Vanessa M. Holden

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  • Associate Professor of History and African American & Africana Studies
  • Director, Central Kentucky Slavery Initiative
  • African American and Africana Studies
  • History
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies
Patterson Office Tower 1751
About Dr. Holden

Dr. Vanessa M. Holden (she/her) received her Ph.D. in African American and Women's and Gender History from Rutgers University. She currently has a dual appointment in both the Department of History department  and the program in African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Her research focuses on African American women and slavery in the antebellum South. Her areas of interest are the history resistance and rebellion, gender history, and the history of sex/sexuality. She offers courses in American History, African American History, and African American Studies. 


Dr. Holden’s book, Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner’s Community(University of Illinois Press, July 2021) explores the contributions that African American women and children made to the Southampton Rebellion, often called Nat Turner’s Rebellion. Her writing has been published in Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies, Black PerspectivesPerspectives on History, Process: A Blog for American History, and The Rumpus.

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