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Mia Edwards

History, University of Warwick

Thesis title:

Masculinity, Physicality and Disability: Shifting Experiences and Ideologies within the Antebellum South, 1800-1861

My thesis is supervised by Professors Tim Lockley (Warwick) and Sergio Lussana (Nottingham Trent). 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 focuses on 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 broader context of Antebellum medical research and wider Southern social thought which often codified black men as ‘brutish’ and very physically strong in comparison to white men.

Research Area

  • American Studies
  • History


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

Presented a poster about the Native American Boarding School Experience, Paternalism, Assimilation, Identity and Resistance | Sheffield Undergraduate History Conference | The University of Sheffield | 2020

'Paternalism, Masculinity and Pan-Indianism within the Native American Boarding School context, 1897-1970' | British Conference for Undergraduate Research | Online format | 2021 (rescheduled from 2020 due to COVID-19)