The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Heather Brinn

Heather Brinn

Ph.D. Candidate

Internship and Career Advisor, Department of History

Fields: Civil War and Reconstruction, 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 families in the mid-19th century. My dissertation examines the experiences of freedwomen, freedmen, and children in the transition from slavery into freedom, namely looking at protective efforts and power dynamics in the Reconstruction era. 

I consider my work an opportunity to tell the stories of freed women who appear in the archives for only a brief moment. These fragmentary glances into the lives of recently emancipated Black women speak to the ways their lives, labor, and voices were controlled. This research is an effort at undoing the power dynamics that silenced these women and their stories.

In the 2019 – 2020 academic year, I will be teaching a First Year Seminar titled “Race and Gender in American History,” as well as a Career Skills Practicum.  I am currently working as the Internship Coordinator for the History Department as well as serving as a Graduate Student Senator.