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Dr. Michael Durfee

Dr. Michael Durfee

Associate Professor

Office Location:
Timon Hall, Room 132


Focus of Teaching

  • U.S. History I and II
  • America in the Contemporary World
  • Origins of the Urban Crisis
  • The War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration
  • The Crack Era in Context
  • Rise of Black America
  • The Long Civil Rights Movement
  • Introduction to Research
  • World Civilizations I and II

Current Research and Presentations

Michael Durfee completed his dissertation entitled: “Crack Era Reform: A Brief History of Crack and the Rise of the Carceral State, 1985-1992” in the Spring of 2015.  His work analyzes grassroots activism preceding and following the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988 engaging the politics of respectability, media at the height of the crack panic, antagonisms between police and Bronx residents, as well as the troubling rise of Mass Incarceration in the Crack Era.  Additionally, he currently serves as a Contributing Editor to Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.

2009 – “The Devil and Len Bias” - SUNY Buffalo Milton Plesur Graduate History Conference – Buffalo, NY - Presenter

June 26, 2011 – “The Devil and Len Bias: The Cultural Mechanics of the 1986 Crack Panic” - The Pub, The Street, and the Medicine Cabinet – Alcohol and Drugs History Society – Buffalo, NY - Presenter and Conference Coordinator

October 27, 2012 – “ ‘Taking Back the Streets of America’:  Black-lash and the Origins of Crack Era Reform” - The Cosmopolitan Metropolis – Urban History Association – New York City, NY – Presenter

January 25, 2013 – “Rethinking Affirmative Action” - Martin Luther King Jr. Week Speaker Series – Niagara University Multicultural Center – Niagara University, NY – Presenter

February 2, 2013 – “Degrees of Freedom:  Unpacking the Emancipation Proclamation” - Black History Month Exhibit – Niagara Power Vista – Lewiston, NY – Presenter

February 23, 2013 – “The Reverend Wendell Foster’s Holy War on Drugs” - Deviants, Taboos, and Unmentionables – University of Rochester Fourth Annual Graduate Conference – Rochester, NY – Presenter

April 20, 2013 – “ ‘Taking Back the Streets of America’:  Black-lash and the Origins of Crack Era Reform” - New York State Political Science Association 2013 Annual Conference – Syracuse, NY – Presenter

May 11, 2013 – “A Grassroots War on Drugs: Black-lash in the Bronx” - The American Racial State in the Long Twentieth Century – University of Michigan Graduate Student Conference – Ann Arbor, MI - Presenter

June 22, 2013 – “The Fire Below: Grassroots Drug Reform in the Crack Era” - Under Control? Alcohol and Drug Regulation, Past and Present – Alcohol and Drugs History Society – London, UK – Presenter

November 23, 2013 – “ ‘Taking Back the Streets of America’:  Black-lash and the Origins of Crack Era Reform” – Organizing Powers - Social Science History Association – Chicago, IL – Presenter

October 11, 2014 – “Condemning Crack, Condemning Crime, Condemning Ourselves: Crack Era Reform From the Grassroots to Washington” – Urban History Association – Philadelphia, PA – Presenter

November 6, 2014 – “48 Hours On Crack Street:  How TV News and Congressional Politics Obstructed Grassroots Organizing – Inequalities: Politics, Policy, and the Past - Social Science History Association – Toronto, ON – Presenter

January 5, 2015 – “The Boogie-Down Bronx Goes to Washington: Writing the Grassroots Out of Crack Era Reform” - History and Other Disciplines – American Historical Association – New York City, New York – Presenter

Educational Background

Ph.D., History, SUNY Buffalo, 2015

M.A. History, SUNY Buffalo, 2010

M.A. Teaching, Lewis and Clark College, 2007

B.A. History, SUNY Buffalo, 2006

Current Involvement

  • American Historical Association
  • Urban History Association
  • Alcohol and Drugs History Society
  • Social Science History Association
  • Contributing Editor – Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society