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Kanakamedala, Prathibha

Prithi Kanakamedala

Prithi Kanakamedala is an Associate Professor of History at Bronx Community College. She has published on 19th-century material culture of the Black Atlantic, racial fluidity and citizenship in 19th-century New York, and print activism in Brooklyn’s early free Black communities. Dr. Kanakamedala is also a faculty member in the M.A. in Liberal Studies Program at CUNY Graduate Center where she teaches in the New York Studies concentration. As a public historian, she has worked with a range of cultural organizations in New York City. She is originally from Liverpool, England. 

Ph.D., University of Sussex, United Kingdom
M.A., University of Sussex, United Kingdom
B.A. (Hons), Somerville College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Recent Courses Taught:
HIS 20 American Nation: The Political & Social Development of a People
HIS 37 African American History
HIS 51 History of New York City 

Research Interests:
History of New York City, 19th Century New York, African American History, Material Culture, Digital Humanities, Public History

Honors, Awards, and Affiliations:
  • Faculty Co-Ordinator, Public Scholarship (PS2) at Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center 
  • Faculty Member, M.A. in Liberal Studies Program, CUNY Graduate Center, 2021 - Present
  • Mellon/ ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship, 2021
  • Professional Staff Congress-City University of New York Research Award, 2021
  • CUNY Arts Faculty Fellowship, 2020
  • William Stewart Travel Award, 2019
  • Bronx Community College President Grant, 2018
  • Gittell Junior Faculty Award, 2015

Select Publications:
  • Brooklynites: Free Black Communities in the Ninteenth-Century (in contract with NYU Press).
  • “‘We Must Stand United’: Re-Telling a Radical History of Bronx Community College at the City University of New York.” Rhetoric, Public Memory, and Campus History, edited by Rhondda Robinson Thomas. Liverpool University Press, 2022
  • Co-author with Obden Mondésir, “A Time for Seditious Speech. Reflections on Weeksville.Studies into Darkness: The Perils and Promise of Freedom of Speech, edited by Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich. Amherst College Press, 2022
  • “Plymouth Church.” A People’s Guide to New York City, edited by Penny Lewis, Emily Tumpson Molina, Carolina Munoz. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2022
  • “‘In Honor of Himself’: Entrepreneurship and Economic Self-Determination in Antebellum Brooklyn, New York.” African American Literature in Transition, 1750-2015, Volume 2: 1800-1830, edited by Jasmine Nichole Cobb, Cambridge University Press, 2021
  • The City Amplified: Oral Histories and Radical Archives, a collection of essays from The City Amplified Working Group at the Graduate Center CUNY, co-edited by Prithi Kanakamedala and Allison Guess, New York: Printed at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 2019
  • Review of Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim CrowNew York History 100, no. 1 (2019): 169-173
  • “St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery.” Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance. Catalog. New York, NY: Danspace Project, 2018
  • “Considered a Citizen of the United States”: George DeGrasse, a South Asian in Early (African) America.” Indo-American Encounters in the Early Republic, edited by Anupama Arora and Rajender Kaur, Palgrave, 2017

Twitter: @prithikanaka

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