I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Harvard University, studying the intellectual, cultural, and political history of the United States in a global context. My primary interests are in the history of race and imperialism in the twentieth century, intellectual history, African American history, and decolonization.
My dissertation, entitled "The Politics of Decolonization in America, 1940-1975," examines how the global process of decolonization shaped Americans' understandings of racial formation, economic development, and citizenship in the twentieth-century U.S. This project explores how policymakers and social scientists on the one hand, and black activists and intellectuals involved with anticolonial movements on the other, drew parallels between the U.S. and the decolonizing world between the Second World War and the middle of the 1970s. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a moment in U.S. history in which two languages of international politics—a language of development on one side, and a language of decolonization on the other—met on the ground of War on Poverty social policy and Black Power thought and activism. My dissertation traces the parallel genealogies of these two political languages across the mid-twentieth century decades and examines their clashes and convergence in this period of urban crisis and domestic upheaval.