Village”. Radical Archives. : Asian/Pacific/American Institute, New York University.

Manevitz, A. “Archival Traces and the Memory of Seneca Village”. Traces of Early America. : McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Other Scholarly Works

Manevitz, A. (2019). “Seneca Village and Memory” Dialogues on a Future Communications. Dialogues on a Future Communications.

Manevitz, A. (2018). "Seneca Village". Under One Roof: Global Lessons in the Struggle for Democratic Housing, Report for the Right to the City Alliance.

Reviews

Manevitz, A. (1970,January 1). Book review: Melissa Bullard, Brooklyn’s Renaissance: Commerce, Culture, and Community in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World. Journal of the Early Republic.

Honor / AwardOrganization SponsorDate ReceivedDescription
Faculty Fellowship Publication ProgramCUNY2023-11-28
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Postdoctoral FellowNew-York Historical Society2019-09-03
Public Humanities Collaborative Faculty MentorCenter for Hartford Engagement and Research, Trinity College2019-07-08
Faculty Writing Fellowship2018-09-03
Fleischman Endowed New York Travel Fund2017-09-04
Junior Faculty Research FellowshipInstitute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Trinity College2017-09-04
Visiting Research AssociateMcNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania2016-01-25
Friends of the McNeil Center FellowshipMcNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania2015-08-31
Provost's Global Research Initiative Visiting Graduate FellowNew York University, Washington D.C.2014-09-01
Bessie and George Levy Award for Excellence in American HistoryDepartment of History, New York University2014-08-30
Graduate Student Summer FundingDepartment of History, New York University2014-06-09
Mellon Foundation Pre-Dissertation Research GrantMellon Foundation and the Department of History, New York University2012-06-04
Berger-MacCracken FellowshipDepartment of History, New York University2010-08-30

College

Committee NamePosition RoleStart DateEnd Date
Curriculum Committee, Department of HistoryCommittee MemberPresent
Black and Latino StudiesAffiliated FacultyPresent
History Department Table - Weissman Majors and Minors FairCommittee MemberPresent

University

Committee NamePosition RoleStart DateEnd Date
Gotham Center for New York City History, Gotham BlogContributing Editor9/1/202012/18/2020
Gotham Center for New York City History, Gotham BlogAssociate Editor9/2/20195/22/2020

Public

OrganizationPosition RoleOrganization StateOrganization CountryStart DateEnd DateAudience
Primus Project: Slavery, Race, and Reconstruction at Trinity CollegeCommittee MemberConnecticutUnited StatesPresentNational
New-York Historical Society, Department of EducationVisiting Scholar and Curriculum AdvisorNew YorkUnited StatesPresentNational
Graduate Teaching Collaborative, New York UniversityOfficer, Other OfficerNew YorkUnited StatesPresentLocal
Ann Petry Book Prize, Program in American Studies, Trinity CollegeJudgeConnecticutUnited StatesPresentLocal
Atlantic History Workshop, New York UniversityProgram CoordinatorNew YorkUnited StatesPresentInternational
New York City History Day, Museum of the City of New YorkJudgeNew YorkUnited StatesPresentLocal