Charnan Williams, University of Michigan
Friends of the MCEAS Dissertation Fellow
Charnan Williamsí dissertation research explores the history of race and labor in California from Mexican Independence in 1821 to the U.S. Civil War in 1865. In scholarship, California is often viewed as exceptional to the national conflict around slavery, the Civil War, and emancipation in nineteenth century America. By examining underutilized legal records, private correspondences, personal diaries, government documents, and military records, Williamsí research project complicates these narratives that exclude California from the North/South divide. Essentially, through analyzing the intersections between race and labor across time, this research project is a history of how California was transformed from a former Mexican territory into an American state.