My dissertation proposal aims to explore the possible existence of a historical precedent for “missing white woman syndrome” within the colonial United States between its establishment as a free nation and the emancipation of enslaved Americans and how the resulting issues contributed to larger definitions of citizenship belonging within the United States’ changing political landscape before and leading up to emancipation. This study focuses on contemporary thinking about how race and gender were organized around the idea of “valuable missing persons.” My MPhil project uses advertisements in American newspapers looking for runaway enslaved women and white wives who have run away from their husbands in the mid to late 19th century. Looking through newspapers and digitized files, I seek to understand the historical differences between the attention paid to missing white women versus their Black counterparts.
My background is in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and Gender studies. I am broadly interested in interactions between race and gender histories. I have written on topics such as social contract theory, police brutality, and women’s activism in the United States from the 1970s to the 2020s.