Tufts University  |  School of Arts and Sciences  |  Department of History  |  Find People  | 


Core Faculty

Dr. Kendra Field
Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy

Kendra Field is associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). The book traces her ancestors' migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration. Field also served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009). Field's research and teaching areas include race, slavery, freedom, migration, and social movements in the long nineteenth century; African-American family history, memory, and public history.

Field has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center in American History. Field's recent articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Transition. She is the recipient of the Western Writers of America's, 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, the 2016 Boahen-Wilks Prize, and the OAH's Huggins-Quarles Award. Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013) and "Roots: A History Revealed" (2016).

Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Previously, Field served as Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, and worked in education and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.

Prof. Field's profile page >

Dr. Kerri Greenidge
Co-Director, African American Trail Project

Dr. Kerri Greenidge received her Doctorate in American Studies from Boston University, where her specialty included African-American history, American political history, and African-American and African diasporic literature in the post-emancipation and early modern era. Her research explores the role of African-American literature in the creation of radical Black political consciousness, particularly as it relates to local elections and Democratic populism during the Progressive Era. She has taught at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Emerson College. Her work includes historical research for the Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African-American Literature, the Oxford African American Studies Center, and PBS. For nine years she worked as a historian for Boston African American National Historical Site in Boston, through which she published her first book, Boston Abolitionists (2006). Her forthcoming book Trotter: Race and Politics in Boston will be published by Norton in Spring 2019. The book, a biography of African-American activist William Monroe Trotter, explores the history of racial thought and African-American political radicalism in New England at the turn of the century. She is currently interim Director of American Studies at Tufts University, and co-director of the African American Trail Project at the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD).

Dr. Peniel E. Joseph
Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy

Peniel E. Joseph is a former Professor of History at Tufts University and now holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. Professor Joseph is the author of the award-winning Waiting #39;Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America; and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. He is also the editor of The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era, and Neighborhood Rebels: Black Power at the Local Level. He received a B.A. from SUNY at Stony Brook and a Ph.D. from Temple University.

Dr. Joseph is a frequent observer on issues of race, democracy, and civil rights whose commentary has been featured on National Public Radio. During the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Professor Joseph provided historical commentary for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

The recipient of fellowships from Harvard University's Charles Warren Center, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Ford Foundation, Professor Joseph's essays have appeared in The Journal of American History, The Chronicle Review, The New York Times, The Black Scholar, Souls, and American Historical Review. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

More about Prof. Joseph >

Dr. James Jennings

James Jennings is an emeritus Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts. He received his doctorate in political science from Columbia University. He teaches graduate courses on community development, U.S. social policy, and related courses focusing on race, poverty, and urban neighborhoods. Dr. Jennings has also been involved with research examining the role and impact of immigrant workers and entrepreneurs in state economies.

Professor Jennings has published numerous books including A New Introduction to Poverty: Role of Race, Power and Politics (co-edited); Blacks, Latinos, and Asians: Status and Prospects for Activism; Urban Spaces: Planning and Struggles for Land and Community (co-edited); Welfare Reform and the Revitalization of Inner City Neighborhoods; and Race, Neighborhoods, and the Misuse of Social Capital. His reports covering urban and neighborhood issues in the areas of local economic development, housing, public health, and education have been cited by public agencies and foundations across the country.

Most recently, Dr. Jennings published a research report exploring potential collaboration between public housing and public schools, Boston Housing Authority and Boston Public Schools: Exploring Academic Collaboration, and a research report for the William Monroe Trotter Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston: Black Churches and Neighborhood Empowerment in Boston, Massachusetts 1960s and 1970s: Lessons for Today.

More about Prof. Jennings >