History Department
History Department

Ava Purkiss


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

Ava Purkiss

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Interests


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

Biography


I am a doctoral candidate studying U.S. history and my dissertation, ‘“Mind, Soul, Body, and Race’: Black Women’s Purposeful Exercise in the Age of Physical Culture, 1900-1939,” examines African American women’s physical culture in the early twentieth century. I study the economic, political, and social barriers to physical fitness for black women and how they circumvented those barriers in pursuit of three primary benefits of exercise: health, beauty, and recreation. I earned my B.A. in psychology from Dickinson College and my M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University. I am currently a pre-doctoral fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. 

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