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Leigh A Soares

Leigh A Soares

2019-2020 Richards Center/Africana Research Center Postdoctoral Scholar

Office Address: 114 Pond Lab
Mailing Address: 108 Weaver Building

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-0699


Leigh Soares holds a Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University. Her research and teaching interests include African American history, U.S. South, and 19th and 20th century U.S. history. Her dissertation, “Higher Ambitions for Freedom: The Politics of Public Black Colleges in the South, 1865-1915,” examined how black political and educational leaders mobilized throughout the region to establish and maintain state-supported black colleges. Support for the project came from the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and Northwestern University. Dr. Soares is currently developing a book manuscript that builds on her dissertation research. Prior to attending Northwestern, she received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the College of William & Mary, both in History.