Department of History

Michell Chresfield

Fellow: Arts and Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow
Regional Field: United States
Research Cluster: African diaspora

Michell Chresfield joins us as a Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences post-doctoral fellow, selected in the competition centered on the history of inequality in the United States. She is a 2016 PhD from Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include cultural and intellectual history, the history of science and medicine, and the history of racial formation and identity making in twentieth century America.

Her dissertation, “‘Half and Halves’ and Racially Ambiguous Others: Social Scientific Experts and the Problem of Multiracials in the Modern U.S., 1920-1965,” explores how scientific discourses on racial mixing influenced multiracial formation during the Jim Crow era.

Her next research project will reconstruct black women’s use of and stance towards birth control between 1916 and 1945, and her teaching will include undergraduate courses on the history of state regulation of sex and reproduction in the Americas.