Department of History

Alaina E. Roberts

  • Assistant Professor


African American
Native American
African Diaspora
Nineteenth Century
United States


African American History 1
Natives and Newcomers: Multicultural Encounters in North American History
The Civil War
North American Indians
The Black West

Education & Training

  • PhD, Indiana University, 2017
  • BA, University of California, Santa Barbara

Representative Publications

(Forthcoming, 2020) “A Different Forty Acres: Land, Kin, and Migration in the Late Nineteenth Century West,” Journal of the Civil War Era

(January 2018) “Field Notes: A Hammer and a Mirror: Tribal Disenrollment and Scholarly Responsibility,” Western Historical Quarterly vol. 49, no. 1

(In Preparation) “Democratic Imperialism” in Democracies in America, eds. D. Berton Emerson and Gregory Laski (New York University Press)


To see a complete and up-to-date list of publications, please visit:


Research Interests

Dr. Roberts is currently working on her first book manuscript, titled, I’ve Been Here All the While: Settler Colonialism and Black Reconstruction (under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press). In this manuscript, she argues that white expansion onto Native land in Indian Territory enabled a western Reconstruction project in which Indian freedpeople (the former slaves of members of the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Choctaw Nations) and Black Americans were able to obtain land, build communities, and enjoy certain rights and freedoms. Dr. Roberts connects events and discourses occurring in Indian Territory about belonging and Black and Native identity during the Reconstruction and Statehood Eras to the contemporary debates about nationhood and African American personhood occurring in the United States.