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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 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. 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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