A roundtable discussion featuring dynamic black women historians whose scholarship engages the black past.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | 6:00-8:00pm
Essex Room, Paul Robeson Campus Center
A reception will follow the discussion. Books will be available for purchase.
Daina Ramey Berry is the Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her BA, MA and PhD in African American Studies and U.S. History at UCLA. Dr. Berry is a specialist on the history of gender and slavery in the United States with a particular emphasis on the social and economic history of the nineteenth century. Her first book, Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is Ripe: Gender and Slavery in Antebellum Georgia (University of Illinois Press, 2007), examined slave labor, family, and community in two distinct regions. She is the editor-in-chief of Enslaved Women in America: An Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2012), which was awarded one of the 2013 Outstanding Reference Sources by the American Library Association. Professor Berry also co-edited Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (University of Georgia Press, 2014), which has received multiple book awards. In October 2018, Berry and Leslie Harris (Northwestern) co-edited Sexuality and Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas (UGA, 2018), based on a conference held at UT Austin in 2011.
Dr. Berry has appeared on several syndicated radio and television shows including four times on “Who Do You Think You Are?” (NBC/TLC) where she reconstructed the enslaved ancestry of Spike Lee, Alfre Woodard, Aisha Tyler, and Smokey Robinson. She also appeared on CNN At this Hour Show with John Berman; C-SPAN’s Book TV; National Geographic Explorer; NPR’s The Takeaway; The Tavis Smiley Show; The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (PBS Peabody Award Winner, Emmy Nominated Documentary) hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.; The Tom Joyner Morning Radio Show; and The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents (History Channel). In 2016, she served at a historical consultant and technical advisor for the remake of ROOTS by Alex Haley.
Dr. Berry has received prestigious fellowships for her research from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the American Council of Learned Societies; the American Association of University Women and the Ford Foundation. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Her work has been, featured in the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, and Huffington Post. Her recent book, The Price for their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to the Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Beacon, 2017) has been awarded two national book awards from the Society for Historians of the Early Republic and the Sons and Daughters of the US Middle Passage, and it is a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the Hamilton Book Prize. Professor Berry is currently finishing a co-authored book, A Black Women's History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2020), creating a resource on slavery for K-12 educators, implementing a digital archive on the domestic slave trade, and working with Adriane Hopper Williams and EnLight Productions on Making History Hers, a digital platform that celebrates women’s history.
Melissa L. Cooper is a writer, historian and professor. She is the author of the groundbreaking historical study, Making Gullah: A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). Cooper is also the author of “Selling Voodoo In Migration Metropolises” in Race and Retail (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and Instructor's Resource Manual--Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans, with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2012). She appears in the transmedia documentary Between the Waters, and Making Gullah has been featured at book festivals and events, in magazines, on radio shows, podcasts and blogs. Dr. Cooper is an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University-Newark.
Deirdre Cooper Owens is an Associate Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY in Queens, New York and an Organization of American Historians’ (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer. She has won a number of prestigious honors that range from the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies to serving as an American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fellow in Washington, D.C. Cooper Owens earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in History and wrote an award-winning dissertation while there. A popular public speaker, she has published essays, book chapters, and blog pieces on a number of issues that concern African American experiences. Recently, Cooper Owens finished working with Teaching Tolerance and the Southern Poverty Law Center on a podcast series about how to teach U.S. slavery and was listed as an “acclaimed expert” on U.S. history by Time Magazine in its annual “The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now.” Her first book, Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology (UGA Press, 2017) won the 2018 Darlene Clark Hine Book Award from the OAH as the best book written in African American women’s and gender history. Professor Cooper Owens is also the Director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest cultural institution founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731. She is working on a second book project that examines mental illness during the era of United States slavery and is also writing a popular biography of Harriet Tubman that examines her through the lens of disability.
Sasha Turner is the author of the multiple award winning book Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Childrearing, and Slavery in Jamaica, which won the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Award for best book that deals substantially with the history of women, gender and/or sexuality; the Julia Cherry Spruill Book Prize from the Southern Association of Women Historians; and honorable mention for the Murdo J. McLeod Book Prize in Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association.
Her book examines the struggles for control over biological reproduction and how central childbearing was to the organization of plantation work, the care of slaves, and the development of their culture.
Turner completed a PhD at Cambridge University and is Associate Professor of History at Quinnipiac University where she teaches courses on the Caribbean and the African Diaspora, women, piracy, colonialism, and slavery.
Her research on gender, race, and the body, and women, children, and emotions has been published in Journal of Women’s History, Slavery and Abolition, and Caribbean Studies and has been supported by Rutgers University Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Studies Fellowship; Washington University in St. Louis African and African American Studies Fellowship; and the Richards Civil War Era Center and Africana Research Center Fellowship at the Pennsylvania State University.
Turner recently completed a Fellowship at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition where she worked on her new book project, tentatively titled, Slavery, Emotions, and Gender.
Her essay from this project, “The Nameless and the Forgotten: Maternal Grief Sacred Protection, and the Archive of Slavery” was published in Slavery and Abolition and has won several awards, including the Maria Stewart Journal Article Prize from the African American Intellectual History Society; the Letitia Woods Brown Award from the Association of Black Women Historians; Southern Association of Women Historians A. Elizabeth Taylor Article Prize and honorable mentions for Judith R. Walkowitz Article Prize for Gender, Sexuality and British Culture from the North American Conference on British Studies, and the Kimberly Hander Article Prize from the Latin American & Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association.
This FREE event is presented by the Federated Department of History and cosponsored by the Chancellor's Office, SASN Dean's Office, Department of African American and African Studies, Program in Women's and Gender Studies, Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Graduate Program in American Studies, Graduate School-Newark, and the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience.