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Nora Williams



I am a third-year PhD student in the Department of History at Duke. I also am pursuing a graduate certificate in the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Department. My research explores the nineteenth century U.S. South spanning the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras. Broadly, I am interested in studying issues of gender, race, class, sexuality, and violence during this time. Specifically, my work looks at sexual violence in slavery, wartime, and the postwar South. In many ways, I consider myself a historian of trauma as I research individual people’s lived experiences of violence and suffering, and also violent moments of rupture on communal, regional, and national levels. Throughout my work, I practice a person-centered approach to studying history in that I ground analyses and theorizations of people in their life contexts in order to connect their experiences to larger systems of domination in American history. 

Educational Background
Bachelor of Arts, History, Magna cum laude
Wofford College, 2021 

Current Appointments & Affiliations