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Takkara Brunson

Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Atlantic World
  • Caribbean
  • Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
Contact
  • (979) 845-7151
  • tbrunson@tamu.edu
  • Melbern G. Glasscock Building 207A
Education
Ph.D. University of Texas-Austin 2011

Research Interests

Takkara Brunson is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University. Brunson’s research focuses on political and cultural traditions of the African Diaspora, with emphasis on how Black women have shaped Latin American and Caribbean societies after slave abolition. She is the author of Black Women, Citizenship, and the Making of Modern Cuba (University of Florida Press 2021). The book analyzes how women of African descent—without formal political power—navigated social movements in their efforts to create a more just society. Brunson shows how Black women feminists, educators, labor leaders, and civic club activists achieved individual victories as part of a collective struggle for democratic reform; in doing so, she highlights how racism and sexism persisted even as legal definitions of Cuban citizenship evolved.

Currently, Brunson is working on two projects. The first project examines the use of photography among Cubans of African descent between the 1890s and 1950s. It emphasizes how Black politicians, religious leaders, entertainers, and socialites used photographs as a modern technology to engage evolving ideas of Cuban national identity, as well as Afro-diasporic community formation. The second project focuses on the histories of self-representation among women of African descent living in Cuba, Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia. It centers photographic images created by Black women in order to consider their roles as agents in shaping gendered racial ideologies.

Brunson’s research has appeared in Gender & History, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, and Cuban Studies, among other places. Her research has been supported by the Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation), University of Rochester Frederick Douglass Institute, Ford Foundation, and UNCF/Mellon Programs. Prior to joining Texas A&M University, Brunson taught as Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Fresno and as Assistant Professor of History at Morgan State University. She received her Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of Texas at Austin and B.A. in Comparative Women’s Studies at Spelman College.