Ben Wright is a historian of early America, specializing in the history of race and religion. His research explores how people of faith understood and responded to social injustice, particulary around issues of race. His first book Bonds of Salvation: How Christianity Inspired and Limited American Abolitionism is scheduled for release in fall 2020 by LSU Press. This work explores how tensions between religious conversion and religious purification shaped the development of the American antislavery movement.
He is the coeditor of Apocalypse and the Millennium in the American Civil War Era, along with Zachary W. Dresser. This volume explores how Americans understood the future in the era of national crisis.
Wright is an active practitioner of the digital humanities. He continues to direct the work of hundreds of historians through The American Yawp, a free and online, collaboratively produced American history textbook, which he co-edits with Joseph L. Locke. He is also the coeditor of The Abolition Seminar, a NEH-funded teaching resource for school teachers. His interest in critial pedagogy has led him to serve as managing editor for Teaching United States History, a website dedicated to best practices in teaching American history at the college level.
Wright's historical research on slavery has involved him in the modern anti-human trafficking movement. He is a board member of both Historians Against Slavery and the Children at Risk Institute. The former is an international collection of academics bringing historical consciousness to the fight against modern slavery, and the latter is a Texas-based organization engaged in research and advocacy on behalf of children.