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236 John Munroe HallNewark, DE 19716<div class="ExternalClassA2CC2F0BD60A44CD807379A2DCE4EC7D"><p>​Alison M. Parker is History Department Chair and Richards Professor of American History. She has research and teaching interests at the intersections of gender, race, disability, citizenship and the law in U.S. history. She majored in art history and history at the University of California, Berkeley and earned a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University. In 2017-2018, Parker was an Andrew W. Mellon Advanced Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University, where she worked on her biography of the civil rights activist and suffragist Mary Church Terrell.<em> <a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="">Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell</a>  </em>is now available (University of North Carolina Press, John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture, 2020). Her op-ed <a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl=""> “When White Women Wanted a Monument to Black ‘Mammies,’”</a> appeared in the <em>New York Times </em>Sunday Review, February 6, 2020. Parker is the author of two historical monographs, <em>Articulating Rights: Nineteenth-Century American Women on Race, Reform, and the State </em>(2010)<em> </em>and <em>Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform,</em><em> and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933</em> (1997). She has also co-edited three anthologies and authored numerous articles and book chapters. While a faculty member at the State University of New York, College at Brockport, Parker was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (2012). Her next book project is a study of the civil rights activist, Mary Hamilton, the first female field director for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Parker serves as the founding editor of the Gender and Race in American History book series for the University of Rochester Press. As co-chair of the Antiracism Initiative at the University of Delaware, Parker is building a coalition of students, faculty, and staff promoting a wide-ranging anti-racism agenda. She is trained to lead antiracism and racial justice workshops and community conversations and is working to recruit and retain a diverse community of faculty and students.</p></div><div class="ExternalClass1F2658CA00E34571AED78305511734F1"><ul><li>Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, History, 1993.</li><li>M.A., The Johns Hopkins University, History, 1990.</li><li>B.A., University of California, Berkeley, History and the History of Art, Phi Beta Kappa, 1988. </li></ul></div><div class="ExternalClass4C1C1321E426457480A542E1F10BFDA9"><ul><li> <strong>Books</strong> <ul><li> <em> <a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="">Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell</a></em>, University of North Carolina Press, John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture, 2020. </li><li> <em>Articulating Rights: Nineteenth-Century American Women on Race, Reform, and the State,</em> Northern Illinois University Press, 2010.</li><li> <em>Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933</em>, University of Illinois Press, 1997. </li></ul></li><li> <strong>Edited Books</strong> <ul><li> <em>Interconnections: Gender and Race in American History</em>, edited by Alison M. Parker & Carol Faulkner (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2012, paperback 2014). </li><li> <em>Beyond Black and White: Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the U.S. South and Southwest</em>, edited by Stephanie Cole and Alison M. Parker, Texas A&M University Press, 2004. </li><li> <em>Women and the Unstable State in Nineteenth-Century America</em>, edited by Alison M. Parker and Stephanie Cole, Texas A&M University Press, 2000. </li></ul></li><li> <strong>Book Series Editor</strong> <ul><li>Co-editor, with Carol Faulkner (Syracuse University), of a book series, <em>Gender and Race in American History,</em> for the University of Rochester Press, 2008–. <a href="" aria-expanded="false" target="_blank"></a></li></ul></li><li> <strong>Articles</strong> <ul><li>"'The Picture of Health': The Public Life and Private Ailments of Mary Church Terrell," in a special issue of the <em>Journal of Historical Biography</em> guest edited by Alison M. Parker, entitled "Disability and Disclosure: The Body, Secrets, and Women's Biography," (2013). <a href="" aria-expanded="false" target="_blank"></a></li><li>"Frances Watkins Harper and the Search for Women’s Interracial Alliances,” in <em>Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle for Equal Rights</em>, edited by Mary Huth and Christine Ridarsky (University of Rochester Press, 2012). </li><li>"Clubwomen, Reformers, Workers, and Feminists of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," in <em>Women's Rights in the Age of Suffrage: People and Perspectives,</em> edited by Crista DeLuzio (New York: ABC-CLIO, 2009). </li><li> <em>"</em>Women Activists and the US Congress, 1870s-1920s," in<em><em>The American Congress: Building of Democacy</em>, </em>edited by Julian Zelizer, (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004). </li><li>"The Case for Reform Antecedents to the Woman Suffrage Movement," in<em> V<em>otes for Women: A Concise History of the Suffrage Movement</em>, </em>Oxford University Press, 2002. </li><li>"'What We Do Expect the People Legislatively to Effect': Frances Wright, Moral Reform, and State Legislation" in Women and the Unstable State<em><em> in Nineteenth-Century America</em>, </em>edited by Alison M. Parker and Stephanie Cole, Texas A&M University Press, 2000. </li><li>"'Hearts Uplifted and Minds Refreshed': The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Production of Pure Culture," in<em><em>Journal of Women’s History</em>, </em>Summer 1999. </li><li>"Mothering the Movies: Women Reformers and the Censorship of Popular Culture," in <em>Movie Censorship and American Culture,</em> edited by Francis Couvares, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996. </li></ul></li><li> <strong>Digital Articles</strong> <ul><li> <a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="">“Mary Church Terrell: Black Suffragist and Civil Rights Activist,”</a> Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission blog, July 2020; republished in <em>On Their Shoulders: The Radical Stories of Women’s Fight for the Vote</em> (published by WSCC on Amazon Kindle, September 2020). </li><li> "Mary Church Terrell" peer-reviewed biographical essay for the series "Black Women and Suffrage" for the <em>Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-200</em> website, edited by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn and Thomas Dublin (Alexander Street Press, Spring 2015). </li><li>“Mary Church Terrell’s International Perspective on U.S. Race Relations,” peer-reviewed article with a fully transcribed Primary Source Document Project for the <em>Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000</em> website, edited by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin (Alexander Street Press, Spring 2012). </li></ul></li><li> <strong>Review Essays</strong> <ul><li>"Intersecting Histories of Gender, Race, and Disability, "<em>Journal of Women's History </em>(Spring 2015, Vol. 2y, Issue 1). </li><li>"Twentieth-Century Transformations: Sexualities Defined and Sexual Expression Expanded" <em>Reviews in American History</em> (June 2014). </li><li>“Reading Race Through U.S. Women’s Biographies,” in the <em>Journal of Women’s History</em> (Autumn, 2012 V. 24, Issue 3). </li><li>"The Alcotts and the Wilders: Revealing Family Histories,” for <em>Reviews in American History</em> (December 2010). </li><li>"The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848: A Pivotal Moment in Nineteenth-Century America." <em>Reviews in American History</em> (Sept. 2008). </li><li>"Women's Rights and 'Speech Communities' in American Legal History," <em>Reviews in American History</em>, Vol. 31, N.1 (March 2003). </li></ul></li></ul></div><div class="ExternalClass5AAB3A96888E4CA0847E4C876779A637"><p></p><p></p><ul><li> Introduction & Excerpt of <em>Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell</em>, in <em>Ms. Magazine</em>, forthcoming November 2020. </li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">“When White Women Wanted a Monument to Black ‘Mammies,’” Op-Ed, Sunday Reviews, New York Times, 2/6/20</a>.</li><li>Consultant, Woman Suffrage Monuments, CNN Digital Video News, Fall 2020.</li><li>Featured Historian on episodes of “And Nothing Less,” PRX podcast hosted by Rosario Dawson and Retta, August 2020.</li><li> Project Reviewer, “Truth Be Told,” digital suffrage collection, (Pivotal Ventures), Summer 2020. </li> Advisor, Amended Podcast (on the history of woman suffrage), Humanities New York, Spring 2020-. <li>Advisor, <em>The Vote</em>, American Experience, PBS Digital Content Team for “She Resisted: Strategies of Resistance in the Women’s Suffrage Movement,” Spring 2020-.</li></ul></div><div class="ExternalClass9581CB75FFCF4D319430E23600E98997"><ul><li>Keynote Panel for the Massachusetts Historical Society Conference “’Shall Not Be Denied’: The 15th and 19th Amendments at the Sesquicentennial and Centennial of Their Ratifications,” Fall 2021.</li><li> “<em>Unceasing Militant</em>: <a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="">A Conversation</a> Between Alison Parker and Nikki Brown,” National Archives, December 2020. </li><li> Speaker, <a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="">Virtual Induction of Mary Church Terrell</a>, National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, New York, December 2020. </li><li> “The Long Road to the Vote,” co-sponsored by WNDC Educational Foundation & National Association of Colored Women, <a href="" target="_blank">virtual talk</a>, August 2020. </li><li> “Black Suffragists’ Campaign for Racial and Gender Justice,” Albany Institute of History and Art, virtual talk, August 2020. </li><li> “Historians’ POV: Women’s Suffrage, Civil Rights, and the Value of the Vote,” co-sponsored by Americans Abroad, Global Black Caucus & Global Women’s Caucus, <a href="" target="_blank">virtual talk</a>, August 2020. </li><li> “Women of Color Activists: Then and Now,” co-sponsored by League of Women Voters & Contra Costa County Library, <a href="" target="_blank">virtual talk</a>, August 2020. </li><li> “Black Women and the Vote,” Conference Morgan State University, Spring 2020. </li><li> “African American Women’s Suffrage Activism: Racial and Gender Equality,” the 2020:Gender, Race, Suffrage, and Citizenship Conference, Hunter College, Spring 2020. </li><li>“Black Women’s Suffrage Activism: 1913-1921,” for the 1619-1919-2019 Landmark Moments in African American History and Culture, Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, the University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2019.</li><li>“Mary Church Terrell’s Black Feminism,” Boston Seminar, African American History Seminar Series, Co-Sponsored by the New England Biography Series, Massachusetts Historical Society, Fall 2019.</li></ul></div><div class="ExternalClass01F68D13C9CC477A993DE2517F6692AD"><p></p><ul><li> “Black Women’s Voting Rights and Elections in Historical and Contemporary Perspective,” Seneca Falls Dialogues, Fall 2020. </li><li> “Gendered Violence, the Carceral System, and African American Women’s Advocacy for Racial and Gender Justice,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Fall 2020. </li><li>“Mary Church Terrell and Black Women’s Cross-Class Collaborations,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Fall 2019.</li> <li>“Connecting Contemporary U.S. Elections with Histories of Working-Class Women’s Political Mobilization,” Roundtable Participant, Organization of American History, Spring 2019.</li></ul></div>EducationPublicationsMediaRecent Invited TalksRecent Conference, Alison(302) 831-2371<img alt="Chair of the History Department Professor Alison Parker" src="/Images%20Bios/faculty/parker_alison.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Chair & Richards Professor of American HistoryCo-chair, UD Antiracism InitiativeJoint Appointment Women and Gender Studies



Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church TerrellParker, AlisonThe University of North Carolina Press2020<p>Born into slavery during the Civil War, Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954) would become one of the most prominent activists of her time, with a career bridging the late nineteenth century to the civil rights movement of the 1950s. The first president of the National Association of Colored Women and a founding member of the NAACP, Terrell collaborated closely with the likes of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and W. E. B. Du Bois.<em> Unceasing Militant</em> is the first full-length biography of Terrell, bringing her vibrant voice and personality to life. Though most accounts of Terrell focus almost exclusively on her public activism, Alison M. Parker also looks at the often turbulent, unexplored moments in her life to provide a more complete account of a woman dedicated to changing the culture and institutions that perpetuated inequality throughout the United States.</p>Drawing on newly discovered letters and diaries, Parker weaves together the joys and struggles of Terrell's personal, private life with the challenges and achievements of her public, political career, producing a stunning portrait of an often-under recognized political leader.<p>Reviews:<br></p><p>"<em>Unceasing Militant</em> is an admiring yet fair tribute to activist Mary Church Terrell, whose sustained, determined belief is inspiring."--<em>Foreword Reviews</em></p><p>"Kudos to Alison Parker for her vivid portrait of the unparalleled Mary Church Terrell. In a life lived between 1863 and the end of slavery and 1954 and the birth of modern civil rights, Terrell used 'dignified agitation' to wage a freedom struggle against lynching and racism and in support of women’s votes, equal education, antiwar efforts, and civil rights. Parker does a deep dive into the archives to fashion a compelling life-and-times portrait that places Terrell and black women’s politics where they should be: at the heart of nearly every important social movement of the twentieth century. In this ambitious and timely biography, Parker finally gives Terrell the sustained scholarly attention she deserves."--Martha S. Jones, author of <em>Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All</em></p><p>"I so appreciate Alison Parker's ability to tell the story of Mary Church Terrell's brave and courageous life with a sense of critical compassion."--Ula Taylor, author of <em>The Promise of Patriarchy: Women and the Nation of Islam</em></p><p>"Mary Church Terrell is one of the most important hidden figures of the twentieth century, and Alison Parker's keen yet warm historical eye allows Terrell's life story to blossom. A proudly African American woman born into slavery and raised in freedom, Terrell bore witness to the rise and fall of Jim Crow over a life that spanned almost a century. There is something in Terrell's story for every reader interested in twentieth-century social movements--civil rights, women's rights, prison reform, women's health advocacy, Pan-Africanism, human rights between the two World Wars, and U.S. presidential politics."--Nikki Brown, author of <em>Private Politics and Public Voices:  Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal</em></p><p>"This is a wonderful biography of a foundational figure in the history of U.S. civil rights."--Anastasia Curwood, author of <em>Stormy Weather: Middle-Class African American Marriages between the Two World Wars</em></p>
Articulating Rights Nineteenth-century American Women on Race, Reform, and the StateParker, AlisonNorthern Illinois University Press2010<p>"Parker offers an original and nuanced inquiry into everyday political thought, arguing that it pivoted particularly on the axis of race and gender. Articulating Rights discovers a robust conversation about politics ... ongoing among white and black women activists who were far less known than either luminaries of the women's rights movement such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton or critics such as Catharine Beecher."—Amy Dru Stanley, The University of Chicago </p><p>“Parker offers a provocative and illuminating study of nineteenth-century women’s political thought. By including white and black women in the same volume, she overcomes a major flaw in the scholarship.”—Carol Faulkner, Maxwell School of Syracuse University</p><p>In this original study of six notable reformers, Alison Parker skillfully illuminates the connections between the gradual transformation of reform strategies over the course of the 19th century and the political ideas of the reformers themselves. Parker argues that American women’s political thought evolved from an emphasis on reform through moral suasion and local control into an endorsement of expanded federal power and a strong central state. This book reveals Fanny Wright, Sarah Grimké, Angelina Grimké Weld, Frances Watkins Harper, Frances Willard, and Mary Church Terrell to be political thinkers who were engaged in re-conceptualizing the relationship between the state and its citizens. Collectively and individually, black women made a significant contribution to the shift toward an activist central state by strongly supporting a federal government with expanded authority to protect and enforce civil rights. Offering profiles of two black reformers, Parker explores the complex role that race played in the political thought and strategies in both black and white women reformers. Paying particular attention to the ways in which women’s ideas about the state and citizenship factored into their struggles for racial and sexual equality, Parker illuminates the wide-ranging and creative ways in which they engaged in politics. For scholars interested in 19th-century women, race, or reform in American history, this significant study offers a fresh take on these vital topics. </p>
Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933Parker, AlisonUniversity of Illinois Press1997<p>​"Purifying America" explores the widespread middle-class advocacy of censorship as a popular reform around the turn of the century and provides a historical perspective on contemporary debates over censorship, morality, and pornography that continue to divide women. 'Makes significant contributions not only to our knowledge of the WCTU and of pro-censorship activism, but more broadly to our understanding of progressivism and of cultural dynamics of gender and class as they intersected with reform efforts in the sixty years surrounding the turn of the twentieth century' - Nancy K. Bristow, H-Net Reviews.</p>

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  • Department of History
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  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
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