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Alexandra Finley

Ph.D. Student (ABD)

Advisor: Scott Nelson
Current Research: Slavery; women, gender, and sexuality; history of capitalism


Alexandra Finley graduated summa cum laude with research distinction in history from the Ohio State University in June 2010. Her undergraduate thesis, "Founding Chestnut Ridge: the Origins of Central West Virginia's Multiracial Community," won the department prize for best undergraduate research and was featured in an episode of Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. Her master's thesis, completed at the College of William & Mary, looked at the experiences of interracial families in antebellum Virginia through the lives of Silas and Corinna Omohundro.

Her dissertation explores the economies of the domestic slave trade by looking at the intersection of slavery, family, and the marketplace. She has received grants from the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and the Virginia Historical Society. Her conference presentations include panels at SHEAR, the Southern Historical Association, the OAH, and the AHA, as well as participation in the Library of Virginia's "To Be Sold" exhibit and teleconference on the antebellum slave trade between Richmond and New Orleans. For the 2015-2016 academic year, Finley was a fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American History at the University of Pennsylvania. For the fall of 2016, Finley received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the College of William & Mary.

Awards, Fellowships and Publications
  • awarded the Parker-Dooley Visiting Scholars Grant 2013-2014 at the Southern Historical Collection, UNC
  • 2014- Mellon Fellowship from Virginia Historical Society