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Roger House, associate professor in American Studies, is author of South End Shout: Boston's Forgotten Music Scene in the Jazz Age, published by Lever Press in 2023. The monograph details the power of music in the city’s Black community, spotlighting the era between the world wars.

This story is deeply embedded in the larger social condition of Black Bostonians from 1919 to 1950. The history is illustrated by 20 line drawings of the city's jazz scene, including key musicians, theaters, dance halls, phonographs, and radios.

South End Shout is part of an emerging field of studies that examines jazz culture outside of the major centers of music production. In extensive detail, House covers the activities of jazz musicians, jazz bands, the places they played, the relationships between Black and white musicians, the segregated local branches of the American Federation of Musicians (AFL-CIO), and the economics of Boston’s music industry.

House is currently writing Five Hundred Years of Black Self Governance, a study of Atlantic World political culture, under contract with Louisiana State University Press.

House is author of Blue Smoke: The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy, published by Louisiana State University Press in 2010. It was selected as a 2011 finalist for Excellence in Historical Writing by the Association of Recorded Sound Collections. And it inspired the 2013 BBC TV documentary, "Big Bill Broonzy: The Man Who Brought the Blues to Britain," in which House was a featured expert.

House writes op-eds on Black politics and cultural history for national news sites, including "The Daily Beast," "The Hill," "The Amsterdam News," "The Messenger," "The Afro-American," and "The Nation," among others.

House publishes alternative media on Black history such as "Boston's Forgotten Jazz Scene Calendar 2024," and Victory Stride, a blog on the Black experience at Emerson College. The final issue of Victorystride chronicled the policies of the M. Lee Pelton administration, the first African American President of Emerson, from 2011 to 2021, and other documents.

House produced historical documentary programs for National Public Radio and was a staff writer for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island.




B.A., Columbia University
M.A., Boston University
Ph.D., Boston University

Areas of Expertise

  • American Studies
  • Journalism


Blue Smoke: The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy