Tobias Gibson

Kinder Institute Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow,
Dr. Tobias T. Gibson is the Dr. John Langton Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at Westminster College, in Fulton, MO. He is the co-editor of two books: Contextualizing Security: A Reader, published by the University of Georgia Press; and the recently released Red Reckoning: The Cold War and the Transformation of American Life, published by LSU Press. Dr. Gibson earned his Ph.D. and A.M. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and his B.A. in History and Political Science from Indiana University.

His research interests explore the intersection of law, policy, and national security. He has published numerous book chapters, scholarly articles, and public scholarship in outlets such as The Hill, The Monkey Cage, and Missouri’s newspapers of record.

Dr. Gibson is a Distinguished Fellow with the Institute for Security Policy and Law at Syracuse University, an editor with the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and joins the Kinder Institute during the Spring 2024 semester as a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow.

Lily Santoro

Kinder Institute Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow,
Dr. Lily Santoro is an Associate Professor of Historic Preservation and History at Southeast Missouri State University, where she teaches courses in early American History and Public History. Dr. Santoro earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in American History from the University of Delaware and completed her B.A. in History at the University of Southern California. She holds certificates in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware and Digital Archives and Records Management from San Jose State University.

Dr. Santoro’s current research explores the discourse of popularized science in mid-nineteenth century African American newspapers. Focusing on discussions of topics such as polygenism and comparative anatomy, this study attempts to expand our understanding of the conversations the Black community had among themselves about scientific racism and citizenship as the politics of race shifted between the 1820s and 1870s. Her previous publications focused on the popularization of science in early national Philadelphia and ideas of national identity in popular print culture such as almanacs and periodicals in the late eighteenth-century Anglophone Atlantic.

Dr. Santoro is also an active public historian with experience as a project archivist, collections assistant, and exhibit curator. In partnership with the Bollinger Center for Regional History, she is spearheading the Southeast Missouri History Gateway project, a digital history project that provides training, consultation, and digital platform to under-resourced cultural heritage institutions to digitize archival collections for public access. She joins the Kinder Institute during AY 2023-24 as a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow.

Christa Dierksheide

Kinder Institute Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow,
Christa Dierksheide is Brockman Foundation Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professor and Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Amelioration and Empire: Progress and Slavery in the Plantation Americas, 1770-1840 (Virginia, 2014) and a forthcoming global history of Jefferson’s family members on both sides of the color line, ca. 1820-1880 (Yale). Formerly Historian at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, she has curated several exhibitions and written and lectured about the early United States for a wide variety of scholarly and public audiences. Her next book project, co-authored with Nicholas Guyatt, is Jefferson’s Wolf: The Struggle to End Slavery in the Founding Era (Harvard). She will join the Kinder Institute during AY 2023-24 as a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow.