Published July 29, 2022
Nineteenth-century French historian Robin Mitchell will join the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar for the 2022-23 academic year.
The Distinguished Visiting Scholars (DVS) program brings faculty of exceptional accomplishment to UB. One goal of DVS is to host individuals who are known for their record of scholarship and creative endeavors, teaching, mentoring and service. Scholars bring their expertise to UB in an effort to help advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
Mitchell is an award-winning professor in the Department of History at California State University, Channel Islands, who specializes in discourses about race, gender and sexuality. Her current work focuses on the white colonial fantasies, scandals and crime imposed upon Black women’s bodies and voices when they were in metropolitan French spaces.
“Professor Mitchell’s presence builds on our long-time strength in early modern French history, to which she adds welcome expertise on race and empire,” says Erik Seeman, chair of the Department of History.
As part of her visiting professorship, Mitchell will present her research at a variety of programs, lectures and activities throughout the year. One of her first talks is scheduled for Sept. 30.
A unique component of DVS involves mentoring students. “Undergraduate students will benefit from her mentoring, for which she is widely praised, while our graduate students will benefit from her lectures and intellectual presence,” Seeman explains. “The department is very excited to have someone of Robin Mitchell’s stature joining us for the academic year.”
Mitchell’s first book, “Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France,” was named by the African American Intellectual History Society to the “Best Black History Books of 2020” list, and by The Guardian as one of “The Best Books About Sex” in 2021. Mitchell’s forthcoming book is the first biography of Suzanne Simone Baptiste, also known as Madame Toussaint Louverture, a neglected yet influential figure in the history of Blackness in France. In addition to books, Mitchell has published numerous journal articles.
Mitchell received her master’s degree in late modern European history from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her doctorate in late modern European history from the University of California, Berkeley, with a designated emphasis in women, gender and sexuality.