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 D. Parker is a Ph.D. candidate at The University of Texas at Austin under the direction of Dr. Daina Ramey Berry. She will defend her dissertation in April 2019. Beginning in August 2019, she will serve as a College of Social Science Dean’s Research Associate (post-doc) in the Department of History at Michigan State University. She is a historian of nineteenth-century U.S. slavery, gender and slavery, African American and Native American history, and the Black diaspora in the nineteenth-century American West.  Her project, “Trails of Tears and Freedom: Black Life in Indian Slave Country,1830-1866” examines the forced migrations, resettlement patterns, and labor practices of people of African and black Indian descent enslaved in Choctaw and Chickasaw communities. Nakia's research has received funding from The University of North Texas, the Texas State Historical Association, 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 was a 2018-19 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellow. She has a co-authored essay on women and slavery in the Oxford Handbook of American Women’s and Gender History and a forthcoming article in the East Texas Historical Journal chronicling the life of controversial nineteenth-century Texas politician Hal Geiger. Her research has been featured on several public history websites, including The History Channel and UT Austin’s Not Even Past and 15 Minute History.



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%