David P. Cline

David Cline

Office: AL 529
Phone: (619) 594-0476
Email: [email protected]


Ph.D., United States History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2010)

M.A., United States History and Public History, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (2004)

B.A., African Studies, Macalester College (1991) 

David P. Cline is Professor of History and Founding Director of the SDSU Center for Public and Oral History. He specializes in 20th and 21st century U.S. social movements, religion, sports history, oral history, digital history, and public history, and oversees the SDSU Graduate Certificate in Public History. From 2013-2020 he was a Lead Interviewer and Research Scholar for the Civil Rights History Project of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and from 2011-2017 he was Assistant Professor of History at Virginia Tech and Director/Associate Director of the Graduate Certificate in Public History there. David was also the Associate and Acting Director of the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2008 to 2011. David has been Principal Investigator or Co-PI on grant projects of over $2 million, most of them dealing with oral history and digital history. He is currently in charge of two major grant projects in California: the Relevancy and History Project at Old Town State Historic Park and the California Oral History Project for the California State Archives. In 2022, he was recipient of a Public Scholar Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for work on the book The Last Great Trip to Nowhere: A True Story of the Brazilian Jungle and the Final Gasps of the Victorian Age of Exploration.

David's most recent book is Twice Forgotten: African Americans in the Korean War, An Oral History (UNC Press, 2022), nominated for the Oral History Association Book Award and the Museum of African American History Stone Book Award. Twice Forgotten explores African American military service and the desegregation of the US military in the Korean War as a crucial step in the Civil Rights Movement. Library Journal, in a starred review, called “this exceptionally researched volume … an essential, insightful read,” Publisher’s Weekly called it “a treasure chest of insight into the Black military experience,” and the American Library Association’s Choice magazine says, “Cline has assembled an impressive oral history of African American soldiers in the Korean War and the impact that these returning veterans had on the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement in the US.” David is also the author of From Revolution to Reconciliation: The Student Interracial Ministry, Liberal Christianity, and the Civil Rights Movement (UNC Press, 2016) of which CHOICE said: “Every academic and church library should acquire this timely, important book.” Nominated for the 2017 Oral History Association Book Prize, it examines the story of the Student Interracial Ministry, founded at the same time and place as its better-known ally the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, but whose seminarian members wanted to not only dismantle Jim Crow in the South but also change the mainline Protestant churches' approach to racial issues. David is also the author of Creating Choice: A Community Responds to the Need for Abortion and Birth Control, 1961-1973 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), which explored community reproductive rights networks in Massachusetts prior to the Roe V. Wade decision. Creating Choice was honored with a Margaret Sanger Award in 2006 and an Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Journal of Massachusetts in 2019. He is also co-editor, with Kristin Lawlor and Michael Roberts, of Roll and Flow: The Cultural Politics of Skateboarding and Surfing (SDSU Press, 2023).


Twice Forgotten: African American Veterans in the Korean War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021)

From Reconciliation to Revolution: The Student Interracial Ministry, Liberal Christianity, and the Civil Rights Movement (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

Creating Choice: A Community Responds to the Need for Abortion and Birth Control, 1961-1973 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)

Edited Volume

Kristin Lawler, Michael Roberts, and David P. Cline, eds. Roll and Flow: The Cultural Politics of Skateboarding and Surfing (San Diego: San Diego State University Press, 2023).

Journal Articles

“Surprising Allies: The Struggle Over Birth Control and Abortion in 1960s Massachusetts,” (Editor’s Choice Award Winner), Historical Journal of Massachusetts, Summer 2019.

“Using Augmented Reality and Virtual Environments in Historic Places to Scaffold Historical Empathy,” Sweeney, S.K., Newbill P., Ogle T., Terry, K.P., Hicks, D., Tucker, T. & Cline, D. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, v. 62, n. 1, pp. 114-118, Jan. 2018.

“‘If This Place Could Talk’: Using Augmented Reality to Make the Past Visible," Aaron Johnson, David Hicks, Todd Ogle, Doug Bowman, David Cline, and Eric Ragan, Social Education, 81(2), 2017, 112-116.

With Harman, R., Abrahams, T., Kulak, A., Serra, A., Boggs, E., Larkin, S., Rogers, J., Stant, A., Warnick, Q., & Powell, K. “(Co)Constructing Public Memories: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Creating Born-Digital Oral History Archives,” Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. 2017, Vol. 13, No. 2, 123-132.  

“CI-Spy: Designing A Mobile Augmented Reality System for Scaffolding Historical Inquiry Learning. Mixed and Augmented Reality-Media, Art, Social Science, Humanities and Design,” With Gurjot Singh, Doug Bowman, David Hicks, Todd Ogle, Aaron Johnson, Rose Zlokas, Thomas Tucker, and Eric Ragan. ISMAR- MASH’D, pp. 9-14. 2015 IEEE International Symposium, IEEdx.doi.org/10.1109/ISMARMASHD.2015.19.

“Mountain Feminist: Helen Matthews Lewis, Appalachian Studies and the Long Women’s Movement,” with Jessica Wilkerson, Southern Cultures, Fall 2011, 48-65.

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

Book chapters

“Street Movement: San Diego’s Rolling for Rights Activism and Skateboarding’s Potential for Manifesting Social Change” in Roll and Flow: The Cultural Politics of Skateboarding and Surfing. Lawler, Kristin; Roberts, Michael; and Cline, David P. (San Diego: SDSU Press, 2023).

“‘Going Back to God’: Religion in the United States Civil Rights Movement,” in William Chafe and Noor Nieftagodien, eds., Social Justice Struggles in the United State and South Africa (Chapel Hill and Johannesburg: UNC Press and University of Witwatersrand Press, 2019.) 

“Strange Bedfellows: Surprising Allies in the Struggle Over Abortion and Birth Control in 1960s Massachusetts,” in Wenn die Chemie Stimmt: Gender Relations and Birth Control in the Age of the Pill (Gottingen, Germany: Wallstein Press, 2016).