July 3, 2013
Florida A&M University Assistant Professor of History Reginald Ellis was recently selected to serve as a fellow in the 2013 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute at Harvard University's Du Bois Institute on African-American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights.
“I was extremely elated to have been selected to participate in this institute, which will be conducted by some of the leading scholars in the field of African-American history,” a humbled Ellis said.
The NEH Institute is part of an ongoing effort to provide a deeper understanding of African-American efforts to secure full citizenship and civil rights, and to situate that movement within the broader context of American history. During the four-week-long program, Ellis, along with 29 teachers from around the nation, will engage in an intensive program of reading and discussion with leading scholars, reviewing new and recent scholarship as well as a rich array of sources – oral histories, memoirs, documentary films, music and archival sources. Participating teachers will work in small groups to revise courses they currently teach, develop plans for new courses, and/or create units on specific topics or texts.
“The new insight that I gain from this institute will help in the creation of my ‘Selected Topics in African-American History’ course this fall, which will focus on African-American land owners during the Jim Crow era,” he said.
Ellis specializes in the history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and African-American leaders during the Jim Crow era. His major area of concentration is African-American history with three minor areas of concentration — United States history since 1877, contemporary African history, and oral history.
Ellis is the founding president of the Graduate Association for African-American History (GAAAH), which currently hosts the African-American History Conference at the University of Memphis. He also served as a teaching fellow for the ACE Academy Institute sponsored by the Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. Currently, Ellis is serving as one of 60 historians with the American Historical Association Tuning Project, to revamp history curriculums in higher education.
Ellis received a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies and a master’s degree in United States history since 1865 from FAMU. He also earned a doctorate in history from the University of Memphis.