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Mia Edwards

Research Overview

My doctoral thesis is entitled, 'Masculinity, Physicality and Disability: Shifting Experiences and Ideologies within the Antebellum South, 1800-1861' and it is supervised by Professors Tim Lockley and Sergio Lussana (Nottingham Trent). I am funded by the AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. My research explores the intersections between masculinity, physical health and ability, as well as disability for enslaved men in the U.S. South. In particular, my research discusses how disability, from birth, sickness, injury or old age, may have impacted an enslaved man's sense of self, as well as their position within contexts such as labour roles and the enslaved community. This work is framed within the wider context of nineteenth century abolitionist and white Southern societal beliefs about an enslaved man's ability to truly 'be a man.' This work also discusses physicality within the context of Antebellum medical research and wider Southern social thought which often characterised black men as 'brutish' and very physically strong in comparison to white men.


'Community, Masculinity, and Physical Disability: Plantation Labour and Emotion, 1800-1861' | Unsettling Certainties: Conference for the Society of the History of Emotions | University of Adelaide | November 2023

'Kentucky Historical Society Fellows Talk' | Kentucky Historical Society | November 2023

'Representations of Masculinity, Physicality, and Physical Disability within Abolitionist Texts and Materials, 1800-1863' | Disability in the Vast Early Americas | University of Notre Dame | October 2023

'Physical Disability, Physicality, and Masculinity within the Plantation Labour System, 1800-1861' | Histories of Disability and Emotion Conference | Leuven Centre for Health Humanities | June 2023

'Paternalism, Masculinity and Pan-Indianism within the Native American Boarding School context, 1897-1970' at the British Conference for Undergraduate Research | Spring 2021 (rescheduled from 2020)

'Paternalism, Masculinity and Identity within the Carlisle Indian Industrial School' at Margins to Centre? History Conference | The University of York | Spring 2020

I presented a poster about paternalism, the Native American Boarding School experience, resistance to assimilation and paternalism, as well as these ideologies's broader impacts upon identity at the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Conference | The University of Sheffield | Spring 2020

Academic Awards and Funding

Archie K. Davis Fellowship | North Caroliniana Society | 2023

Kentucky Historical Society Fellowship | Kentucky Historical Society | 2023

Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership | M4C | 2022-2026

Graduate Student Award | Western Historical Association | 2021

Graduate Student Workshop Award | Western Historical Association | 2021

Bryan Marsden History Prize | The University of Sheffield | 2020

Academic Profile

History PhD | University of Warwick | 2022-2026

Atlantic History and Politics M.A. | University of Missouri – Columbia | GPA: 4.0

History B.A. | The University of Sheffield | Degree Classification: First Class