Dr. María Esther Hammack received her PhD in US History and a portfolio in African and African Diaspora Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2021. She is a Mexican scholar and public historian whose work centers and connects, through a gender lens, the histories of liberation and abolition in North America and the Black Diaspora in Mexico. She is currently transforming her dissertation into her first monograph, Channels of Liberation: Black Freedom Across the US-Mexican Global South, a work that examines & recovers the transnational experiences of Black Americans, situated as freedom fighters, who left the United States to claim and secure liberation in Mexican spaces. Since 2019, she has served as an editorial assistant of the Journal of African American History and presently also serves as a representative of the AHA’s 2021-2024 Graduate and Early Career Committee. Maria is the 2021-2023 McNeil Center’s Barra Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
The McNeil Center sponsors a seminar that meets on Friday afternoons approximately twice a month between September and May, with the paper for each session circulated in advance. Over two hundred people attend at least once a year, with an average attendance of 40 to 50 at meetings held at various sites in the Delaware Valley. While most of the regular attendees are graduate students and faculty from institutions in the Philadelphia area, participants come from as far afield as Long Island, New York City, Princeton, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington.
Beginning in Spring 2022, we will utilize a hybrid format for seminars in which participants may gather together at the McNeil Center building (or occasionally at an MCEAS Consortium institution host in the Philadelphia area) or attend via Zoom. All in-person attendees must comply with the University of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 policies. To get access to the seminar papers and Zoom links, or to join our mailing list, please email us at email@example.com.