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Department of History
Tufts University
East Hall
Medford, MA 02155

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


Kendra Field is associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). The book traces her ancestors' migratory lives between the Civil War and the Great Migration. Field also served as Assistant Editor to David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009). Field's 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 has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center in American History. Field's recent articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the Western Historical Quarterly, and Transition. She is the recipient of the Western Writers of America's, 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, the 2016 Boahen-Wilks Prize, and the OAH's Huggins-Quarles Award. Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013) and "Roots: A History Revealed" (2016).

Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Previously, Field served as Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, and worked in education and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.

Selected Publications

  • Field, Kendra T. Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University Press, January 2018).
  • Field, Kendra T. and Daniel Lynch. "'Master of Ceremonies': The World of Peter Biggs in Civil War-Era Los Angeles," Western Historical Quarterly, October 2016. 2017 Winner of the Western Writers of America 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction
  • 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. and Ebony Coletu. "The Chief Sam Movement, A Century Later: Public Histories, Private Stories, and the African Diaspora," with Ebony Coletu, Transition Magazine 114 (July 2014). 2016 Winner of the Boahen-Wilks Prize, awarded by the Ghana Studies Association
  • 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

  • Winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, 2017
  • Bernstein Faculty Fellowship, Tufts University, 2017-2018
  • Winner of the Boahen-Wilks Prize, Ghana Studies Association, 2016
  • Faculty Fellow, Charles Warren Center in American History, Harvard University, 2016-2017
  • Nominee, Pushcart Prize, 2015
  • Neubauer Faculty Fellowship, Tufts University, 2014-2015
  • Huntington Library Fellowship, 2013
  • 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


  • Family Histories and American Culture
  • African American History to 1865
  • African American Memory and History
  • Slavery and Race in North America
  • Black and Native New England
  • Race and Space in American History