Women’s and Gender Studies

Contact Us:
Dr. Brenda Bethman

(816) 235-1116  
Fax (816) 235-1117

University of Missouri-Kansas City
208 Haag Hall
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Diane Mutti-Burke

Diane Mutti-BurkeDepartment of History
Cockefair Hall 203

(816) 235-2549
FAX (816) 235-5723

Diane Mutti-Burke, Associate Professor History, (BA, Dartmouth College, and MA and PhD, Emory University).

Mutti Burke’s award-winning first book On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 (University of Georgia Press, 2010) is a bottom-up examination of how slavery and slaveholding were influenced by both the geography and the scale of the slaveholding enterprise. On Slavery’s Border focuses on the Missouri counties located along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to investigate small-scale slavery at the level of the household and neighborhood. She examines such topics as small slaveholders’ child-rearing and fiscal strategies, the economics of slavery, relations between slaves and owners, the challenges faced by enslaved families, sociability among enslaved and free Missourians within rural neighborhoods, and the disintegration of slavery during the Civil War.

Mutti Burke has written a number of articles about slavery, women, and the Civil War in Missouri. She co-edited, with her colleague John Herron, a collection of articles about Kansas City from the Missouri Historical Review called Kansas City, America’s Crossroads, as well as a new collection of scholarly articles on the Missouri/Kansas Border War called Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border, co-edited with Jonathan Earle (University Press of Kansas, 2013). The articles in this collection were the product of a major public conference on the Civil War on the border held at the Kansas City Public Library in November 2011. In addition, Dr. Mutti Burke is completing an edited and annotated diary of a small-slaveholding Cooper County, Missouri woman named Paulina Stratton and has started work on a monograph about refugee populations during the Civil War.

Mutti Burke is deeply engaged in bringing the history of this region to the public through her role as the Director of UMKC’s Center for Midwestern Studies. She regularly speakers to public audiences and consulted with a number of cultural institutions in the region about their Civil War Sesquicentennial programming. She also directs a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop on the UMKC campus (Summers 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014). This program brings 80 teachers from throughout the nation to attend the week-long classes on the Kansas and Missouri Border Wars.

Mutti Burke teaches courses on the Civil War, the U.S. South, U.S. Women’s History, and 19th century U.S. social history.