AAIHS OFFICERS

President & Senior Blog Editor–Keisha N. Blain

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Keisha N. Blain is a historian of the 20th century United States with broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She completed a PhD in History at Princeton University. Her research interests include black internationalism, radical politics, and global feminisms. She is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. Her articles have appeared in Souls, the Journal of Social History, and Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International. Along with Ula Taylor and Asia Leeds, she recently edited a special journal issue on women, gender politics, and Pan-Africanism. Her forthcoming book, Set the World On Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), uncovers the crucial role women played in building black nationalist and internationalist protest movements in the United States and other parts of the African Diaspora during the twentieth century. She is one of the co-editors of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016). Follow her on Twitter @KeishaBlain.


Vice President–Brandon R. Byrd 

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Brandon R. Byrd is an Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University where he teaches courses in United States, African American, and African Diaspora History. He earned a Ph.D. from the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research in the field of black intellectual history has been supported by fellowships and grants from numerous institutions including Marquette University, the American Philosophical Society, the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass-Amherst, the Marcus Garvey Foundation, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. It has also appeared or is forthcoming in several outlets including Slavery & Abolition and The Journal of Haitian Studies. Currently, Dr. Byrd is working on a book manuscript titled An Experiment in Self-Government: Haiti in the African-American Political Imagination, 1863-1915. It examines the ways in which black public figures in the United States conceptualized the link between Haitian independence and their prospects for racial progress, communal self-determination, and full citizenship during the decades after the U.S. Civil War. The book will be published with the America in the Nineteenth Century series at the University of Pennsylvania Press. Follow him on Twitter @bronaldbyrd.


Treasurer & 2018 Conference Committee Co-Chair–Ashley D. Farmer

Ashley D. Farmer is a historian of black women’s history, intellectual history, and radical politics. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the African American Studies Program at Boston University. Her book, Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era (UNC Press, 2017), is the first comprehensive study of black women’s intellectual production and activism in the Black Power era. Dr. Farmer’s scholarship has appeared in numerous venues including The Black Scholar, The Black Diaspora Review, and The Journal of African American History. She has also contributed to popular outlets like The Independent and the History Channel. The Center for American Politics at Harvard University, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Research on Women and Politics at Iowa State University, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) have supported her research. Dr. Farmer earned her BA from Spelman College, an MA in History and a PhD in African American Studies from Harvard University. She is also the Co-Editor and Curator of the Black Power Series with Ibram X. Kendi, published with NYU Press. Follow her on Twitter @drashleyfarmer.


Secretary–Jaimee A. Swift

Jaimee A. Swift is a PhD student at Howard University, studying the intersections of black women’s political mobilization, transnational activism, and Africana Womanist thought within the Afro-Brazilian Women’s Movement. Holding a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Master of Arts in Political Science from Temple University and Howard University, respectively, Swift is passionate about racial and social justice, gender and health equity. Her work has been published in an array of media outlets including The Huffington PostThe GrioFor HarrietOkayafricaBlavityHeed Magazine, Salon.comLA Progressive, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and Montgomery Media. She is also Editor-at-Large for The Hilltopnewspaper, “the student voice of Howard University since 1924”, which was started by renown author, writer, and Harlem Renaissance extraordinaire, Zora Neale Hurston. Swift is the first Editor-at-Large in the history of the newspaper. Featured as a guest commentator on RT America for her coverage of the Flint water crisis, Swift was also a co-panelist at a parallel event focusing on intersectionality at the UN Women’s Commission on the Status of Women in March 2016. Follow her on Twitter @JaimeeSwift.


2018 Conference Committee Co-Chair–Greg Childs

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Greg Childs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Brandeis University. He completed a Ph.D. at New York University in 2012, where he specialized in the history of the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is particularly interested in the formation of black political life and knowledge productions by people of African descent in the Americas and the Atlantic World. He is currently completing a book entitled, Seditious Spaces, Public Politics: The Tailor’s Conspiracy of Bahia, Brazil and the Politics of Freedom in the Revolutionary Atlantic. In this work he examines the relationship between resistance by persons of African descent and the development of public opinion in the last decades of the eighteenth century. At the center of this project is a movement to end racial discrimination and Portuguese rule that was organized and promoted in public spaces throughout the Brazilian city of Salvador da Bahia by free men of color in 1798. The book thus registers a call for understanding public spheres according to critical geography and not just critical discourse analysis. He is also at work on a second project tentatively titled “The Madness of Blackness, or the Confinement of Freedom in the Post-Emancipation Era.” This project traces the development of ideas and practices that linked freedom from slavery with mental insanity across the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Brazil, Cuba, and the U.S. South.