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2019-2020 Fellows

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Elyan Jeanine Hill

Elyan Jeanine Hill

 

World Arts and Cultures/Dance

University of CA, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2019

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Dr. Elyan Jeanine Hill recently earned her PhD in the World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department at UCLA. Her research interests include histories of slavery, collective memory, visual culture, and performance in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Liberia and their diasporas. Specifically, her research examines festival and ritual dance performances by artists in both Ghana and Togo as dynamic forms of history-keeping, problem-solving, and traditional education for young women. She examines devotional practices for the spirits of enslaved persons called Mama Tchamba and for Mami Wata—a group of pan African water spirits often depicted as mermaids. Her research and fieldwork have been supported a Ralph C. Altman Fellowship from the Fowler Museum, a West African Research Association Predoctoral Fellowship, and an International Institute Fieldwork Fellowship.

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Samuel M. Davis

Samuel M. Davis

 

History

Temple University, 2019

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Sam Davis holds a Ph.D. in History from Temple University. His research interests include African American history, Native American history, legal history, and 19th century political history. Dr. Davis earned a B.A. in African American Studies from the University of Tennessee and a M.A. in African American & African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University. He has presented his work at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Student Research Colloquium as part of the American Society for Legal History, and the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. Dr. Davis is currently working on a book manuscript based on his dissertation that explores the execution and afterlives of American projects for African colonization and Native removal in the Old Northwest.

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Leigh Soares

Leigh Soares

 

History

Northwestern University, 2019

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Leigh Soares holds a Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University. Her research and teaching interests include African American history, U.S. South, and 19th and 20th century U.S. history. Her dissertation, “Higher Ambitions for Freedom: The Politics of Public Black Colleges in the South, 1865-1915,” examined how black political and educational leaders mobilized throughout the region to establish and maintain state-supported black colleges. Support for the project came from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and Northwestern University. Dr. Soares is currently developing a book manuscript that builds on her dissertation research. Prior to attending Northwestern, she received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the College of William & Mary, both in History.

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