Lance C. Thurner

Department of History, Rutgers University, Newark


I am foremost a pedagogue. In the classroom and one-on-one, my approach is to recognize the innate intellectuality of my students and to work with them with respect and honesty to develop this capacity. This entails openly explaining and examining pedagogical practices, their place in higher education, and higher ed’s place in history and society with the goal of empowering students to take charge of their own education. In-person and online, my objective is to forge learning communities in which students work together to critically examine the production of knowledge while experimenting with own agency to produce knowledge in the contexts of the 21st century. I am particularly interested in how to employ (and hack) tools of the digital humanities to achieve feminist, decolonial, and anti-racist teaching goals. This website, Empire’s Progeny, and its sister project, States of Belonging, manifest my current projects of digital critical pedagogy.

I am also a historian of science and medicine in Latin America. My research concerns the production of racial and medical knowledge in late-colonial and early national Mexico, in particular the role of indigenous communities and other subaltern actors in the circulation of knowledge between spaces in Mexico and Europe and North America. Through this work, I contribute to the wider efforts of historians to globalize the history of science and medicine by extending our notions of what constitutes scientific knowledge and who does science. Some short, fun examples aimed at popular audiences can be found here:

My professional activities also concern the future of adjunct labor in American colleges and universities. As a member of the Organization of American Historians’ (OAH) Committee on Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Employment (CPACE), I organize events in which practitioners in the discipline can discuss the long-term consequences of adjunctification for historical scholarship and pedagogical practice. I am currently updating the OAH’s Best Practices and Standards for Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Faculty and convening workshops to gain feedback from diverse perspectives from across the discipline.

I earned my doctorate in History at Rutgers University and a Master of Arts in Oral History from Columbia University.

I can be reached at lancet (at)