The #ADPhD Team

Founder/Curator: Jessica Marie Johnson
Tumblr Maven: Kidada Williams


Jessica Marie Johnson

Jessica Marie Johnson is Assistant Professor of History at Michigan State University. Her research interests include women, gender, and sexuality in the African diaspora; histories of slavery and the slave trade; and digital history and new media.

As a digital humanist, Johnson is interested in ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent. She has two works in progress. One is a history of free women of African descent laboring, living, and traveling between Senegal, Saint-Domingue and Gulf Coast Louisiana in the eighteenth century. The second, in collaboration with Mark Anthony Neal, is a compilation of work reading nineteenth-century black codes against present-day race coding and digital vernaculars of people of African descent. In 2008, she founded African Diaspora, Ph.D., a blog highlighting scholars and scholarship in the field of Atlantic African diaspora history.

Johnson holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. in African & African American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis where she was also a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow.  Between 2009 and 2011, she was a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellow in the Africana Studies Program at Bowdoin College.

Johnson can be reached via email and is most active on Tumblr and Twitter.  Click here for more information on her or to explore her work.

Tumblr Maven
Kidada Williams

Kidada Williams is Associate Professor of History at Wayne State University. Williams researches African American history after slavery with a focus on issues of racial violence and social trauma. Her first book, They Left Great Marks on Me (published by the New York University Press in 2012), explores the vernacular history of southern African Americans’ experiences of racial violence from emancipation to World War I and its link to the origins of the Civil Rights Movement. Williams’s next project will investigate the ways in which experiencing Reconstruction-era violence destabilized African American families in their transitions from slavery to freedom. She has branched out into the realm of public scholarship by giving public lectures, blogging, and participating in social media/networking, where she shares and discusses information on history, race, culture, politics, and higher education.

Image Credit: [ Dutch Ambassadors Greeting the King of Kongo, late 17th cent. ] Giulio Ferrario, IL Costume Antico & Moderno . . . . (Milano, 1815-1827), vol. 2, pt. 2, plate 42. (Copy in The Newberry Library, Chicago) as shown on www.slaveryimages…, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.