Graduate Student Bios

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Shaun Armstead
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  • Current Research: Women's and Gender, American History, Global and Comparative

Shaun Armstead is a historian of women’s international history in the twentieth century. The question animating her work is how leaders of one of the largest African American women’s federations in the twentieth century thought about and endeavored to create an anti-racist and anti-sexist world. She answers this question in her dissertation, “Imagined Solidarities: Black Liberal Internationalism and the National Council of Negro Women’s Journey from Afro-Asian to Pan-African Unity, 1935 to 1975,” by examining the affective and political dimensions shaping the relationships African American women liberals pursued with South Asian, African, and African descended women. In telling this history, “Imagined Solidarities” elucidates how African American women and their interlocutors hoped to recuperate liberalism and reimagine the Eurocentric notion of humanity beyond white male subjects to include women of color.

Shaun’s research has been recognized by the Arthur & Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University, and Rutgers’s Center for Historical Analysis. In 2021, she was awarded the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. Professionally, she is a member of several scholarly associations. These include the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), and the Organization of American Historians (OAH). She has also contributed posts to Black Perspectives, the award-winning AAIHS blog, and the Made by History series in the Washington Post. She is currently completing her dissertation as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. She expects to defend her dissertation early spring 2023.