Department: History

Supervising Faculty Member: Claudrena N. Harold

Specialization: African American history; black studies

Research Focus: Professor Harold’s research project centers on race relations at the University of Virginia with a particular focus on the historical and contemporary experiences of black undergraduate students.  Specific attention will be given to how the intellectual, social, and cultural landscape of UVA has transformed since the arrival of the first “critical mass” of black students in the late 1960s.  One of the larger questions to be addressed in our research is whether the idea of a “post-racial society” holds true when we examine the complex nature of social and cultural life at the University of Virginia, particularly in light of the contemporary experiences of African American students.

Job Description: 1) collect data on African American undergraduate and graduate enrollment rates and major (discipline) choices; 2) create an index of Cavalier Daily articles that explore the black experience at UVA between 1985 and 2000; and 3) transcribe interviews of current UVA students.

Required Skills/Knowledge: Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.

Required Courses: one course in U.S. History and/or African American and African Studies. Preferable courses include HIUS 3652, HIUS 3651, HIUS 3471, AAS 101 and AAS 102, AAS 3559, AAS 3500

Training: None

What You Will Learn: Through this research-work opportunity, you will: 1) articulate in a clear and concise fashion the intellectual and ethical benefits of a multicultural education and a diverse learning environment in a highly interconnected world; 2) approach contemporary problems in the arena of higher education from the perspective of a historian with a broad interdisciplinary perspective; 3) provide both qualitative and quantitative data on the changing nature of the black student experience at UVA; and 4) document the varied ways in which the presence of African Americans at the University of Virginia has and continues to transform the intellectual, cultural, and social landscape of the University. 

Suggested Reading:  

William L. Van Deburg, A New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture, 1965-1975, pages 63-82

Claudrena N. Harold, “Of the Wings of Atalanta”: The Struggle for African American Studies at the University of Virginia, 1969–1995.  Journal of African American Studies vol. 16 issue 1 March 2012. p. 41 - 69.

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