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Department of History
Tufts University
East Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Email Prof. Field

Kendra Taira Field
Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies
Nineteenth-century U.S., African American, Native American


Kendra Field joined Tufts in 2014 and is currently completing Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press). The book traces Field’s own ancestors’ migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration. Field served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009). Her research and teaching areas include race, slavery, freedom, migration, and social movements in the long nineteenth century; African-American family history, memory, and public history.

Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University and has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Huntington Library. She has received the Huggins-Quarles Award of the Organization of American Historians and appeared in Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s PBS documentary, "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013). Field also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College.

Field is the Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts. Previously, Field served as Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, where she taught and advised students in U.S., African-American, and Native American history. Before becoming an historian, she worked in education and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.

Selected Publications

  • Field, Kendra T. “’No Such Thing as Stand Still': Migration and Geopolitics in African-American History,” Journal of American History (December 2015).
  • Field, Kendra T. "The Chief Sam Movement, A Century Later: Public Histories, Private Stories, and the African Diaspora," with Ebony Coletu, Transition Magazine 114 (July 2014).
  • Field, Kendra T. "The Violence of Family Formation: Enslaved Families and Reproductive Labor in the Marketplace," Reviews in American History, June 2014.
  • Field, Kendra T. "'Grandpa Brown didn't have no land.': Race, Gender, and An Intruder of Color in Indian Territory," in Gender and Race in American History, ed. Carol Faulkner and Alison Parker (University of Rochester, 2012).
  • Assistant Editor, W. E. B. Du Bois: A Biography, by David Levering Lewis (Henry Holt, 2009).


  • Ph.D. New York University, 2010
  • M.P.P. Harvard University, 2002
  • B.A. Williams College, 1999

Recent Awards

  • Andrew W. Mellon Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship, 2012
  • University of California President's Faculty Research Fellowship in the Humanities, 2012
  • Hellman Fellowship, Hellman Family Foundation, 2012
  • Huggins-Quarles Award, Organization of American Historians, 2009
  • Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 2009
  • Charles Eastman Dissertation Fellowship, Dartmouth College, 2008


  • Slavery and Race in the U.S.
  • Reconstruction
  • The United States, 1877-1914
  • The Age of Jim Crow
  • Race and Space in American History
  • Family Histories and American Culture
  • Transnational Migrations