ProQuest Friday Plenary Session

What's Under the Dust? Recovering Family History from the Archives

Carla L. Peterson is a Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her expertise includes nineteenth-century African American women writers and speakers in the northern US, African American novelists in the post-Reconstruction era, and gender and culture in historical literature. Carla completed her Ph.D. at Yale University in 1976. Subsequently, she won a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship for Minorities from 1981–1982 and a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (at Stanford) from 1987-1988. In the 1990s, she won awards from the American Council of Learned Societies (1991–1992) and from the American Association of University Women (1991–1992). Peterson is currently a member of the Maryland Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. Peterson also serves as an affiliate faculty member of the American Studies, African-American Studies, and Women’s Studies Departments. Her current research interests include a range of issues including race, ethnicity, African American issues, gender and feminism, family/children/child development, history, and literature.

Her recent book, Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City, has received amazing reviews. And her lectures on her work have gotten equally fine reviews. It is clear she has a passion encouraging researchers to place their historical and genealogical research in the richest and most robust contexts possible. She is known to say that we need stories to go with the names of our ancestors.

This session is sponsored by ProQuest.