Marsha R. Robinson, PhD, Historian

Award-winning college professor

Entrepreneur, published author, editor and documentary maker

  • Miami University Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching Award, Fall 2020
  • President, Ohio Academy of History, 2020-2021
  • President, Rotary Club of Middletown,. Ohio, 2020-2021 and 2018-2019
  • Miami University Middletown Excellence in Teaching Award, 2015-16
  • Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) Faculty Excellence Award 2015-16
  • The Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities Representative of Excellence in Teaching 2016
  • Nominee, Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges Teacher of the Year Award 2015-2016
  • Nominee, Miami University Middletown Excellence in Faculty Service Award, 2015-16
  • Documentary Film: Sweet MUMories: First to 50 – a History of Miami University’s Middletown, Ohio, Campus. (Watch the credits to see names of the full production team.) Click here to watch the two-hour film. Click here to see the full interviews and digital archive.

Here are some of Marsha’s published academic works.

For a full list of her publications since 2000, email her at

Lesser Civil Wars: Civilians Defining War and the Memory of War is available through Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Click here to order.

Lesser Civil Wars: Civilians Defining War and the Memory of War (Editor) is an edited volume that surveys three hundred years of the Memory of war and the Will to war in the greater Ohio River Valley and Great Lakes region. Military theorists from von Clausewitz, to Dingiswayo and Chandragupta, calculated the Will of their own soldiers and of the enemy’s soldiers. Sometimes the Will is assigned an erroneously low strength, as Abraham Lincoln learned quickly at the onset of the United States Civil War. In this volume, we examine the civilian production of the national Will to fight future wars through the least civil war each individuals war to remember or to forget and no armistice or accord brings this internal battle to an end. This is not a book about the atrocities committed during war. This is a book about the very nature of the Will-Memory-Will cycle, where the Memory of war continues for generations until a new war requires the resurrection of the Will. As these essays show, sometimes it only takes a few individuals to prosecute these Memory wars with rules of engagement that do not necessarily include civil behavior. By focusing on microhistories from a specific region and by bracketing the US Civil War with an essay about a century prior to it and essays about the century following it, we are able to demonstrate the power and energy of the incubating stage of Memory in the Will-Memory-Will cycle. In the greater Ohio River Valley and Great Lakes region, ordinary civilians controlled and incubated the memories of the Iroquois Wars, the French and Indian/Sevens Years War (17561763), the American Revolution (17761783) and the War of 1812, and they converted Memory into the Will to fight the US Civil War and the Vietnam War. In these chapters, we present micro-wars between civilians over control of the Will of a nation. They are, indeed, lesser civil wars.


Disobedient Histories in Ancient and Modern Times: Regionalism, Governance, War and Peace is available through Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Click here to order.

Disobedient histories in ancient and modern times: regionalism, governance, war and peace. (Author) Tired of Cold War political analysis about post-Cold War events, zero-sum game theories, and world history as only one war after another? Disobedient Histories in Ancient and Modern Times: Regionalism, Governance, War and Peace breaks tradition by considering some alternative Western and non-Western international relations theories found in historical, anthropological, literary, archaeological, genetic and physical evidence from some ancient and modern societies in Europe, Africa and Asia. Chapters in this comparative history book explore the deep backstory of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, Scandinavian Progressivism in international development, Welsh cultural preservation, North African feminism and political traditions in Tunisia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Other chapters explore the backstory of ideas leading to the rise of the ultranationalist National Front political party and the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack in France and also the zombie economics behind Boko Haram in Nigeria. The international relations theories in these disobedient histories suggest that the global peace, prosperity and dignity present in the United Nations Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals are viable.


Matriarchy, Patriarchy, and National Security: The Idea of National Security in Africa, in Europe, and in the United States is available at Click here to order

Matriarchy, Patriarchy, and National Security: The Idea of National Security in Africa, in Europe, and in the United States. (Author) The Primordial Question of national security across human history is: Will my family eat today and sleep peacefully through the night?

Author Marsha R. Robinson, PhD, presents national security, imperial conflicts, as well as asymmetrical wars from ancient times to the present as contests between societies where men think that men and women have equal rights (matriarchy) and societies where men are rewarded for exploiting women in the name of race, religion, nationalism, or greed (patriarchy). Matriarchy is the default mode of human society and patriarchy evolved into a dehumanizing gender bomb that makes men more disposable than women.

Robinson invites readers to exit the inherently lethal, binary mode of Cold War, realist thinking by rebooting thought patterns learned as children. Instead of 19th-century colonial “or” thought, she uses three metaphors to bring readers to 21st-century “and” thinking shown in UN MDGs, international regional trade, defense and development associations. Why? Peace is more prosperous than forever wars.


Purgatory between Kentucky and Canada: African Americans in Ohio is available through Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Click here to order.

Purgatory between Kentucky and Canada: African Americans in Ohio. (Editor)

Democracy is a multigenerational project, a haven carved out of tyranny by the liberal and diligent application of the sharp-edge of social networks.

Purgatory between Kentucky and Canada: African Americans in Ohio presents the work of several scholars who have researched the micro-tactics of ordinary people who attempted to create a little space of peace in a place that was less heavenly than some might suppose.

We present histories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Ohio African American individuals who fought for higher education, voting rights, the right to live where they chose and the right to “secure the blessings of liberty” and equality for themselves and their children. Some were prosperous farmers. Others were masters of print and radio media. Still others dedicated themselves to freeing fellow citizens from the oppression of ignorance. We find that they all used social networks to secure the fulfillment of the promises made in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

We hope that these lessons in social networking and in perfecting democracy from Ohio African Americans’ experiences will inspire ordinary people everywhere, especially in the Mediterranean Rim where people are living through the hell fires of democratic revolutions that are popularly known as the Twitter Revolutions of 2010–2013.

While democratic popular uprisings create a tough row to hoe for patriotic demonstrators, the many people and families that you will meet in this volume teach that the fruits of democracy are worthy of diligent and brave efforts by demonstrators and their descendants.


Women Who Belong: Claiming a Female’s Right-Filled Place is available through Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Click here to order.

Women Who Belong: Claiming a Female’s Right-Filled Place. (Editor) Why bother to invert the history of Western women? We must do so to fight an insidious, fallacious assumption that patriarchy is universal and eternal, and we must do so to nullify the amnesic effects of Domesticity’s potent semantics. We must resist this two-pronged attack that reduces women to powerless incubators. When we invert the patriarchal hegemony and center the ordinary woman as empowered owner and hostess to her life story, we find women, rich and poor, who chose when, where, how and if they would cooperate with the rules of patriarchy, rules often supported by other women.

Our heroines demanded the rights due them for properly occupying their societal place in the home, in church or on the street corner. We find this to be consistent across time and space. We start in the seventeenth century with European women on three continents: Europe, North Africa and North America. We present Isabel de Jésus, Alida Schuyler Van Rensselaer Livingston, and soldiers’ wives, widows and femes sole of the Tangier and Gibraltar garrisons. Here we have women of different religions, language groups and social classes, and they all used patriarchal laws to protect their rights. We move across time to the turn of the twentieth century in Ireland, Puerto Rico and the United States where we find women as wives of rich men in Toledo’s Woman Suffrage Association, as middle class professionals in the civilizing missions of the Christian Church in Puerto Rico, the magdalen homes of Ireland, and the eugenics movement in the US, and as sex workers serving tradesmen in Ireland. Again, these women manipulated the legal systems and demanded the powers due them from legislators, mission boards, and judges.

The microhistories of women in this volume adulterate the assumption of universal and eternal patriarchy. As these women claimed the rights due them for properly occupying their prescribed social roles, they also created alliances with men who partnered with them in their feminist projects.

Why should we invert Women’s history with microhistory? We must do so to liberate men and women from fallacious, patriarchal oppression.


Ten Commandments against Abuse: Love without War is available at Click here to order.

Ten Commandments against Abuse: Love without War. (Author) In the dark hours of a snowy winter night in my early childhood, I remember my father and mother bundling me into the car to drive to the home of a very old man who was trying to beat his very old wife to death. Again. In the fifty years since then, I became more aware that the pleasantness of public spaces are sanctuaries from the private wars that take place in small homes and in mansions in this country and around the world. If you wish to be aware, you can see people walking along transparent minefields of prescribed behavior and habits. If you wish to listen, you can hear scathing verbal salvos against the ego. If you don’t turn away too quickly, you can see the bruises, the shell-shocked gait, and the calloused patches of faces where fists have landed habitually. What you may not be able to avoid is the loud silence that follows news of the death of someone you know who lost their life in their own domestic violence war. Five times, I have heard that grating silence. The first was a deaconess of a church who was taught to pray for her husband while he beat her. He shot her. In the last fifty years, in more than 35 states and nearly 20 countries, I have heard so many justifications of domestic violence as custom, ordinary, even legal by religious tradition. When I heard a preacher shout from a Sunday morning pulpit that wife abuse is a wife’s fault and I saw his wife’s head bow down, I determined to write this book for abused spouses and partners. The Ten Commandments are a social code common to many cultures. In the Ten Commandments are guidelines for harmonious, non-violent relationships. In the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are escape clauses for leaving abusive marriages. If you are abused, a child or friend of an abused person, and especially a religious leader and teacher, this book is written for you. I am not a trained professional. I am one person who is tired of the violence. If you are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. You deserve to live and there are people who care. I hope this book will help you realize that you are important and you do not have to sacrifice your self-esteem or body as a sign of religious piety. The Ten Commandments are a guide against abuse and a path to love without war.


Greenbirding America: About White Supremacy is available through Click here to order.

Greenbirding America: About White Supremacy (Author) Racism in America. How did the land of liberty and the home of the free and the brave descend from the racial equality of 1619 Virginia Colony to the mild and/or violent structural racism of the 21st century? Why are some descendants of Ellis Island immigrants more racist than some descendants of those who arrived before the US Civil War? What is it that frightens white supremacists so much that they live in a perpetual state of war with fellow Americans? Where did this all start? In this book, I introduce you to the greenbirding method as a way of applying Biblical, classical and Enlightenment philosophy to understand how white supremacy was invented to justify the oppression by some white Europeans of other white Europeans who were less valued by their governments than slaves purchased in Africa. It is widely believed that slaves in the US could be whipped only 40 times. Did you know that some white British soldiers were sentenced to 200, 500 or 1000 lashes spaced over days to assure that the soldier lived through the experience? Do you think those retired soldiers and their families would resent being less valued than a slave if they became overseers in the Carolinas? How does their resentment, shame and pain translate over generations? This book consists of essays that explore white supremacy as a greenbird idea that imprisons and harms its believers who misdirect their fear-filled anger against the wrong target. Their enemy is not people of color. No people of color should be harmed because of white supremacy. This compassionate approach is hard to do when so many people of color are harmed daily in this nation but this approach does some of the after-work of protest marches. Are you looking for information to end racism in America? This book is an introduction to a compassionate approach for awaking white supremacists and racists who are still stuck in 1820s and 1920s racisms through one-to-one conversations so that they will stop their war against their neighbors and against our nation. The 21st-century is a frightening world to them. Help them to live in it peacefully.


Some course topics Marsha taught since 1998 at the university level

  • American Civilization to 1877
  • American Civilization since 1877
  • Women in American History – a multicultural approach
  • African American History
  • Western European Civilization to 1450 and since 1450
  • World History to 1500, since 1500, and since 1945          
  • African History to 1870 and since 1870
  • African Business and Labor History
  • African Independence Movements: 1940s-1970s

And she taught Sunday School.

Some invited talks that Marsha has given around the world

  • Robinson, Marsha, Hassan Jeffries, Treva Lindsey (2021) “Through the Lens of History — Understanding Derek Chauvin’s Trial in the Death of George Floyd,” National Afro-American Museum and Culture Center, 
  • Robinson, Marsha (2009) Jihads are not Asian. Presented at the Islamic Resurgence in the Age of Globalization: Myth, Memory, Emotion Conference, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
  • Robinson, Marsha (2009). Oil, Water, and African Matriarchy: Time-Tested Sustainable Development for the 21st Century. Presented at the 4th Women in Africa & the African Diaspora (WAAD) International Conference on Education, Gender & Sustainable Development in the Age of Globalization, Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Robinson, Marsha (2020) Invisible Peacemakers. Binus University, Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Robinson, Marsha (2020) Racism in America. Kollegi AAB, Kosovo.
  • Robinson, M. R. (2016). Cincinnati Exports: History and Future. Middletown Rotary Club, Middletown, Ohio.
  • Robinson, M. R. (2016). To Love a Landbaron’s Daughter: the dramatic and true story of the love between Joseph H. Diss Debar, designer of the state seal of West Virginia, and Clara Levassor – daughter of Eugene Levassor, the Cincinnati merchant, land baron, veteran of Napoleon’s army and developer of Levassor Place in Covington, KY. Verity Traditions public lecture series, Miami University – Middletown Regional Campus.
  • Robinson, M. R. (2015). Harriet Beecher Stowe: Author, Abolitionist, and Caregiver. Verity Traditions public lecture series, Miami University – Middletown Regional Campus.
  • Robinson, M. R. (2014). “Blessed are the Peacemakers: the Unfinished Project of J.J. Bachofen and the Micro-wars on the Home Front,” Swiss American Historical Society Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, October 11, 2014.
  • Robinson, M. R. (2012). Rev. Alexander Crummell, Anglican Divine: His Formation and Theology. St. John’s Episcopal Church, Worthington, Ohio, January 15, 2012.
  • Robinson, M. R. (2011). Red Riding Hood’s Basket of Colonial Goodies—Where the Freudian Nightmares Began. History Department Faculty Lecture Series, Otterbein University, May 6, 2011.
  • Robinson, M. R. (2011). “We the People” of the Middle East/North Africa: Obama Democracy or Ottoman Renaissance? Faculty Scholar Series, Otterbein University, May 14, 2011.