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About Me

I am an Assistant Professor of History at Florida International University, where I teach courses in United States, African American, and oral history. In the past I've taught American history and English as a foreign language at the Ohio State University, Temple University, at the University of Angers in western France, and in a medium-security prison. I have also held dissertation fellowships from the Center for Historical Research at The Ohio State University and the Center for the Humanities at Temple, as well as numerous travel research grants.

My disciplines and areas of professional expertise include…

Current work

I received my doctorate in modern U.S. history from Temple University in January 2014. My current book project, titled To Make the Wounded Whole: African American Responses to HIV/AIDS, examines grassroots responses to the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS on black communities, and brings together my interests in histories of African American life and culture, public health, sexuality, and the human body. Looking at the claims that African American AIDS activists made on government institutions, private granting agencies, and AIDS service organizations, I locate their efforts to combat the deadly epidemic in the context of much longer histories of black health activism, and the way that African Americans have framed their fight for inclusion and equality in the United States in relation to other struggles throughout the African Diaspora and global south. Along with the dissertation, I am conducting an oral history project among African American AIDS activists and building an online archive of materials relating to HIV and AIDS in African American communities.

Education

  • Temple University

    • 2014 Ph.D, American History
  • University of California, Berkeley

    • 2006 B.A., History

Projects

  • African American AIDS History Project

    The African American AIDS History Project serves as a digital archive that collects, preserves, and interprets materials documenting the impact of HIV and AIDS on black communities in the United States. See more at: http://afamaidshist.org

  • African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project

    The African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project captures the stories of people who have fought the spread of HIV and AIDS in African American communities, whether through protest, service provision, or policy work. Although racial disparities in U.S. AIDS epidemic have been clear since at least the middle of the 1980s, the impact of the disease on black communities has received scant attention. Similarly, the important work that African Americans (along with some white allies) have done to combat the AIDS epidemic in their communities has gone almost completely untreated in academic and popular literature on AIDS activism in the United States. The African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project aims to fill that silence by producing a set of interviews that will be available to scholars and the public at Temple University's Urban Archives. Learn more at: http://afamaidsoralhistory.wordpress.com/

  • Staring Out to Sea Oral History Project

    The Staring Out to Sea Oral History Project collects interviews with New Jersey residents about their experience during Hurricane Sandy. The project began as the product of Dr. Abigail Perkiss' oral history course at Kean University in spring 2013. In fall 2014, students in my digital humanities course at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey indexed the project's interviews using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) and built a Wordpress site to feature the project. Work is ongoing, with a launch of the project's second phase slated for summer 2015. See more at staringouttosea.com.

Experience

  • Florida International University

    • 8/2015 - Present Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Stockton University

    • 9/2014 - 6/2015 Visiting Assistant Professor
  • University of Angers

    • 9/2013 - 5/2014 Foreign Language Lecturer
  • Temple University

    • 12/2010 - 10/2013 Ph.D. Candidate
  • The Ohio State University

    • 6/2013 - 8/2013 Adjunct Professor