Aleia Monae Brown

Associate Professor

Office: Brewster A-302


Phone: 252-328-


Aleia M. Brown is an interdisciplinary scholar making interventions in Black women’s history, museums, memory, and material culture, and digital humanities. Within the academy and beyond it, her work is attentive to the ways that Black women have experimented with different configurations of freedom.

Her current manuscript project Disrupting the Loop of Recovery: Black Women’s Engagement with Textile Art and Political Thought evinces the solidarity economy that developed alongside collaborative aesthetics in the 1960’s Alabama Black Belt and Mississippi Delta regions. The accompanying VR project considers what it means to curate digital environments with a Black feminist love praxis. Brown’s scholarship has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Women, Gender, and Families of Color, Reviews in Digital Humanities, Museums & Social Issues, and The Black Scholar. She has held the African American Intellectual History Society’s CLR James Research Fellowship and the Mellon-ACLS Public Fellowship, among others.

Prior to becoming the Whichard Distinguished Associate Professor of History, she held a range of public history positions that are still in conversation with her scholarship and pedagogy. Most recently Brown worked as the National Women’s History Museum’s Vice President of Programs and Chief Curator. Prior to that, she served as the Assistant Director of the African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) Initiative and affiliate faculty in American Studies at University of Maryland, College Park. Brown was also the Program Manager and Public Fellow at the Humanities Action Lab based at Rutgers University-Newark where she launched the project Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice traveling exhibition. While she was the curator of African and African American History at the Michigan State University Museum, she partnered with the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation to co-curate the exhibition Ubuntutu: Life Legacies of Love and Action and co-author the exhibition catalog by the same name.


Selected Publications:


Edited Volumes
Brown, Aleia M., Trevor Muñoz, and Marisa Parham, eds. Special Issue on Black Digital Humanities. Reviews in Digital Humanities 3, no. 4.

Brown, Aleia M., Trevor Muñoz, and Marisa Parham, eds. Special Issue on Black Digital Humanities. Reviews in Digital Humanities 3, no. 5.

Exhibition Catalogs
Brown, Aleia. “African-American Quiltmaking, Communing with History.” In And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations. Edited by Carolyn Mazloomi. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2015.

Brown, Aleia. Foreword to Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young. Paper Moon Publishing: West Chester, 2019.

MacDowell, Marsha and Aleia Brown. Unbuntutu: Life Legacies of Love and Action. Michigan State University Museum: East Lansing, 2016.


Brown, Aleia and Joshua Crutchfield. “Black Scholars Matter: #BlkTwitterstorians Building a Digital Community.” The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research 47, no. 3 (August 2017): 45-55.

Brown, Aleia. “On Race and Museums: Starting Conversations, Embracing Action.” Museums and Social Issues: A Journal of Reflective Discourse 10, no. 2 (October 2015): 109-12.

Brown, Aleia. “Visions of African American Identity ‘Black Family Moth II,’” TIMELINE 30, no. 4 (October- December 2013): 20-25.

Brown, Aleia. 2013. “War and Redemption in the Cloth” in Liberating Minds, Liberating Society: Black Women in the Development of American Culture and Society by Lopez D. Matthews and Kenvi C. Phillips. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.

Courses Offered:

HIST 3005:  Current Topics in AfrAmer History