Vanessa Holden

I am an assistant professor of History and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. I earned my PhD in African American and Women’s and Gender history at Rutgers University (New Brunswick) in the spring of 2012. My teaching interests include the history of gender and sexuality in the antebellum South, slave rebellion and resistance, and the history of same-gender loving individuals in the Atlantic World.
In my current book project, tentatively titled Surviving Southampton: Gender, Community, Resistance and Survival During the Southampton Rebellion of 1831, I focus on the experiences Black women and children before, during, and after America’s most famous slave rebellion (Nat Turner’s Rebellion). I argue that women and children, enslaved and free, were integral to the African American community’s culture of resistance in antebellum Southampton County, Virginia. The book presents the Southampton Rebellion as a rebellion constituted in community with women at its center and not along its periphery.
I also co-organize the Queering Slavery Working Group (#QSWG) with Jessica M. Johnson (Johns Hopkins University) and am currently working on a second project that centers same-gender loving enslaved women.
More information about me and my work can be found here. (