Sunday, April 1, 2018

Welcome, Kimberly Welch!

We're delighted to welcome a new guest blogger for the month of April: Kimberly Welch. She is an Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches courses on U.S. Slavery, Southern History, Women and Gender, Law and Society, and Early American History. This academic year, she is also a Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Digital Humanities.

Professor Welch received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, under the direction of Ira Berlin. Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, she taught at West Virginia University and held residential fellowships at the Newberry Library and the American Bar Foundation.

Her research focuses on slavery, race, and the law in the American South. Cribbing from her faculty bio, she "is particularly interested in the world of free and enslaved African Americans, how they understood their place in southern society, and how they advanced it. Understanding how those confined to positions of subordination enlarged their rights has led her to the southern courthouse. There, to a surprising degree, they staked their claim and more often than not found it confirmed."

She explores these themes in depth in her new book, Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South (University of North Carolina Press), as well as in two new projects, "a digital history project tracing kidnapping rings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and a second book project on free black creditors."

Professor Welch is also the principal investigator for the National Science Foundation, Law and Social Sciences Research Grant, “Variation in Use of Courts by Legal Status and Jurisdiction."

For more on all of these projects, check out her website (which is definitely one of the best personal academic websites we've ever seen!).

Welcome, Kimberly Welch!