Janette GayleAssistant Professor of History
Joined faculty in 2016
Ph.D. University of Chicago
B.A. Antioch University of Southern California
I am interested in the historical analysis of race, gender, and migration with an emphasis on labor in America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Transnational in approach, my work focuses on the history of African-descended peoples in the United States, the Caribbean, and the wider Atlantic world.
I joined Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2016 after teaching African American and United States History at Harold Washington College from 2011-2016.
My current book project, Sewing Change: Black Dressmakers and Garment Workers and the Struggle for Rights in Early Twentieth Century New York City, charts the early twentieth century migration of black dressmakers from the American South and the British Caribbean to New York City, and examines their role in three important developments in black political consciousness: the crafting of a middle class black identity, the emergence of the black industrial working class, and the struggle for civil rights. In addition to my book project, I am also the lead researcher on the Mapping Harlem Digital Project. Emerging from my dissertation, the project uses U.S census and other data to map black migrant settlement patterns and neighborhood formation in Harlem over the first half of the twentieth century.
HIST 111 Labor, Race, & Gender in the Making of America
HIST 227 African American History I
HIST 228 African American History II
HIST 348 Black Women and the Struggle for Rights in America
HIST 345 Race-ing America
The Great Migration
“Ann Gill, Free Woman of Color in Barbados,” Encyclopedia of Free Blacks and People of Color in the Americas Vol. 1, 2 ed. Stewart R. King (New York: Facts on File Inc., 2012)
“The Case of Louis Lecense and John Escoffery,” Encyclopedia of Free Blacks and People of Color in the Americas Vol. 1, 2 ed. Stewart R. King (New York: Facts on File Inc., 2012)
Presentations and Papers
““Invaders”: Black Ladies of the ILGWU and the Emergence of the Early Civil Rights Movement in New York City,” in Gotham A Blog for Scholars of New York City – The Gotham Center for New York City History, Cuny Graduate Center, October, 2016.
“British West Indian and African American Migrant Dressmakers: The Politics of Sartorial Style, and Black Claims to Citizenship in Early 20th Century New York City,” Association of Caribbean Historians Conference, 2016.
“African American & West Indian Migrant Dressmakers: The Politics of Sartorial Style, and Black Claims to Citizenship in Early 20th Century New York City,” Marking Race, Making History Conference in Honor of Thomas C. Holt, 2016.
“Reframing the Great Migration: The Early Twentieth Century African American and Afro- Caribbean Migrations,” Michigan State University Graduate Student Migration Without Boundaries Conference, 2015.
“Fashioning Community: Black Dressmakers in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s,” Social Science History Association 39th Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada 2014.
American Historical Association
Association for the Study of African American Life and History
Labor and Working-Class History Association
Association of Caribbean Historians
Community Education for Transformation (CET)