James is a second year MA/PhD. His MA thesis, “'For How Could We Do Without Sugar and Rum?' The Aesthetics of Abolitionist Empathetic Commerce," locates Smithian arguments for empathetic market action in the novels and poems, broadside prints, and ephemera deployed by British and American abolitions in their Anti-Saccharine and Free Produce Movements. His dissertation will focus on the life and identity construction of Ada "Bricktop" Smith, a mixed-race American vaudeville/jazz performer who became a Parisian nightclub proprietor during the Interwar Period.
B.A., History with a Minor in Music History, West Chester University of PA (2012)
Questions of epistemology and aesthetics that undergird identity construction, African-American culture, resistance, and citizenship struggle, musicology and political economy of jazz, intellectual history of the Enlightenment, Franco-American cultural and philosophical history, Parisian Interwar jazz culture.
Selected Professional Experience
American Studies Assistant to the Lemon Project (2013-14)
Book Review Editorial Assistant, William and Mary Quarterly (2012-13)
Jazz Research Intern, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History (2012)
Military and African American Programs Intern, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, (2011)