US pre-1900, 2011
Nineteenth-century United States and African American history; slavery, emancipation, empire, black internationalism; Pacific/Atlantic worlds; religion; mixed-race studies and radical politics
The Last Reconstruction: Race, Nation, and Empire in the Black Pacific
Guy Emerson Mount is the coordinator of the US History Workshop at the University of Chicago and a PhD candidate working under the direction of Thomas C. Holt, Jane Dailey, and Matt Briones. His work focuses on race, emancipation, black internationalism, and American empire. He currently holds fellowships from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Institute, and the American Historical Association, which recently awarded him the Dorothy Rosenberg Phi Beta Kappa Graduate Fellowship for his proposed paper, "Soul Food, Stir Fry, and Citizenship," to be delivered at this year's annual conference.
That paper, which explores the intersections of global food culture, Philippine legal history, and the transnational discourses of citizenship, is one chapter in a much larger dissertation titled, "The Last Reconstruction: Race, Nation, and Empire in the Black Pacific." This dissertation analyses the end of American slavery in tandem with the birth of American overseas empire. By following the now forgotten plans to colonize over five million African Americans to the Pacific after the Spanish American War, this project blends political, cultural, social, and intellectual history taking both a top-down and a bottom-up approach. In addition to uncovering the state sponsored colonization proposals circulating among the highest branches of government, this story is also told through the eyes of black colonists themselves who migrated to the Pacific in anticipation of federal funding and a massive grass-roots mobilization. Ultimately, this dissertation makes not only a chronological argument about the end of American Reconstruction, but also links that closure to the openings and pitfalls that African Americans experienced through an aggressively expanding American empire.
Previously, Mount's master thesis analyzed black masculinity, identity, and authenticity through the white-skinned, mixed race body of T. Thomas Fortune. He authored the chapter, "A Troubled Modernity: W. E. B. Du Bois, 'The Black Church,' and the Problem of Causality," for an edited volume (Palgrave MacMillian, 2013). He will contribute to the upcoming anthology, New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern, 2018), where he explores the competing meanings of emancipation through the interracial marriage of Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts in 1884. Mount shares his thoughts on contemporary politics and popular culture through Twitter and blogs monthly for the African American Intellectual History Society.
"Creating the Black Family: Frederick Douglass, Helen Pitts, and the Sexual Politics of Interracial Marriage." In New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition, edited by Christopher Cameron, Ashley Farmer, and Keisha Blain. Evanston: IL: Northwestern University Press, 2018, forthcoming.
"African Americans and the Baha'i Faith." In The Encyclopedia of African American Culture, edited by Gerald Early. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2017, forthcoming.
"Greg Carter. The United States of the United Races: A Utopian History of Racial Mixing." Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies 1, no. 1 (2014): 223–225.
"A Troubled Modernity: W. E. B. Du Bois, 'The Black Church,' and the Problem of Causality." In The Course of Human Solidarity: 'Abdu'l Bahá's Journey West, edited by Negar Mottahedeh, 85–110. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
"Is Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Stamped from the Beginning?" African American Intellectual History Society (blog). June 28, 2016.
"When Slaves Go on Strike: W. E. B. Du Bois's Black Reconstruction 80 Years Later." African American Intellectual History Society (blog). December 28, 2015.
"Capitalism and Slavery: Reflections on the Williams Thesis." African American Intellectual History Society (blog). November 21, 2015.
"Ta-Nehisi Coates, David Brooks, and the Master Narrative of American History." African American Intellectual History Society (blog). July 25, 2015.
"The 'Masculine Journey' of Bishop Eddie Long." History News Network. December 20, 2010.
"By the Time I Get to Arizona." History News Network. August 16, 2010.
"Zinn Lives: Scholars Remember the Person behind A People's History." History News Network. March 22, 2010.