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Brittany Frederick

Ph.D. Candidate (ABD)

Fields: Public History, 19th Century African American History, 20th Century Black Freedom Struggle
Faculty: Traci Parker (Afro-American Studies), Barbara Krauthamer, James Smethurst (Afro-American Studies), Martha Biondi (Northwestern University) 
Education: B.A. History, University at Albany (2014); M.A. Public History, University at Albany (2015)

My research interests include the social and cultural history of the modern United States, including sociopolitical activism, student power, and transformations to higher education during the 1960s and 1970s. My dissertation examines intersections of Black women’s activism in spaces of higher learning during the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. I also interrogate how higher education has been utilized to advance ideals of Black intellectualism, resistance, identity, and self-determination. 

As a public historian, I aim to tell stories that recover obscured narratives, and appeal to human nature. I believe that anyone can contribute to historical memory, and I apply these approaches to my dissertation research and methodology. As I progress, I hope to continue to educate outside of academia and develop creative techniques for public engagement.

Currently at UMass, I work as the Graduate Assistant for the Office of Inclusion and Engagement within the Graduate School. I also serve on the Status on Diversity Council, a Faculty Senate committee tasked with representing the needs of underrepresented populations on campus. I am also continuing my dissertation research through two fellowship programs: the W.E.B. Du Bois Graduate Student Fellowship, and the Research Enhancement and Leadership (REAL) Fellowship.