Leigh Soares

Leigh Soares

Leigh Soares

Assistant Professor

African American History, U.S. South, 19th and 20th Century U.S., History of Education



Ph.D., History, Northwestern University, 2019
M.A., History, The College of William and Mary, 2012
A.B., History, Duke University, 2010

Academic Career

Assistant Professor of History, Mississippi State University, 2019-



Peer-Reviewed Publications

“‘Tuskegee is Her Monument’: Olivia Davidson and the Decline of Black Women’s Leadership in Public Higher Education, 1870-1910” (under review)

Public Scholarship

“Reconstruction-Era Politics Shaped Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Process (Organization of American Historians), February 19, 2018, www.processhistory.org/soares-reconstruction-hbcus/


Invited Presentations

“‘To Manage Our Own Seminary of Learning’: Black Leadership and Negotiations for Public Higher Education in the South, 1875-1900,” Emerging Scholar Speaker Series, Africana Research Center, Penn State University, January 2019

Conference Presentations

“Ruling the Rural Fountain of Knowledge: Public Black Colleges, Gender, and Leadership in the Post-Civil War South,” Southern Association for Women Historians Triennial Conference, June 2018

“The Limits of Federal Support for Black Higher Education,” National Academy of Education/Spencer Fellows Conference, Washington, D.C., March 2018

“‘We Are Their Intellectual Equals’: Black Education During Virginia’s Readjuster Movement, 1880-1884,” History of Education Society Annual Meeting, November 2017

“Professionalized and Pushed Aside: Women’s Narrowing Leadership at Public Black Colleges, 1870-1910,” Graduate Research Conference, Northwestern Black Graduate Student Association, March 2017

Honors & Awards

2017 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2017-2018)   
2017 AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research (declined)  
2015 Graduate Research Grant, The Graduate School, Northwestern University
2014 Research Grant, History Department, Northwestern University
2010 Merit Fellowship, The College of William and Mary
2006 Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship, Duke University (2006-2010)

Professional Associations

American Historical Association
Southern Historical Association
Association for the Study of African American Life and History
History of Education Society

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