Associate Professor of History; U.S. History
Ph.D., University of Houston (2000)
The 1970s brought the American Bicentennial, the miniseries Roots, and the TV series Little House on the Prairie. My grandparents also took me to colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and more than one Civil War battlefield. This odd mix of patriotism, race, women’s history, and living history profoundly affected me as a little white girl growing up in the South. I discovered that there were many different pasts and their stories conflict with and complement one another, fascinating me and dooming me from an early age to become a historian. The media of history in which I have worked has varied from documents editor, to archivist, to living history museum interpreter all in the process of finding my purpose in the academic world of teaching, research, and writing. I have a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of Houston and a Master of Library Science degree from Simmons College in Boston. If you want to find my work in print, look for Southern Womanhood and Slavery: A Biography of Louisa S. McCord (University of Missouri Press, 2003), who was not only a planter but a proslavery and anti-woman’s rights essayist. If you prefer something lighter, shorter and with more pictures, try Mystic, Connecticut: From Pequot Village to Tourist Town (The History Press, 2006). I was also an editor of the first volume of Frederick Douglass’s Correspondence (Yale University Press, 2009). Ask me about him and you will probably learn more than you thought possible about Douglass and women, the subject of my recent book, Women in the World of Frederick Douglass (Oxford University Press, 2017).
- World Civilizations I
- World Civilizations II
- U.S. History I
- U.S. History II
- U.S. Women's History
- From Civil War to Civil Rights: African American History since 1865
- Historical Research and Writing
- Historical Methods
- Internship Coordinator
Recent and Forthcoming Book Publications
- Given Her Time: A Biography of Sally Hemings (Routlege, forthcoming 2023)
- Women in the World of Frederick Douglass (Oxford University Press, April 2017)
- Frederick Douglass Papers, Series III: Correspondence, 1842-1855, Vol. 1 (Yale University Press, 2009), as associate editor
- Mystic, Connecticut: From Pequot Village to Tourist Town (The History Press, 2006)
- Southern Womanhood and Slavery: A Biography of Louisa S. McCord (University of Missouri Press, 2003)
Recent Article Publications
- “Frederick Douglass.” In Oxford Bibliographies in American Literature. Ed. Jackson Bryer. New York: Oxford University Press, 21 April 2021. URL: https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199827251/obo-9780199827251-0217.xml.
- “Frederick Douglass and Family,” Frederick Douglass in Context (London: Cambridge University Press, 2021).
- “’The Post in the Centre of My House’: Douglass Mourns His Wife Anna,” Frederick Douglass: A Life in Documents, ed. James G. Basker, Justine Ahlstrom, and Nicole Seary (New York: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 2018), 51-55.
- “’Female Women or Feminine Ladies’: Gender and Women’s Rights Before the Antebellum Movement,” Chapter 3 in The Routledge History of Nineteenth-Century America (Routledge, 2018), 47-61.
- 2020 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Stipend
- 2018 Mary Kelly Book Prize, Society of Historians of the Early American Republic
- 2018 Herbert Lehman Award for Best Book in New York History, History Academy
- 2009 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Stipend
Recent and Forthcoming Presentations
- “Private Live and the Principles of Justice: The Wives of Frederick Douglass,” Liverpool Public Library, New York, 10 May 2021.
- “Sally Hemings: Enslaved Founding Mother,” Liverpool Public Library, New York, 01 March 2021.
- “Back Home: Frederick Douglass’s Family in His Absence,” #Douglas Week: Douglass in Cork, #DouglassWeek (douglassincork.com), Ireland, 08 February 2021.
- “Women in the World of Frederick Douglass,” Conference on Frederick Douglass, John Marshall Center for International Statesmanship, University of Richmond, Virginia, 19 March 2020.
- “From Documentary Editor to Biographer,” Seward Stories, Seward Family Project, University of Rochester, 10 April 2019.
- “How to End Slavery? Abolition,” APUSH Abolition Project, Hamilton Central High School, Hamilton, NY, 18 November 2019.
- “Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass,” David Blight’s class, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 6 November 2019.
- “British Women in the Liberation of Frederick Douglass,” Black History Month Lecture, Insights Public Lectures, Newcastle University, England, 15 October 2019.
- “Frederick Douglass, Woman’s Rights Man,” Woman Suffrage Series, Chittenango Boat Landing Museum, Chittenango, NY, 1 August 2019.
- Frederick Douglass, women, and the Civil War, NEH Teachers Institute, “American Women in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars,” New York Historical Society, New York, NY. 25-26 July 2019.
- Frederick Douglass, women, and the Underground Railroad, NEH Teachers Institute, “The Underground Railroad,” Colgate University, Hamilton, NY. 11 July 2019.
- “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” Lawrenceville Academy on researching and writing about Frederick Douglass, 21 June 2019.
- Book talk, Women in the World of Frederick Douglass, Grafton Historical Society, 2 June 2019.
- Book talk, Women in the World of Frederick Douglass, Rochester Book Club, 13 April 2019.
- “Anna Murray, Helen Pitts, and the Role of a Wife in Commemorating Frederick Douglass,” Friends of Mt. Hope Cemetery Annual Meeting, Rochester, NY, 9 April 2019.
- “Frederick Douglass and Woman Suffrage,” Central New York Council for the Social Studies Conference, Syracuse, NY, 23 October 2018.
- “Louisa S. McCord and the Civil War,” Binghamton Civil War Roundtable, Binghamton, NY, 16 October 2018.
- Keynote: "Frederick Douglass Across and Against Times, Places, Disciplines," Paris, France, 11-13 October 2018.
Interviews and Other Media
- Podcast Interview: “Women in the World of Frederick Douglass with Leigh Fought,” with Carlisle Hashim, Carlisle’s Chesapeake, 26 April 2021: https://podcasts.carlisleschesapeake.com/episodes/women-in-the-world-of-frederick-douglass-with-leigh-fought-XdkvNRWY
- Interview: “Behind Every Movement: Anna Murray Douglass,” with Jazmine Denise, Madamenoire.com, 12 March 2021, Behind Every Movement: Anna Murray Douglass | MadameNoire
- Online Article: “On the Life of Black Abolitionist Anna Murray Douglass,” Frederick Douglass @ 200 Roundtable, Black Perspectives, African American Intellectual History, 29 November 2018: https://www.aaihs.org/on-the-life-of-black-abolitionist-anna-murray-douglass/
- Interview: “The Author’s Corner,” The Way of Improvement Leads Home, 5 July 2018: https://thewayofimprovement.com/2018/07/05/authors-corner-with-leigh-fought/
- Podcast interview: “Narrative Non-fiction,” The Oxford Comment, 2 July 2018. New narrative nonfiction [podcast] | OUPblog
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