OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Ashley D. Farmer

NOTE: Unavailable December 2021-February 2022

Portrait of Ashley D. Farmer
Image Credit: Kelly Davidson

Ashley D. Farmer is a historian of Black women's history, intellectual history, and radical politics. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Farmer is the author of the award winning book, Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era and a co-editor of New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition. Farmer's scholarship has appeared in numerous venues including The Black Scholar and The Journal of African American History. Her research has also been featured in several popular outlets including Vibe, NPR, and The Chronicle Review, and The Washington Post. She has provided commentary on national and international media outlets including The New York Times and Al-Jazeera.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This lecture explores Black women's intellectual production and activism during the Black Power Movement. It offers a critical analysis of these women’s writings and political thought across Black Power organizations to show how their artwork and writings about Black womanhood shaped the Black Power movement as we know it today.
Building on her seminal article, "Archiving While Black," Farmer offers a probing look into the complicated relationship between African American historians and the archival repositories in which they work. She offers a behind the scenes look at her research, at how historians research and write history, and at the challenges African American historians face in documenting this current moment amid the digital age. She also offers potential solutions for challenging racism and bias in archival collecting and management.
The 2010s have brought multiple uprisings and protest across the country in an effort to further racial equality and social justice. Here, Farmer contextualizes the recent protests in the larger trajectory civil rights history and offers insight into how members of all communities can support equality and access for all.
Repayment for the past atrocities of slavery and Jim Crow have always been a source of debate. In this lecture, Farmer traces the history of Black women's organizing for Reparations from Reconstruction to the Present with special attention to their strategies, goals, and plans for economic redistribution.