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Brandon R. Byrd

Assistant Professor of History

Brandon R. Byrd is an intellectual historian of the 19th and 20th century United States with specializations in African American History and the African Diaspora. His research interests include black internationalism and black nationalist movements. Of particular emphasis are intellectual and cultural encounters between African Americans and Haitians.

He is currently completing his first book, The Black Republic: African Americans, Haiti, and the Rise of Radical Black Internationalism (forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press). That project, which draws from black newspapers, speeches, plays, diplomatic records, books, missionary reports, school documents, and correspondences, recovers the overlooked significance of Haiti in the postemancipation black intellectual tradition. In particular, it focuses on how African American intellectuals conceptualized the link between Haitian independence and the possibilities of black freedom in the decades following the U.S. Civil War.

Beyond this book, he has published articles and chapters in several outlets including Slavery and Abolition, Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, The Journal of Haitian Studies, and Radical Teacher. Research for these articles and current book project has benefited from generous support from several institutions including Vanderbilt University’s College of Arts & Sciences, Marquette University, the American Philosophical Society, the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass-Amherst, the Marcus Garvey Foundation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Byrd also writes for Black Perspectives, the online publication of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) and serves on the AAIHS Executive Committee. Moreover, he is an editor of the Black Lives and Liberation series published by Vanderbilt University Press. More information on his research, teaching, and professional service can be found at his personal website,