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Christina Proenza-Coles - Author of American Founders Book
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Christina-Proenza-ColesChristina Proenza-Coles, Author of American Founders


Author Christina Proenza-Coles holds a dual doctorate in sociology and history from the New School for Social Research. She has been a lifelong student of American culture and history while living and working in Miami, New York, and Charlottesville. She was an Assistant Professor of the Atlantic World/African Diaspora at Virginia State University from 2004 to 2011 and has taught as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, the Cooper Union, and the University of Virginia.

Curriculum Vitae 2022




Ph.D. Sociology and Historical Studies. New School for Social Research,
Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, New York, NY. January 2004.


M.A Sociology with honors. NSSR Graduate Faculty. New York, NY. May 1998.


M.A. Liberal Studies with honors. NSSR Graduate Faculty. New York, NY. May 1998.


B.A. Psychology. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA. May 1992.




Lecturer, American Studies, Spring 2020 – present.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.


Assistant Professor, Atlantic World/African Diaspora, August 2004-September 2011.
Department of History and Philosophy, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA.


Managing Editor, January 2000-2008.
Political Power and Social Theory, Cambridge, MA.


Adjunct Professor, September 1999-December 2002.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Cooper Union, New York, NY.


Adjunct Professor, January-August 1999.
Department of Sociology, Fordham University, New York, NY.




2021. “Pay Attention When They Tell You to Forget,” Public Books, March 23.


2020. “The Role of Black Women in the Making of a White Argentine Republic,” Black Perspectives, July 2.


2019. “Freedom Seekers: On Black Colonialists in Seventeenth-Century America,” Lapham’s Quarterly, March 19.


2019. “Why Are We Still Segregating Black History in February?The Daily Beast, February 18.


2018. American Founders: How People of African Descent Established Freedom in the New World. NewSouth Books.


2010. “African Americans in the Military,” The Civil War and Reconstruction Era. Brain Johnson and Edward Blums, eds. Bruccoli Clark Layman/Manly.


2008. “The Right to One’s Relatives: The Conventions and Consequences of Denying Paternity for Mixed-Race Children in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia.” Voices from Within the Veil. William Alexander, ed., Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


2008. Co-Editor with Diane Davis. Political Power and Social Theory. Volume 19. Elsevier Press.


2008. “Atlantic Islands,” “Amistad,” “Las Siete Partidas,” Encyclopedia of African American History. Leslie Alexander and Walter Rucker, eds. ABC-CLIO.


2007. Review of “The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000” by Colin Kidd in H-NET Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


2006. “1868-1878: Cuba’s Ten Years War,” Great Events from History: The Nineteenth Century. Salem Press.


2006. “1733 Slaves Capture St. John Island,” “Jamaica’s Second Maroon War,” Great Events from History: The Eighteenth Century. Salem Press.


2000. “What Color Is Cuban?: Complexities of Ethnic and Racial Identity” Cuban Transitions at the Millennium, Eloise Linger and John Cotman, eds., International Development Options, 2000. Originally published in Global Development Studies, Volume 1, Numbers 3-4, Winter 1998-Spring 1999.




The Virginia Festival of the Book. “Leading Lives, in Bondage or Free” panelist, Charlottesville, VA, March 21, 2019.


Intersections of Afro-Cuban Religion and History in Cuban Photography. Talk given at the Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, October 20, 2015.


American Founding Fathers from Somerset to Selma: A Brief Overview of How People of African Descent Undermined Slavery and Established Democracy in the Modern World. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New York, NY, February 24-28, 2012.


Afro-American Voices: The Making of the Modern World. Paper presented at the Atlantic World Literacies Conference, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, October 7-9, 2010.


The Impact of the Economic Development of Petersburg’s African American Communities and the Atlantic World. Paper presented at the 95th Convention of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Raleigh, North Carolina, September 29-October 3, 2010.


The History and Historiography of Petersburg’s African American Communities. Paper presented at the Virginia Forum, University of Mary Washington, Fredricksburg, VA, April 11-12, 2008.


The Impact of Free People of African Descent on the Development of the Colonial Americas. Paper presented at the 92nd Annual Convention of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Charlotte, NC, October 3-7, 2007.


“White Negroes,” “Mixed Bloods,” and Free Blacks in Colonial Petersburg. Paper presented at The Society for Ethnohistory Annual Meeting, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, November 1-6, 2006.


Pre-Civil War Race Discourses session chair; presented paper Labor Relations, Paternity, and Whiteness in Colonial Cuba and Virginia. Fourth Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association, George Mason University, Arlington, VA, April 19-22, 2006.


Local History in a Global Context: The Rise and Fall of Petersburg, Virginia in the Context of the Atlantic World. Paper coauthored with Dirk Philipsen, presented at Navigating the Global American South Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, March 2-3, 2006.


Combining Tannenbaum and Roediger to Illuminate US and Cuban Race Relations. Paper presented at
the American Sociological Association Annual Conference, Section on Comparative and Historical
Sociology, Philadelphia, PA, August 13-16, 2005.


Contrabands as Soldiers and Sailors. Session moderator and commentator. Conference on African Americans and the Civil War, Petersburg, VA. May 26-28, 2005.


Race in Colonial Cuba. Paper presented at the Caribbean Forum, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA. February 25, 2005.


Social Science and Race: The Marking and Unmarking of Culture. Paper presented at Equinox:
Science and Culture, Brown University, Providence, RI, 2000.




Principal Investigator for “Local History in a Global Context: Petersburg’s
African American History in the Context of the Atlantic World” with grant from the
National Endowment for the Humanities February 2009 to February 2010.


Selected participant NEH Summer Research Institute “Slaves, Soldiers, Rebels: Currents of Black
Resistance in the Tropical Atlantic, 1760–1888,” Johns Hopkins University, July 6 – August 7, 2009.


Historic Petersburg Foundation Award, 2009.


The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University Summer Research Fellowship 2006.


New School Graduate Faculty Scholarship 1996-1997, 1997-1998.


New School Graduate Faculty Research Assistance Scholarship 1995-1996.


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