William D Goldsmith

William D Goldsmith

Instructor of History

Additional Data: 

20th Century United States

Curriculum Vitae


I specialize in the history of political economy, the postwar U.S., African American history, and public policy. 

My dissertation, “Kids, the New Cash Crop: The Promise and Limits of Educating for Economic Development in the New South,” traces how North Carolina—a rural Jim Crow state which long had the nation’s lowest manufacturing wages, abysmal educational attainment, and massive outmigration—became an emblem of the “New Economy,” focused on research, marketing, and financial services. Through archival government and nonprofit records, personal papers, and oral history, my work examines policy construction at the state level and its effects in the plantation belt, where rural white elites had long stymied equitable development. 

Before returning to school, I worked as a high school teacher in northeastern North Carolina and a journalist in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Ph.D., History, Fall 2018 (Expected)
Duke University

Masters, History, Spring 2014
Duke University

Bachelor of Arts, Spring 2002
Yale University

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University 2018

  • M.A., Duke University 2014

  • B.A., Yale University 2002

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship awarded by National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation (2017 to 2018)

Moody Research Grant awarded by Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation (2015)

Tobin Project Fellow on Democracy & Markets awarded by Tobin Project (2013 to 2014)

James B. Duke Fellowship awarded by Duke University (2011 to 2015)

A Short History of Education. Creator, Performing artist. https://modu.ssri.duke.edu/module/short-history-education-overview (2017)


This module covers some basic stepping stones to get you started on topics like the rationales behind public school systems, the struggles of teachers, how America has struggled to increase quality and opportunity in schools, how our advancements in science have changed how we educate our children, and why North Carolina is a good microcosm of national trends in education.

Spring 2019

Making Modern America (HISTORY 342)
Class Bldg 240, WF 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
U.s. Social Movements (HISTORY 344)
Class Bldg 103, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Fall 2018

American Business History (HISTORY 364D)
Bio Sci 113, Tu 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
American Business History (HISTORY 364D)
TBA, Th 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
Gtwy Sem: Cold War America (HISTORY 156S)
Class Bldg 229, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM

Spring 2016

The Modern Regulatory State (HISTORY 365D)
Carr 135, TuTh 03:05 PM-04:20 PM
The Modern Regulatory State (HISTORY 365D)
Languages 208, M 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
The Modern Regulatory State (HISTORY 365D)
Languages 312, M 10:05 AM-11:20 AM