Central Connecticut State University History DepartmentCentral Connecticut State University - History Department

Karen Ryder

Karen Ryder

Adjunct Professor of History

Phone: (860) 832-2800 
Fax: (860) 832-2804 
Email: ryderka@ccsu.edu

Dr. Ryder’s main field of interest is 19th century United States history. In addition to history, her educational background has included studies in music, mathematics, and information science. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and later studied at the University of Pittsburgh and the Hartford Graduate Center. While working as a computer programmer and underwriter for several different insurance firms, she also performed with Connecticut Choral Artists (CONCORA) and taught music privately. In 1999, after having taken several history courses at CCSU, and with the help and encouragement of professors, Ms. Ryder began graduate work at the University of Delaware, where she earned an M.A. in 2001 and a Ph.D. in 2012. 

Dr. Ryder’s dissertation, “‘Permanent Property’: Slave Life Insurance in the Antebellum Southern United States, 1820-1866,” explores the connections between slavery and capitalism by examining the emergence of life insurance in the pre-Civil War southern states. The blends several historiographical fields, including slave studies, southern history, and business history.