SHEAR Announces the Inaugural Class of Recipients for its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellowships

The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic is pleased to announce the inaugural class of recipients for its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellowships.  This fellowship comes with a cash prize to support research expenses as well as in-kind support so that recipients can present their work at SHEAR’s 2023 conference in Philadelphia.  The work of these scholars will open new avenues and perspectives in the study of the early republic.

Tanner Allread

Tanner Allread is a fourth-year joint J.D./Ph.D. in History candidate at Stanford University. His research focuses on nineteenth-century Native American history and the history of Federal Indian Law. Tanner’s current research project, tentatively titled “Anomalous Empires: Indigenous Governance and Indian Removal, 1817-1838,” seeks to reframe the narrative of southern Indian removal as a widespread assault on Indigenous sovereignty in addition to being a forced emigration of Indigenous people. This work aims to demonstrate how Native nations utilized constitutionalism and tribal state-building projects to assert their sovereignty and how those actions impacted the jurisdictional maze that Indigenous peoples were forced to navigate as well as wider debates over sovereignty and federalism in the early republic. In addition to his historical work, he has assisted tribes with numerous legal matters, working for the law firm of Kanji & Katzen, P.L.L.C., and the Yurok Tribe’s Office of the Tribal Attorney. He is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Alexander Chaparro-Silva

Alexander Chaparro-Silva is a historian and doctoral student in History at The University of Texas at Austin. He holds a BA and MA in History from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. Drawing upon intellectual and cultural history, he researches how historical actors in the Americas crafted ideas about difference and conceptualized the changing political order during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

His dissertation project analyzes how Latin American intellectuals came to the US, offered a sophisticated comparative reflection on democracy and race relations in both Americas, and crafted racialized continental differences during the nineteenth century. These transnational crossings not only impacted the making of racial ideologies in the Americas but also greatly influenced US public opinion and intellectual life. His research delves deeply into the ways these writers published continental newspapers and books in the US, sponsored intellectual circles in cities such as New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco, and established transnational correspondence networks to engage with the political problems common to the American hemisphere.

As a historian trained in Latin America and the US, one of his goals is to enhance the dialogue between these two different historiographical traditions. As such, he has published peer-review articles in Spanish and English and presented his work in scholarly conferences in Latin America and the US. He has also coedited a book about print culture in the Gran Colombian area during the Age of Revolutions.

Alison McCann

Alison McCann is a second-year Ph.D. student in American history at the University of Miami.  Her research broadly questions the relationship between American imperialism, black identity, and citizenship in the early nineteenth century. It attempts to re-center the black colonization movement, black settlers, and their lived experience in Liberia within a larger story of the American empire.

Her work, “African American Reunion” untangles the multidimensional African American lived experience in the United States and resituates it in Liberia. Her research views black settlers as both hostages and colonial subjects in the Early Republic. While emancipation freed African Americans from their enslaved status, the black colonization movement affirmed their new identity as agents of empire in Liberia. Considering the context of nineteenth-century ideas of slavery and race, she explores how settlers re-negotiated black identity across the Atlantic and constructed a unique socio-cultural environment that hinged on westernization. Her central focus is on black re-settlers who rejected America’s vision of an empire built on slavery and instead chose to reimagine their future beyond borders. By examining settlers’ letters, diaries, and correspondences to state institutions, among many other records, her research locates a transnational nexus of networks that helped to develop the Liberian colony and entrench western values in their society. African Americans in the nineteenth century had returned to Africa, but with new visions and ideas that simultaneously strengthened and contradicted their new identity. The new settlers were western, black, and living in what was thought to be their ancestral land.

Désha Osborne

Dr. Désha Amelia Osborne is the 2022 Centre for Research Collections Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York where she teaches literature of the African Diaspora. Dr. Osborne completed her PhD in English at the University of Cambridge where her research was a full-length study of the poem Hiroona: an Historical Romance in Poetic Form, published in 2015 with the University of the West Indies Press.

The daughter of Caribbean immigrants, she is a scholar of Caribbean and transatlantic literary history, and her teaching and research are focused on colonialism, slavery, and the migrations of people, culture, and ideas. Her current project is engaged with uncovering the lives of Black and mixed-race women and their children enslaved by North East Scots who settled and colonized in the Americas during the 18th century.  Dr Osborne’s research supported by the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic will allow her to complete an article for publication about the lives on an enslaved women named Bella and her two mixed-race daughters whose story began in British East Florida in the 1770s.

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