Professor Purnell came to Bowdoin in 2010 after teaching and directing a public history project for six years in New York City. His scholarship has focused on modern US history, especially the history of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and the history of U.S. cities after World War II. He offers a range of courses in African American Studies such as, “The Wire:” Race, Class, Gender and the U.S. “Urban Crisis,” which was featured on C-SPAN’s television series, Lectures in American History. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he received his M.A. (2004) and Ph.D. (2006) in History at New York University and his B.A. (2000) in History and African American Studies from Fordham University.