Dr Katherine Mellen Charron

Associate Professor

Picture of Dr Katherine Mellen Charron


Katherine Mellen Charron is a native of North Carolina who joined NC State's History Department's faculty in the fall of 2007. She has taught classes on the civil rights and Black Power movements, southern history, U.S. women's and gender history, the U.S. in the 20th century, post-1945 U.S. history, American history and memory, and research/methods classes for history majors. In 2011, she was inducted into the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers. In 2017, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences named her an Outstanding Undergraduate Professor.

Dr. Charron's first monograph, Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark (UNC Press, 2009) won the 2010 Julia Cherry Spruill Prize for the best book in southern women's history, awarded by the Southern Association of Women's Historians; and the 2010 George C. Rogers Jr. prize for best book in South Carolina history, awarded by the South Carolina Historcal Society.

Teaching and Research Interests

20th Century U.S. History; African American, southern, and women's and gender history.


Professor Mellen Charron is currently at work on several projects, including two monographs exploring women's activism and the African American freedom struggle in rural northeastern North Carolina in the post-Voting Rights Act (1965) era. She has also completed a website and walking tour of black women's history in Charleston, South Carolina, in collaboration with the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative.



Charron, Katherine Mellen. Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

*Enhanced eBook version, March 2012. Available for iPad, Nook readers from Amazon; also available for laptop users through Google Books.

Charron, Katherine Mellen, and David S. Cecelski, eds. Recollections of My Slavery Days by William Henry Singleton. Raleigh: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1999.


Charron, Katherine Mellen and Cherisse Jones-Branch. "'We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest': The Civil Rights Movement." In Rewriting Southern History, edited by Lorri Glover and Craig Thompson Friend. Baton Rouge: Lousisana State University Press, forthcoming, 2019. 

Charron, Katherine Mellen. “Remembering Individuals, Remembering Communities: Septima P. Clark and Public History in Charleston, SC." In collaboration with the Lowcountry Digital History Iniative, College of Charleston, February 1, 2017. http://ldhi.libray.cofc.edu/exhibits/show/septima_clark

Charron, Katherine Mellen. “Septima Poinsette Clark: The Evolution of an Educational Stateswoman.” In South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, vol. 3, edited by Joan M. Johnson, Valinda Littlefield, and Majorie J. Spruill, 240-61. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012.

Charron, Katherine Mellen. “Jim Crow: The Difficult and Anti-Democratic Work of White Supremacy.” Beyond the Texbook. National Educational Clearinghouse, summer 2011. http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/beyond-the-textbook/24691

Charron, Katherine Mellen, and David P. Cline, eds. “’I Train the People to Do Their Own Talking’: Septima Clark and Women in the Civil Rights Movement.” Southern Cultures (Summer 2010): 31-52.  

Charron, Katherine Mellen. Contributor to “’The Nellie Tree’, or Disbanding the Wheatley Court,” short essays in honor of Professor Nellie Y. McKay, edited by Kimberly Blockett and Gregory Rutledge. African American Review 40:1 (Spring 2006): 53.

Charron, Katherine Mellen. “We’ve Come a Long Way: Septima Clark, the Warings, and the Changing Civil Rights Movement.” In Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America, edited by Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard, 116-39. New York: New York University Press, 2005.

Mellen, Katherine M. “Toni Cade Bambara.” In Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography, Supplement, Modern Writers, 1900-1998, 16-25. Washington DC: Gale Research, 1999.

Mellen, Katherine M. “Toni Cade Bambara,” “June Jordan,” “Audre Lorde,” and “Timeline 1900-1959.” In Dictionary of Twentieth Century African-American Culture, edited by Sandra Adell. Detroit: Gale Research, 1996.


Graduate Advising

Professor Mellen Charron works with graduate students with interests in race, gender, class, and culture in geographically distinct contexts in the 20th century U.S.  


Professor Mellen Charron is the Class Scheduler for the History Department.


  • Ph.D., M.A., M.Phil in History from Yale University, 2005
  • MA in Afro-American Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997
  • BA, summa cum laude, in Literature from University of North Carolina-Asheville, 1993