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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 her 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, Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell (University of North Carolina Press, , 2020). Her op-ed “When White Women Wanted a Monument to Black 'Mammies,'" appeared in the New York Times (February 6, 2020). Parker is also the author of two historical monographs, Articulating Rights: Nineteenth-Century American Women on Race, Reform, and the State (2010) and Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933 (1997). She has co-edited three anthologies and authored numerous articles and book chapters. Parker's most recent article, “Oscar Stanton DePriest: Chicago, Republican Politics, and African American's Political Ambitions," is forthcoming in The Journal of African American History, Winter 2024 Issue (Volume 109, Number 1). Parker's next project is a study of the civil rights activist, Mary Hamilton, the first female field director for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). As co-chair of the University of Delaware's Anti-Racism Initiative, Parker is helping to build a coalition of students, faculty, and staff promoting a wide-ranging anti-racism agenda. She is trained to lead anti-racism and racial justice workshops and community conversations and is working to recruit and retain a diverse community of faculty and students.
Find Alison Parker on Twitter at @AlisonMParker1.
Podcast Interview by Caree Banton, for KUAF's Undiciplined, forthcoming, Spring 2023.
Radio Interview by Kyle Kellams on Unceasing Militant, for KUAF, Arkansas, October 2022.
Podcast Interview on Mary Church Terrell, for Ohio v. The World podcast, August 2022.
Radio Interview by Gerald Horne on Unceasing Militant, for KPFK's Freedom Now, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, June 2022.
Podcast Interview on the University of Delaware's Anti-Racism Initiative, Delaware Humanities Podcast, March 2022.
Podcast Interview on Unceasing Militant, Highlands Bunker, March 2022.
“On This Day in History: Susan B. Anthony Voted," Times Radio, UK, November 2021.
"Mary Church Terrell & the Black 'Mammy' Statue," Lectures in History, C-SPAN3 American History TV, April 2021.
Podcast Interview by Lisa Napoli on Unceasing Militant, for BIO Podcast, April 2021.
Podcast Interview by Erik Loomis on Unceasing Militant, for the Lawyers, Guns, and Money Blog, April 2021.
Podcast Interview by Susan Liebell, for the New Books in Political Science with a short blog (simultaneous release on New Books in History and New Books in African American Studies), April 2021.
Unceasing Militant, featured book in Black Agenda report, Book Forum, March 2021.
"Civil Rights Activist: Mary Church Terrell," National Archives and Records Administration conversation, aired on C-SPAN American History TV, February 2021.
"Mary Church Terrell and Black Women's Political Organzing "History News Network (HNN), op-ed, 1/10/21.
Introduction & Excerpt of Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell, in Ms. Magazine, November/December 2020.
Introduction & Excerpt of Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell, in HNY blog, Humanities New York, October 2020.
“When White Women Wanted a Monument to Black ‘Mammies,’” Op-Ed, Sunday Reviews, New York Times, 2/6/20.
Consultant, Woman Suffrage Monuments, CNN Digital Video News, Fall 2020.
Featured Historian on episodes of “And Nothing Less,” PRX podcast hosted by Rosario Dawson and Retta, August 2020.
Project Reviewer, “Truth Be Told,” digital suffrage collection, Evoke.org (Pivotal Ventures), Summer 2020.
Advisor, The Vote, American Experience, PBS Digital Content Team for “She Resisted: Strategies of Resistance in the Women’s Suffrage Movement,” Spring 2020-.
Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell, University of North Carolina Press, John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture, 2020. Chosen as one of "The Best Black History Books of 2020," African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), Black Perspectives, December 21, 2020. Book of the Day, Foreword Reviews, December 23, 2020.
Articulating Rights: Nineteenth-Century American Women on Race, Reform, and the State, Northern Illinois University Press, 2010. https://www.niupress.niu.edu/niupress/Scripts/Book/bookResults.asp?ID=546
Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933, University of Illinois Press, 1997.
Interconnections: Gender and Race in American History, edited by Alison M. Parker & Carol Faulkner (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2012, paperback 2014).
Beyond Black and White: Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the U.S. South and Southwest, edited by Stephanie Cole and Alison M. Parker, Texas A&M University Press, 2004.
Women and the Unstable State in Nineteenth-Century America, edited by Alison M. Parker and Stephanie Cole, Texas A&M University Press, 2000.
Book Series Editor
Co-editor, with Carol Faulkner (Syracuse University), of a book series, Gender and Race in American History, for the University of Rochester Press, 2008–. https://boydellandbrewer.com/series/gender-and-race-in-american-history.html
“Oscar Stanton DePriest: Chicago, Republican Politics, and African American's Political Ambitions," The Journal of African American History, forthcoming Winter 2024 Issue (Volume 109, Number 1).
Co-authored with Valeria Sinclair-Chapman and Naomi Williams, “Contemporary Black Women's Voting Rights Activism: Some Historical Perspective," Seneca Falls Dialogue Journal, Issue 4 (2021).
"'The Picture of Health': The Public Life and Private Ailments of Mary Church Terrell," in a special issue of the Journal of Historical Biography guest edited by Alison M. Parker, entitled "Disability and Disclosure: The Body, Secrets, and Women's Biography," (2013). www.ufv.ca/jhb/Volume_13/Volume_13_TOC.pdf
"Frances Watkins Harper and the Search for Women’s Interracial Alliances,” in Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle for Equal Rights, edited by Mary Huth and Christine Ridarsky (University of Rochester Press, 2012).
"Clubwomen, Reformers, Workers, and Feminists of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era," in Women's Rights in the Age of Suffrage: People and Perspectives, edited by Crista DeLuzio (New York: ABC-CLIO, 2009).
"Women Activists and the US Congress, 1870s-1920s," inThe American Congress: Building of Democacy, edited by Julian Zelizer, (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004).
"The Case for Reform Antecedents to the Woman Suffrage Movement," in Votes for Women: A Concise History of the Suffrage Movement, Oxford University Press, 2002.
"'What We Do Expect the People Legislatively to Effect': Frances Wright, Moral Reform, and State Legislation" in Women and the Unstable State in Nineteenth-Century America, edited by Alison M. Parker and Stephanie Cole, Texas A&M University Press, 2000.
"'Hearts Uplifted and Minds Refreshed': The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Production of Pure Culture," inJournal of Women’s History, Summer 1999.
"Mothering the Movies: Women Reformers and the Censorship of Popular Culture," in Movie Censorship and American Culture, edited by Francis Couvares, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996.
“Mary Church Terrell: Black Suffragist and Civil Rights Activist,” Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission blog, July 2020; republished in On Their Shoulders: The Radical Stories of Women’s Fight for the Vote (published by WSCC on Amazon Kindle, September 2020).
"Mary Church Terrell" peer-reviewed biographical essay for the series "Black Women and Suffrage" for the Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-200 website, edited by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn and Thomas Dublin (Alexander Street Press, Spring 2015).
“Mary Church Terrell’s International Perspective on U.S. Race Relations,” peer-reviewed article with a fully transcribed Primary Source Document Project for the Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 website, edited by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin (Alexander Street Press, Spring 2012).
Review Essay, “Black Women's Biographies: Connecting the Personal and Political," Reviews in American History 50 (March 2022).
"Intersecting Histories of Gender, Race, and Disability, "Journal of Women's History (Spring 2015, Vol. 2y, Issue 1).
"Twentieth-Century Transformations: Sexualities Defined and Sexual Expression Expanded" Reviews in American History (June 2014).
“Reading Race Through U.S. Women’s Biographies,” in the Journal of Women’s History (Autumn, 2012 V. 24, Issue 3).
"The Alcotts and the Wilders: Revealing Family Histories,” for Reviews in American History (December 2010).
"The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848: A Pivotal Moment in Nineteenth-Century America." Reviews in American History (Sept. 2008).
"Women's Rights and 'Speech Communities' in American Legal History," Reviews in American History, Vol. 31, N.1 (March 2003).
“Black Feminist Activism: The Life and Thought of Mary Church Terrell," Texas A&M University, October 2023.
“Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell," James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, Emory University, March 2023.
“Studies in Leadership: Mary Church Terrell & Alice Paul," Graduate School USA, Center for Leadership & Management, Executive Potential Program, December 2022.
“Mary Church Terrell's Black Feminist Activism," Hartman Hotz Lecture, University of Arkansas, October 2022.
“Mary Church Terrell and Frederick Douglass," The National Park Service, March 2022.
“Working for Suffrage: How Class and Race Shaped the Women's Suffrage Movement," National Archives and Records Administration, March 2022.
“Professors and the Public: What History Can Teach Us About the Current Moment and the Way Forward," Texas A & M University, February 2022.
"Inextricably Linked: Black Men's Disenfranchisement and Black Women's Voting Rights," Massachusetts Historical Society, Fall 2021.
"Mary Church Terrell & Black Women's History," Society for the History of Women in the Americas in the UK (SHAW), University of Oxford, England, December 2021.
"Black Women's Right to Vote in the United States," Suffrage Book Series, Universite de Lille, France, Fall 2021.
"Pacifism, Faminism, & Civil Rights: The Activist Career of Mary Church Terrell," University of Rochester, Fall 2021.
"Mary Church Terrell's Jim Crow Era Fight Against Racism in Higher Education," State University of New York, College at Brockport, Fall 2021.
"On Black Mammy Monuments and More," Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester, New York, April 2021.
Panel on "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity," National Archives & Records Administration & ASALH Virtual Public Program, February 2021.
"Unceasing Militant: Mary Church Terrell Book Talk," Bethel Dukes Branch, ASALH, Washington, D.C., February 2021.
"Mary Church Terrell's Family History and the Making of an Activist," Victorian Society of New York, February 2021.
"Mary Church Terrell's Partisan Political Activism," Black History Month Marathon, Global Black Caucus, Democrats Abroad, February 2021.
"The Civil Rights Activism of Mary Church Terrell," South Coastal Library, Delaware, February 2021.
Speaker, Frederick Douglass Day/Mary Church Terrell Transcription Day, Library of Congress & Colored Conventions Project, February 2021.
"Mary Church Terrell and Black Women's Civic Leadership," University of North Carolina, Greensboro, January 2021.
A Conversation Between Alison Parker and Nikki Brown,” National Archives, December 2020.
Virtual Induction of Mary Church Terrell, National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, New York, December 2020.
“The Long Road to the Vote,” co-sponsored by WNDC Educational Foundation & National Association of Colored Women,
virtual talk, August 2020.
“Black Suffragists’ Campaign for Racial and Gender Justice,” Albany Institute of History and Art, virtual talk, August 2020.
“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,
virtual talk, August 2020.
“Women of Color Activists: Then and Now,” co-sponsored by League of Women Voters & Contra Costa County Library,
virtual talk, August 2020.
“Black Women and the Vote,” Conference Morgan State University, Spring 2020.
“African American Women’s Suffrage Activism: Racial and Gender Equality,” the 2020:Gender, Race, Suffrage, and Citizenship Conference, Hunter College, Spring 2020.
“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.
“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.
“Biographies of Black Women Roundtable," Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Summer 2023.
“The Power of Black Women's Biography," Organization of American Historians, Spring 2023.
“The Private Ailments and Public Activism of Mary Church Terrell," Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Fall 2022.
“Mary Church Terrell: Promoting and Preserving Black History," African American Intellectual History (AAIHS) conference, Spring 2022.
Darlene Clark Hine & Gerald Horne Book Roundtable Panel Featuring: Alison Parker, Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell, ASALH, Fall 2021.
“Black Women's Participation in Formal Partisan Politics: Mary Church Terrell and the Election of 1920," In Her Own Right Symposium, Spring 2021.
“Black Women’s Voting Rights and Elections in Historical and Contemporary Perspective,” Seneca Falls Dialogues, Fall 2020.
“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.
“Mary Church Terrell and Black Women’s Cross-Class Collaborations,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Fall 2019.
“Connecting Contemporary U.S. Elections with Histories of Working-Class Women’s Political Mobilization,” Roundtable Participant, Organization of American History, Spring 2019.
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