Soljour presented with nationally recognized dissertation award
Kishauna Soljour ’16 MA (Hist)/’19 PhD (Hist)
has received a distinguished dissertation award from the Council of Graduate
These awards, first given in 1982, are
intended to highlight academics “who have already made usually significant and
original contributions to their fields” as they finish their dissertation. Two
awards are given each year to recent doctoral recipients, with Soljour winning
the award in the Humanities and Fine Arts category.
Soljour’s dissertation, Beyond the Banlieue: French Postcolonial Migration & the Politics
of a Sub-Saharan Identity, analyzed the dissonance between French policies
of acculturation and the lived and embodied experiences of Afro-French
residents since the conclusion of the World War II. Drawing on oral histories
from black communities in Paris, Soljour’s work innovatively reevaluates race
within contemporary France. Her interest in this project was first piqued
during an undergraduate study-abroad program where she was able to conduct
independent research interviews in Paris, a process that left her with complex
questions that led her to pursue a PhD. She aims to continue researching
transnational immigration and acculturation.
Soljour, who is the first black woman to
receive a doctorate in history from Maxwell, is currently the senior program
manager at Working In Support of Education (W!se), a New York City-based
nonprofit providing programs focused on financial education and increasing
college and career readiness. Soljour also works as a curriculum and assessment
consultant with the Stamford Public Schools. While completing her dissertation,
Soljour was also a reading and discussion program coordinator with Humanities
New York and a communications contributor for Play for Peace.
For more about Soljour’s Syracuse University
experiences, read this Syracuse University News profile.
You can also read more
about Soljour’s dissertation and the award in this news announcement, and more about her current
work is available at W!se’s website.