Leslie M. Alexander
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About Leslie M. Alexander
Dr. Leslie Alexander is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University, where she teaches early African American, African Diaspora, and U.S. history. Her teaching and research interests focus on slavery, Black political and intellectual thought, and resistance movements. She received her B.A. from Stanford University, her M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, and is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship.
Her most recent book, Fear of a Black Republic: Haiti and the Birth of Black Internationalism in the United States, (University of Illinois Press, 2022) examines how Haiti's rise as the first Black sovereign nation in the western hemisphere inspired Black political activism in the United States during the nineteenth century, especially in the realm of foreign policy. It also charts the long history of U.S. foreign policy toward Haiti, from 1804 to the present. Her first book, African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861 (University of Illinois Press, 2008), explores Black culture, identity, and political activism during the nineteenth century.
She is also the co-editor of three volumes: Ideas in Unexpected Places: Reimagining Black Intellectual History, The Encyclopedia of African American History, and We Shall Independent Be: African American Place Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the United States. Most recently, she co-authored a chapter in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.
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Books By Leslie M. Alexander
The volume centers on the themes of slavery and sexuality; abolitionism; Black internationalism; Black protest, politics, and power; and the intersections of the digital humanities and Black intellectual history. The essays draw from diverse methodologies and fields to examine the ideas and actions of Black thinkers from the eighteenth century to the present, offering fresh insights while creating space for even more creative approaches within the field.
Timely and incisive, Ideas in Unexpected Places encourages scholars to ask new questions through innovative interpretive lenses—and invites students, scholars, and other practitioners to push the boundaries of Black intellectual history even further.