Jeff Snyder is an Associate Professor in the department of Educational Studies at Carleton College. He studies modern U.S. history, from the turn of the twentieth century to yesterday. Snyder's work explores the connections between the history of education and broader trends in American cultural and intellectual history, examining questions about race, national identity and the purpose of public education in a diverse, democratic society. His teaching focuses on past and present educational policy and school reform movements.
Snyder has a keen interest in issues of academic freedom and free expression, especially as they relate to liberal arts education. He was a Fellow with the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement during the 2022-2023 academic-year, along with his Carleton colleague Amna Khalid. They focused on threats to academic freedom in Florida, the state at the epicenter of the conservative movement to encourage state intervention in public school classrooms. Based on interviews Snyder and Khalid conducted with Florida faculty members, they submitted an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs who are challenging the Stop WOKE Act.
Snyder is the author of the book Making Black History: The Color Line, Culture and Race in the Age of Jim Crow. It shows how the study and celebration of the Black past became a pillar of African American life during the Jim Crow era, intersecting with the development of segregated Black schools, the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights movement.
Snyder's articles, essays and book reviews have appeared in academic journals such as History of Education Quarterly, Schools and Teachers College Record. He is also a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines, including American Prospect, Arc Digital, Boston Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Conversation, The Daily Beast, Education Week, Inside Higher Ed, The New Republic, Persuasion, The Point, Public Seminar, Salmagundi, the Star Tribune, Washington Monthly and The Washington Post. His work has been cited in The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets.
A Carleton alumnus, Snyder majored in psychology and minored in educational studies. He holds an EdM in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a PhD in the History of Education from New York University.
Before pursuing graduate studies, he taught English to Speakers of Other Languages to students of all ages and ability levels in the Czech Republic, France, China, India, Nepal and the United States.