Karin L. Zipf

Ph.D., University of Georgia

Office: Brewster A-219

Email: zipfk@ecu.edu

Phone: 252-328-1024

Fall 2021 Office Hours: History 1050: Online office hours via Webex & History 6020: Monday and Wednesday 11am-12pm and by appointment


Dr. Karin Zipf’s North Carolina roots run deep. Born in Durham and raised in Rocky Mount, she developed a fascination for southern history. As a college student, she attended and graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. After six years pursuing her masters and doctoral degrees in history at the University of Georgia, Zipf returned to North Carolina to teach at North Carolina Wesleyan College. From 2000-01 she served on the faculty at Appalachian State University in Boone. In August 2001, she joined the East Carolina University History Department in Greenville.

As her life and career have progressed, Dr. Zipf has reaffirmed her deep and abiding intellectual interest in the history of the United States, the American South, and the Atlantic World. Her interests lie in the study of gender, sexuality and race relations in the 19th and early 20th century American South. Her book, Labor of Innocents: Forced Apprenticeship in North Carolina, 1715-1919 appeared in 2005. The book examines the social and legal impact of apprenticeship on historical constructions of the family and patriarchal relations. Her articles on gender, race, women, apprenticeship, and Reconstruction have appeared in the Journal of Southern History, the Journal of Women’s History, the North Carolina Historical Review, and the Georgia Historical Quarterly. Her most recent book, Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory (LSU Press, 2016), examines North Carolina’s institutionalization and sterilization of juveniles in the Depression-era South.

Selected Publications:

Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory. LSU Press, 2016.

Winner of the 2016 Jules and Frances Landry Award in Southern Studies.

Winner of the 2016 Ragan Old North State Award for Non Fiction.

 Labor of Innocents: Forced Apprenticeship in North Carolina, 1715-1919 (LSU Press, 2005).

“Money in the Bank: African American Women, Finance, and Freedom in New Bern, North Carolina, 1868-1874” in eds., Larry E. Tise and Jeffrey J. Crow, New Voyages to Carolina: Reinterpreting North Carolina History (UNC Press, 2017):  166-193.

“In Defense of the Nation: Syphilis, North Carolina’s “Girl Problem,” and World War I.” North Carolina Historical Review. 89 (July 2012) 3: 276-300.

Digital Humanities Project

“Politics of a Massacre: Discovering Wilmington, 1898.”


Courses Offered:

HIST 1050: American History to 1877
HIST 3140: Women in American History
HIST 3000: History: Its Nature and Method
HIST 5220: Gender and the Atlantic World
HIST 5141: The U.S. South Since 1877
HIST 6020: American Colonial History
HIST 6155: Gender and the Cold War
HNRS 2011: Honors College Seminar: Humanities
WOST 4000: Senior Seminar in Women’s Studies