Director, Center for the Study of Global Slavery and Supervisory Museum Curator
African American history and culture; American social and cultural history; global slavery; public history; memory; race; popular culture, photography and visual culture, folklife
- Supervisory Museum Curator, National Museum of African American History & Culture 2007 - 2021
Education And Training
- Dr. Paul Gardullo is an historian and a curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He directs the NMAAHC’s Center for the Study of Global Slavery, which hosts or co-convenes three international collaborative initiatives, the Slave Wrecks Project and the Global Curatorial Project. The Center has also recently joined the Slave Voyages consortium. Since 2007, Paul has worked at the NMAAHC and was part of the core team focused on building the museum’s foundational collections and conceiving and crafting its inaugural exhibitions. He curated the inaugural exhibition “The Power of Place” and was the co curator and co-editor of the exhibition "The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise." He is the project director for a new exhibition entitled “Make Good the Promises: Reconstruction and its Legacies” that will open with the Museum’s 5th anniversary and is co-editor of the companion volume that accompanies the exhibition.
Awards And Honors
International Audience Summary Of Expertise
Since 2007, historian and curator Paul Gardullo has worked towards building the collections and exhibits for the Smithsonian's 19th and newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), opening on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 2016. His research interests are broad-ranging, but relate to African-American history and culture, slavery in American cultural memory, public history, and the African Diaspora.
After receiving his undergraduate and master's degrees from Rutgers University in 1986 and 2001, he went on to earn his doctorate degree from The George Washington University in 2005, and in 2006 joined Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.
As the Smithsonian's representative to the Slave Wrecks Project, Paul contributes to planning, research, and operations that advances maritime archaeology research, but also builds the relationships between the national and international stakeholders in the project. His focus on museum interpretation of the histories and objects of slave ships like the Sao Jose helps shape how these relics and stories can be brought to a wide public audience.
Between his undergraduate and graduate education, Paul spent time in Salvador, Brazil to study Capoeira Angola, the practice and understanding of which helps him better appreciate the African Diasporan cultures. Read More
- Gardullo, Paul, Boshoff, Jaco, and Lubkemann, Stephen. 2018. "The Shipwrecked Slaver." Dig into History, (May-June), Peterborough, New Hampshire. 2018
- Gardullo, Paul and Bunch, Lonnie G. 2018. "Why Emmett Till's case matters to American history and our future." CNN, Jul 14, 2018, 2018
- Gardullo, Paul. 2017. "Angola Prison: Collecting and Interpreting the Afterlives of Slavery in a National Museum." Forum Journal: The Journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 31, (3) 21–29. 2017
- Gardullo, Paul and Bunch, Lonnie G., III. 2017. "Making a Way Out of No Way: the National Museum of African American History and Culture." History Workshop Journal, 84, (1) 248–256. https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbx047. 2017
- Gardullo, Paul. 2013. "Spectacles of Slavery: Pageantry, Film and Early Twentieth-Century Public Memory." Slavery & Abolition, 34, (2) 222–235. https://doi.org/10.1080/0144039X.2013.791174. 2013
- Gardullo, Paul. 2007. "'Just keeps rollin' along': rebellions, revolts and radical black memories of slavery in the 1930s." Patterns of Prejudice, 41, (3-4) 271–301. https://doi.org/10.1080/00313220701431427. 2007
- Gardullo, Paul. 2017. From No Return: The 221 Year Journey of the Slaveship Sao Jose. Penguin Random House. 2017
- Flanagan, Candra, Gardullo, Paul, and Kendrick, Kathleen M. 2021. "Introduction." In Make Good the Promises: Reclaiming Reconstruction and Its Legacies. Conwill, Kinshasha and Gardullo, Paul, editors. New York: Amistad. 2021
- Gardullo, Paul. 2019. "Building Community through Fashion." In Smithsonian American Women: Remarkable Objects and Stories of Strength, Ingenuity, and Vision from the National Collection. Pope, Victoria and Schrum, Christine, editors. 156–157. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books. 2019
- Gardullo, Paul and Lubkemann, Stephen. 2018. "Recovering Global Truths in Small Places: Perspectives from the Slave Wrecks Project." In Environmental Justice as a Civil Right: Pavilion of Antigua and Barbuda at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. Paca, Barbara, editor. Venice, Italy: Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli. 2018
- Gardullo, Paul. 2016. "Communities of Freedom." In Dream A World Anew: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America. Conwill, Kinshasha H., editor. 42–47. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books. 2016
- Gardullo, Paul. 2016. "The Migration Experience." In Dream A World Anew: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America. Conwill, Kinshasha H., editor. 102–106. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books. 2016
- Gardullo, Paul. 2013. ""Am I Not a Man and a Brother?"." In Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection. Kagan, Neil and Hyslop, Stephen G., editors. 20–21. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books. 2013
- Gardullo, Paul. 2013. "Bleeding Kansas." In Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection. Kagan, Neil and Hyslop, Stephen G., editors. 52–53. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books. 2013
- Gardullo, Paul. 2013. "Sold Down the River." In Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection. Kagan, Neil and Hyslop, Stephen G., editors. 33–37. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books. 2013
- Gardullo, Paul. 2021. Artifacts from the Tulsa Race Massacre. Smithsonian Magazine. Py-Lieberman, Beth, editor. May 24, 2021 Smithsonian. 2021
- Gardullo, Paul and Holman Conwill, Kinshasha, editors. 2021. Make Good the Promises: Reclaiming Reconstruction and Its Legacies. Washington: Amistad. 2021
- Gardullo, Paul, Delaney, Michelle Anne, Serwer, Jacquelyn, and Bunch, Lonnie G., III, editors. 2009. The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington : picturing the promise. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books. 2009