B.A., Political Science & History, Macalester College
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Candidate in History (Expected May 2017), Columbia University
Nineteenth-Century U.S History, Anti-slavery and Emancipation, American Civil War and Reconstruction Era, Transatlantic Abolitionism, Nineteenth Century Transnational U.S and Caribbean Histories, Black Atlantic and African Diaspora, Black Radicalism and Political Thought.
Wes Alcenat is an historian of the nineteenth century U.S and Caribbean. His scholarship covers the shared histories of African-Americans, the African Diaspora and nations in the Atlantic World. His dissertation, titled “Revolutionary Transnationalism: Prince Saunders, Haitian Emigration, and the Problem of Citizenship in the Age of Atlantic Slavery, 1815-1865,” explores the radicalism and ideologies of African-American settlers who emigrated to Haiti in the nineteenth century. Wes’s academic interests have intersected with public history and equity in higher education to highlight histories of marginalized groups inside the university and provide critical policy recommendations. His professional experience includes working as a mentor to undergraduate students in the Graduate school’s Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program and as academic adviser for the American Studies Program at Columbia University. Since 2015, he has served as an Associate Academic Director in the Great Books Summer Reading Program at Amherst College.
Wes has taught undergraduate courses and seminars in various topics, including: Black Urban Political History, Merchants and Slaves in Atlantic Capitalism, the Radical Tradition in U.S History, and the Modern Caribbean. Wes is a past recipient of the Richard Hofstadter Fellowship from Columbia University. He has been awarded fellowships from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Hoover Institution’s Library and Archives, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC)-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiative Grants, and most recently the Gilder Lehrman Institute Fellowship in American History. In 2015-‘16 he was a resident scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a visiting PhD candidate at the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History (WIGH) at Harvard University. Wes has written or provided commentary for The Jacobin Magazine, Theroot.com, and The Immanent Frame. Wes is a contributing guest writer for Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). Wes is also affiliated with Fordham University's American Studies and Urban Studies departments.
- Spring 2017: Understanding Historical Change (UHC_HIST 1100): The Story of American Radicalism
- Fall 2017: UHC, UHC, The Caribbean
- Spring 2018: UHC, Coming of the Civil War