Academic Employment

  • Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of New Hampshire, 2018-
  • National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016-17
  • Assistant Professor of History, College of Wooster, 2011-17
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Library Company of Philadelphia, 2014-15


University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Ph.D., African American Studies, September 2011
  • Certificate, Feminist Studies, February 2011
  • Dissertation: “Intellect, Liberty, Life: Women’s Activism and the Politics of Black Education in Antebellum America” (Chair: Manisha Sinha)
  • 2012 Recipient of the Esther M.A. Terry Award for Distinguished Dissertation
Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
  • Certificate, British Studies, June 2006
University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., African American Studies, December 2005
  • B.A., English (cum laude, College & Departmental Honors), September 2003

Selected Publications

In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America (New York: New York University Press, 2019).

Journal Articles
“Searching for Sarah: Black Girlhood, Education, and the Archive,” History of Education Quarterly vol. 60, no. 1 (February 2020), in press.

“Love & Justice: African American Women, Education, and Protest in Antebellum New England,” Journal of Social History, vol. 52, no. 3 (2019): 652-676.

“Building The Future: White Women, African American Education, and Civic Inclusion in Antebellum Ohio,” Journal of the Early Republic vol. 37, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 117-145.

“Be Your Own Man: Student Activism and the Birth of Black Studies at Amherst College, 1965-1972,” New England Quarterly vol. 89, no. 2 (June 2016): 286-322.

“Expanding the History of the Black Studies Movement: Some Prefatory Notes,” Journal of African American Studies vol. 16, no. 1 (March 2012): 1-20. Co-authored with Jonathan Fenderson and James Stewart.

“Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Education, and Abolition,” Ethnic Studies Review vol 32, no. 2 (Winter 2009): 52-78. Winner of the 2009 Phillips G. Davies Graduate Student Paper Award from the National Association for Ethnic Studies.

Book Chapters
“Towers of Intellect: The Struggle for African American Higher Education in Antebellum New England,” in Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies, eds. Leslie Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred Brophy, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2019), 179-196.

“Cruel and Wicked Prejudice:” Racial Exclusion and the Female Seminary Movement in the Antebellum North,” in Women’s Higher Education in the United States: New Historical Perspectives, ed. Margaret Nash, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017): 45-67.

Public Scholarship
“Abolition, Suffrage, and the Activism of Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin,” Historic New England Magazine (Fall 2019): 15-18.

Selected Conference Presentations

“Black Girls and the Fight for Equal School Rights in Massachusetts,” American Studies Association. Honolulu, HI. November 2019.

“Purposeful Womanhood: Race, Reform, and the Female Seminary in Antebellum New York,” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Cambridge, MA. July 2019.

“Natives of the State: Black Girls and School Desegregation in Antebellum Boston,” Organization of American Historians. Philadelphia, PA. April 2019.

“Race and Reform at the Young Ladies Domestic Seminary in Upstate New York, 1833-1841,” History of Education Society. Albuquerque, NM. November 2018.

“Equal School Rights: Black Girlhood and School Desegregation in Antebellum Massachusetts,” Brown Back Lunch, Massachusetts Historical Society. Boston, MA, November 2017.

“The Meaning of a Useful Life in Kim Tolley’s Heading South to Teach,” Roundtable Discussion, History of Education Society. Providence, RI. November 2016.

“Carter G. Woodson and African American Education in the Long Nineteenth Century,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Atlanta, GA. September 2015.

“1833-1834: In Loving Memory of a Female Academy,” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Raleigh, NC. July 2015.

Selected Fellowships & Grants

  • National Park Service/Organization of American Historians Grant, Project: “African Americans in Essex County, Massachusetts,” 2018-2020
  • Francis E. Malamy Fellowship, Phillips Library/Peabody Essex Museum, 2018-19
  • Ruth R. & Alyson R. Miller Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018
  • National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2016-17
  • Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2015-16
  • Research Grant, Massachusetts Historical Society/Great Lakes College Association, Boston Summer Seminar, 2015
  • Mellon Program in African American History Postdoctoral Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, 2014-15
  • Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 2010-11