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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Ava Purkiss

M.A., African and African Diaspora Studies, Florida International University

Ava Purkiss



I am a doctoral candidate studying U.S. history and my dissertation, ‘“Mind, Soul, Body, and Race’: Black Women’s Purposeful Exercise, 1900-1939,” examines African American women’s physical culture in the early twentieth century. I research the economic, political, and social barriers to physical fitness for black women and the ways in which they circumvented those barriers and sought health, beauty, and recreation through purposeful exercise. I earned my B.A. in psychology from Dickinson College and my M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University. For the 2014-2016 academic years, I will be a fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. 


Modern U.S. History, African American History, Women’s History, African Diaspora
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