Lesa Redmond

I am a PhD candidate studying African American history, higher education history, and intellectual history over the course of the nineteenth century. My dissertation project, tentatively titled “Roots to Routes: African American Intellectual Production and the Politics of Higher Education in North Carolina, 1830-1891,” traces the major transformations in African American higher education as they played out over the course of the nineteenth century in North Carolina, a pioneering state for the establishment of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). I argue that North Carolina’s early HBCUs embraced a unique set of hybrid curriculums that blended vocational training with classical and theological education. Writ large, they endorsed multiple routes to higher education. What’s more, my research aims to show how these pedagogies were fundamentally shaped by, and rooted in, the educational doctrines of the antebellum period.  As such, I depart from most histories of African American higher education by taking a long view that begins in 1830 and ends in 1891. It was these six decades, and not, as some have suggested, the decades following World War II, that witnessed the greatest transformations in higher education for African Americans.

I hold an A.B. degree in History with a concentration in African American Studies from Princeton University and a MA in History from Duke University.

Current Research Interests

  • slavery
  • Long nineteenth century 
  • Civil War
  • intellectual history
  • history of higher education

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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