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Andrea Ringer, PhD


Andrea Ringer is a labor historian specializing in interspecies workplaces and more-than-human histories. Her current project, Circus World: Roustabouts, Lions, and Other Tented Workers, 1880-1980, explores the circus as a workplace and the history of its human and animal laborers.  Using more than a dozen archives from across the country, interviews, trade journals, and hundreds of local newspapers, her work explores how the relevancy of the circus depended on the blurred lines between laborer and performer in this interspecies workplace.  Her next book project through Vanderbilt University Press is an animal history of Nashville’s transportation revolution in the early twentieth century. It explores the lived experiences of captive and working animals in early Nashville, particularly its equine workers, and the way their labor and leisure became iconic parts of Nashville’s landscape. 


210A Crouch Hall,  (615) 963-7357 aringer1@tnstate.edu


PhD, History, University of Memphis

MA, Public History, University of Arkansas- Little Rock

BA, History, Texas A&M University

Courses Taught

Global Culture in History, American History I & II, America Behind Bars, The African Diaspora, The African Caribbean

Research Interests

Atlantic World, labor and working-class history, migration and diaspora, more-than-human histories, public history

Selected Publications

“Captive Breeding and the Commodification of “Surplus” Animals at the Central Park Zoo, 1886–1974,” Bellwether Histories: Animals, Humans, and U.S Environments in Crisis., eds. Susan Nance and Jennifer Marks, University of Washington Press, 2023 

“’Just take care of them like you would a baby’: Infant Care Work and Interspecies Foodways,” Gender and History, Fall 2022 

 “We Fight Anything that Fights the Circus: Labor Organizing Under the Big Top,” LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History, Fall 2022 

“My Lady Vaudeville and Her White Rats,” Teaching Labor’s Story 2020