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Brittany Frederick

Ph.D. Candidate (ABD)

Fields: Public History, African American History, Modern U.S. History

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 higher education 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. 

Public History allows me the opportunity to explore the many intersections between traditional academic inquiry, historical authority, public engagement, accessibility, and inclusion. As it pertains to my dissertation research, I am especially interested in the ways universities manipulate their institutional history and memory.

At UMass, I have been fortunate enough to continue my practical education in Public History. Some of my experiences include the Smithsonian Institution, the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA, and our W.E.B. Du Bois Library’s Special Collections and Archives. While obtaining my Master’s degree, I worked closely with public organizations in the city of Albany, New York, including the Albany County Hall of Records, the New York State Museum, and the Historic Albany Foundation. Upon graduation, I intend to pursue employment at an archive, museum, or within a university.