About Françoise N. Hamlin

Boundless South

Series Editors
Karen L. Cox, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Françoise N. Hamlin, Brown University

About Françoise N. Hamlin

Photo by Peter Goldberg

Françoise Hamlin is an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at Brown University. Her work focuses on a diverse array of African American experiences and epistemologies, particularly during struggles for freedom and equality. Born and raised in the UK as a child of the British Empire (both parents immigrated to London from opposite ends of the former empire), her professional trajectory and life journey altered after an exchange year at Coahoma County High School in Clarksdale, Mississippi. In order to make sense of that gap-year she pivoted from a projected career in the law and pursued studies in U.S. culture, history, and politics. Following Bachelors and Masters degrees in U.S. Studies in the UK, Françoise earned her doctorate in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale with a multiple-award winning dissertation.

Her first book, Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), brought her back full circle to Clarksdale. It won the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians First Book Prize and Lillian Smith Book Award. These Truly Are The Brave: An Anthology of African American Writings on War and Citizenship (University Press of Florida, 2015) became a finalist for the QBR 2016 Wheatley Book Award in Nonfiction. Françoise’s current book focuses on youth, trauma, and activism.

Françoise’s most notable fellowships and awards include: the C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize; the Du Bois-Mandela-Rodney Fellowship at the University of Michigan; the Charles Warren Center Fellowship at Harvard University; a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship; and the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition, she has won major mentoring and teaching awards at Brown University. A decade ago, she developed her signature program at Brown, the Spring Break practicum, to promote experiential learning and collaboration. Students travel to Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, for an intensive exchange that has been transformative for students on both campuses and her alike. It keeps her anchored in Mississippi, where her intellectual journey began.