Professor Nneka Dennie to Discuss Her Recent Book on Black Newspaper Editor Mary Ann Shadd Cary The assistant professor of history will hold her talk on Feb. 7 at noon in the Harte Center Gallery.
Nneka Dennie, assistant professor of history at Washington and Lee University, will discuss her new book, “Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Essential Writings of a Nineteenth-Century Black Radical Feminist,” on Wednesday, Feb. 7 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Harte Center Gallery within Leyburn Library.
Dennie’s book was published by the Oxford University Press in October 2023 as a compilation of writings by and about Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the 19th century Black radical feminist, abolitionist and suffragist, who was one of the first Black woman newspaper editors in North America. The publication includes letters, newspaper articles, organizational records, handwritten notes and essay drafts that illustrate how Shadd Cary participated in major Africana philosophical debates during the 19th century.
“I published ‘Mary Ann Shadd Cary’ in celebration of the 200-year anniversary of her birth (2023),” said Dennie. “Many historical figures live on through volumes of their collected works and until now, there was no such text for Shadd Cary. My book is the first of its kind, and I hope it helps to preserve her legacy and facilitates further research. She’s a figure who was central to 19th-century Black networks, publishing and activism. The talk will highlight why it’s important to understand her as a Black feminist intellectual, not simply as a newspaper editor. I’ll also discuss my archival research process and how I incorporated digital history into this project.”
A member of the W&L faculty since 2020, Dennie is a core member of the Africana Studies program and is an affiliate faculty member in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. Dennie specializes in 19th- and 20th-century African American history, and her research examines Black intellectual history, Black feminist thought, transitional feminism and Black radicalism. She was a 2022-23 recipient of the Mellon Just Transformations Fellowship in the Center for Black Digital Research at Pennsylvania State University.
Dennie holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science with honors in Africana studies from Williams College. She also earned a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Afro-American studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she also received a graduate certificate in advanced feminist studies.
If you know a W&L faculty member who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.