Ralph Luker founded the Cliopatria history group blog on the History News Network of George Mason University's Center for History and New Media. He closed Cliopatria in March 2012 after moderating this group blog for eight and a quarter years.
Luker has taught in departments of history at Allegheny College, Antioch College, and Morehouse College, and in departments of religion at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
In 1994, when he was associate professor of history at Antioch College, Luker was denied tenure after accusations of racism by some students. Outraged by the charges, Luker underwent a hunger-strike but to no avail.
- (In progress as of 2003.) The Man Who Started Freedom: The Essays, Sermons and Speeches of Vernon Johns. Critical edition of the papers of Vernon Johns, the father of the American civil rights movement.
- 1996: Historical Dictionary of the Civil Rights Movement, 1941-1995. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Hardcover: ISBN 0-8108-3163-5.
- 1996: Black and White Sat Down Together: The Reminiscences of an NAACP Founder. The Feminist Press at CUNY. Hardcover: ISBN 1-55861-099-5. (See also: Mary White Ovington.)
- 1992: The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume I: Called to Serve, January 1929 - June 1951. Clayborne Carson, Ralph E. Luker, Penny A. Russell, eds. University of California Press. Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-520-07950-2.
- 1994: The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume II: Rediscovering Precious Values, July 1951 - November 1955. Clayborne Carson, Ralph E. Luker, Penny A. Russell, Peter Holloran, eds. University of California Press. Hardcover: ISBN 978-0-520-07951-9.
- Sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Emory University and the Stanford University Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.
- 1991: The Social Gospel in Black and White: American Racial Reform, 1885-1912. University of North Carolina Press. Hardcover: ISBN 0-8078-1978-6. Paperback (1998): ISBN 0-8078-4720-8.
- 1984: A Southern Tradition in Theology and Social Criticism, 1830-1930: The Religious Liberalism and Social Conservatism of James Warley Miles, William Porcher DuBose, and Edgar Gardner Murphy. Edwin Mellen Press. Hardcover: ISBN 0-88946-655-6, ISBN 978-0-88946-655-5.
- American Quarterly
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture - published since 1932 by the American Society of Church History.
- Journal of American History
- The Journal of Negro History
- New England Quarterly - sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and Northeastern University, Boston.
- OAH Newsletter - quarterly publication of the Organization of American Historians.
- Perspectives - monthly magazine of the American Historical Association.
- Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies - published by Routledge.
- South Atlantic Quarlerly - published by the Duke University Press.
- Southern Cultures - quarterly publication of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South - published by the Southern Studies Institute of Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
- The Virginia Quarterly Review
- Cliopatria: A Group blog. George Mason University History News Network.
- Brian McFillen (February 28, 2007). "Starving for tenure". Indiana Daily Student.
In 1994, despite having "five books in print, four earned academic degrees (and) a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize," Luker was denied tenure by Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
- John Gravois. Hunger Strikes Over Tenure Denials Can Succeed and Fail Simultaneously, Says Veteran of Fast From the Past (February 22, 2007). A Fast From the Past: a Retired Scholar Talks About an Episode 13 Years Ago (March 2, 2007). Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription).
- The Vernon Johns Papers Project (working table of contents).
- Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the University of California Press.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
- University of North Carolina Press at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.
- A Southern Tradition in Theology and Social Criticism, 1830-1930. Edwin Mellen Press.
- See also: William Porcher DuBose, Edgar Gardner Murphy, James Warley Miles (James Warley Miles Library at the College of Charleston).
- The American Society of Church History.
- The New England Quarterly.
- Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies.
- South Atlantic Quarterly.
- Southern Cultures.