Poverty and Mobility in the Early American Republic
Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan is the author of Vagrants and Vagabonds: Poverty and Mobility in the Early American Republic, published by New York University Press in 2019. Vagrants and Vagabonds focuses on the control over poor migrants’ mobility and how their movement shaped ideas of class, race, and status in the United States. Examining how local and state government’s criminalized vagrancy, O’Brassill-Kulfan illustrates that the vagrant, whether real of a figment of people’s imaginations, were crucial to the development of the state and ideas about community.
Dr. O’Brassill-Kulfan is an instructor of public history at Rutgers University. She specializes in early American social and legal history, as well as public history.
Derek Litvak is a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Maryland.
Derek Litvak is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland—College Park. His dissertation, "The Specter of Black Citizens: Race, Slavery, and Citizenship in the Early United States," examines how citizenship was used to both bolster the institution of slavery and exclude Black Americans from the body politic.