Diane Mutti Burke

Diane  Mutti Burke
Professor of History
Director of the Center for Midwestern Studies
Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact Info
816-235-6118 x 5
222C Cockefair Hall
American South and the Civil War with a particular interest in the history of slavery, women and the Missouri-Kansas border region; Digital and Public Humanities


Diane Mutti Burke is an historian of the American South and the Civil War with a particular interest in the history of slavery, women and the Missouri/Kansas border region. She teaches a range of courses on 19th century American history, including courses on the Civil War, the American South, the history of US women to 1877, the Missouri/Kansas Border Wars, and the Civil War in Film and Memory. In addition, she co-directs a summer study abroad program in Ireland.

Dr. Mutti Burke is a native Kansas Citian, who earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College (1990) and M.A. and Ph.D from Emory University (2004). She has focused much of her research on the history of Missouri. Her award-winning first book, On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 (University of Georgia Press, 2010), is an examination of how slavery and slaveholding were influenced by both the geography and the smaller scale of slavery in the state. She has written a number of articles about slavery, women, and the Civil War in Missouri. In addition, she has co-edited three collections of scholarly articles on Kansas City and the Missouri/Kansas border region: Kansas City, America’s Crossroads, co-edited with John Herron (State Historical Society of Missouri, 2007); Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border, co-edited with Jonathan Earle (University Press of Kansas, 2013); and Wide-Open Town: Kansas City during the Pendergast Era, co-edited with John Herron and Jason Roe (University Press of Kansas, 2018). The articles in the Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri and Wide-Open Town collection were the product of major public conferences at the Kansas City Public Library in 2011 and 2016. Dr. Mutti Burke is currently completing an edited and annotated diary of a small-slaveholding Cooper County, Missouri woman named Paulina Stratton and working on a monograph about refugee populations during the Civil War. In Fall 2021, she received a Norman Royal Distinguished Research Award to support these projects.

Dr. Mutti Burke is deeply engaged in bringing the history of this region to the public through her roles as Director of UMKC’s Center for Midwestern Studies and co-director of UMKC's Center for Digital and Public Humanities. She regularly speaks to public audiences and consults with a number of cultural institutions about their regional history programming. She was awarded a Distinguished Literary Achievement Award from the Missouri Humanities Council in 2014 for her dedication to the study of Missouri. She also directs two National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for K-12 teachers: Crossroads of Conflict: Contested Visions of Freedom & the Missouri-Kansas Border Wars and Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression. Most recently, she co-directed "Show Me Missouri," a statewide collaborative digital exhibit in commemoration of the bicentennial of Missouri statehood. The project involved collaboration with universities and historic and cultural institutions throughout the state and tells the story of Missouri and Missourians through the lens of 200 historically and culturally significant objects. 



  • HISTORY 101 - U.S. History to 1877
  • HISTORY 306 - America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction 
  • HISTORY 348 - Missouri/Kansas Border Wars 
  • HISTORY 349 - Civil War in Memory and Film 
  • HISTORY 358 - History of the Early American South 
  • HISTORY 369 - Women in Early America 
  • HISTORY 498WI - Senior Capstone 


  • HISTORY 5506 - America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction 
  • HISTORY 5548 - Missouri/Kansas Border Wars 
  • HISTORY 5549 - Civil War in Memory and Film 
  • HISTORY 5569 - Women in Early America 
  • HISTORY 5582 - Colloquium in American History I 
  • HISTORY 5587R - Research Seminar 

Academic Credentials

B.A. History, Dartmouth College (1990)
M.A./Ph.D. History, Emory University (1994/2004)