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My research interests broadly revolve around the black American political experience in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. My dissertation proposal focuses on Reconstruction and its aftermath as singularly hinge moments for the construction of a conservative rhetoric around black impatience. While my current research finds itself most rooted within U.S. political and intellectual history, I am also interested in the domestic and transnational implications for identity formation that come with this sort of speech.
Advisor: Edward Baptist
Reconstruction, American South, Political History, Late 19th and early 20th century
My dissertation involves looking at the national rhetoric (within and outside of the national black political establishment) around impatience and waiting that has been endemic as mainstream critic against black mobility. Temporality is the guiding lens through which I am attempting to understand the political debates about equality, citizenship, and the nature of racial progress. My work of research is currently grounded in these questions:
- Who were the primary political voices that told black folks to wait for civil rights?
- How did these actors structure their arguments?
- Did this rhetoric function as a tool for control? For identity formation? If so, how?
- What do these rhetorical structures tell us about how democratic institutions, parties, and systems harness time within their rhetoric?