The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Heather Brinn

Heather BrinnPh.D. Student

Fields: 19th century slavery and abolition, African American History, Family and Marriage, Gender
Faculty: Barbara Krauthamer
Education: B.A. in History from University of Florida; M.A. in history from University of North Florida.

My research focuses on African American history in the 19th century. I am currently examining the shift of family structures from slavery into the Reconstruction Era as a result of marriage and family laws passed directly following emancipation.

My goal when doing history is to tell the history of people who have been silenced or sidelined, specifically because of their race, gender, or age. I began to research enslaved children in a seminar during the final semester of my undergraduate career. While working on my M.A., this morphed into research on parent-child interactions, marriage and divorce, and the formation of complex family dynamics from the Cotton Boom in the early nineteenth century through emancipation and the Reconstruction Era.

In the 2017 – 2018 academic year, I am working to fulfill my comprehensive exams requirement with fields in 19th century African American history, 20th century African American history, and slavery in the Caribbean.  I am also currently serving as a co-chair of the Graduate History Association (GHA).