Craig Steven Wilder studies United States urban history, with a particular focus on race, religion, and culture.
Professor Wilder is the author of A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn (Columbia: 2000/2001) and In the Company of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City (NYU: 2001/2004). Professor Wilder’s new book reexamines the origins of the American academy, and will be published as Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of American Colleges (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013).
In 2004, Columbia University awarded him the University Medal of Excellence during its 250th Anniversary Commencement.
Craig Steven Wilder began his career as a community organizer in the South Bronx. He continues to offer seminars on urban affairs and race relations for community organizations. He also provides curricular and professional development workshops for public school teachers in low-income areas of New York City.
For the past several years, Professor Wilder has worked with the Bard Prison Initiative as a guest lecturer, commencement speaker, academic advisor, and visiting professor. For more than a decade, this innovative program has given hundreds of men and women the opportunity to acquire a college education during their incarcerations in the New York State prison system. Initiated and funded by Bard College, BPI has enjoyed extraordinary success in New York and it has launched similar programs in other states.
Professor Wilder has advised and appeared in numerous historical documentaries, including Ken Burns and Sarah Burns’ film, “The Central Park Five”; Kelly Anderson and Allison Lirish Dean’s highly praised exploration of gentrification, “My Brooklyn”; the History Channel series, “F.D.R.: A Presidency Revealed”; and the award-winning PBS series, “New York: A Documentary History.”
Professor Wilder has directed or advised exhibits at regional and national museums, including the Brooklyn Historical Society, the New-York Historical Society, the Chicago History Museum, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center (“BLDG 92”), the New York State Museum, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the Weeksville Heritage Center. He was one of the original historians for the Museum of Sex in New York City, and he maintains an active public history program.