She is the author of Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940 (Vintage, 1999), The Romance of the Outsider: How Middle Class Whites Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America (Oxford University Press, 2011), and Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Hale has written for The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the American Scholar, the American Historical Review, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Southern History, Southern Cultures, Southern Exposure, and Southern Spaces. She is the editor of the new University of North Carolina Press series Studies in US Culture, and a member of the editorial board of Southern Spaces: A Journal of the South. She has held fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Gilder Lehrman Center, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, the National Humanities Center, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She served as a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer at Erfurt University in Erfurt, Germany and as the Japanese American Studies Association-Organization of American Historians visiting scholar in Japan in 2014.