Jessica Graham completed her Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago (2010) and a master’s degree in Africana Studies at Cornell University (2000). During a break from graduate school after leaving Cornell, Professor Graham spent two months in Brazil, where her experiences with Afro-Brazilian academics and activists led to an interest in Brazilian history. Her current book manuscript, Shifting the Meaning of Democracy: Racial Inclusion as a Strategy of the U.S. and Brazilian States, 1930-45, assesses Brazil and the United States during the Great Depression and World War II. Her book examines the impact of communism, fascism, the Second World War, and Brazil-U.S. relations on evolving racial meanings of political democracy in both nations. Research for the project has been supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Archive Center, a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship, a University of Notre Dame Erskine A. Peters Dissertation Fellowship, and a University of Notre Dame Moreau Postdoctoral Fellowship, among others. Professor Graham’s most recent publication, in the Brazilian historical journal O Tempo, analyzes black pugilist Joe Louis and shifts in U.S. racial nationalism during the 1930s.
Twentieth century U.S. and Brazil, (U.S.) African American and Afro-Brazilian history, race, political ideology, cultural policy/diplomacy, and transnational history.