History Department
History Department

Nakia Parker

B.A. in History, summa cum laude, State University of New York-New Paltz

Nakia Parker



African-American and Native American history, the black diaspora in the 19th century West, gender and slavery


Nakia Parker is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin under the direction of Dr. Daina Ramey Berry. She will defend her dissertation in April 2019.  Her dissertation, “Trails of Tears and Freedom: Slavery, Migration, and Emancipation in the Indian Territory Borderlands, 1830-1907,” examines the forced migrations, resettlement patterns, and labor practices of people of African and black Indian descent enslaved in Choctaw and Chickasaw communities during the nineteenth century. She completed her undergraduate degree in history at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she graduated summa cum laude. In March 2015, she was awarded a C.M. Caldwell Memorial Award for Excellence in Historical Research by the Texas State Historical Association. In addition to support from her home institution, Nakia's research has also received generous funding from the University of North Texas, the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, the Mellon Scholars Program at the Library Company in Philadelphia, and the Western History Association. In 2018, she was awarded the Huggins-Quarles Dissertation Award from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) and is a 2018-19 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellow. From June 2014 to December 2016, Nakia served as the National Graduate Student Representative for the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH).




HIS S315K • The United States, 1492-1865

82970 • Summer 2018
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM CLA 0.112

This course will cover the history of early America, from the arrival of Christopher Columbus on Native shores in 1492 until the end of the Civil War in 1865. We will examine integral (and sometimes controversial) aspects of U.S. history: topics such as colonization, race-based slavery, Indian removal, and westward expansion and empire-building. Since this course carries a cultural diversity flag, special emphasis will be placed on understanding the experiences of groups which formed the majority of America’s population during this time period but are usually left out of dominant narratives of the history of the United States: African-Americans, American Indians, women, poor farmers, etc. We will consider how these groups, collectively and individually, shaped formative events such as the American Revolution and the Civil War, influenced U.S. domestic and foreign policy, and fomented social, political, and cultural movements.

In addition, while reading, listening to class lectures, participating in discussion groups, and completing assignments for this survey course, keep these two themes in mind: 1) the construction of “American” citizenship and identity: How did conceptions of who could be considered the ideal “American” citizen change and expand over time? 2) historical memory: Why do certain historical events loom large in American popular consciousness, and others fade into insignificance? We will consider these themes together through various methods: readings, lecture, film, and analyzing diverse primary sources, such as art, music, and material culture.

Course Readings (all free and online):
•    The American Yawp: http://www.americanyawp.com.
•    Readings on Canvas

Exams and Assignments:
•    Weekly Challenge Statements: 20%
•    Midterm: 20%
•    Primary Document Analysis: 20%
•    Museum Response Paper: 20%
•    Final Exam: 20%