Building Robust & Inclusive Democracy
Kendra Field

Kendra Field

(617) 627-2543
East Hall
Research/Areas of Interest:

U.S., African American, Native American, family history and the history of genealogy


  • PhD, New York University, New York, United States, 2010
  • MPP, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States, 2002
  • BA, Williams College, Williamstown, United States, 1999


Dr. Kendra Taira Field is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale, 2018). Her current book project, The Stories We Tell (W.W. Norton) is a history of African American genealogy and storytelling from the Middle Passage to the present. Field abridged David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009), and her scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the Journal of African American History, Southern Cultures, and the American Historical Review. Field has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Huntington Library, and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center in American History. She is the recipient of the Western Writers of America's 2017 Spur Award for Best Western Short Nonfiction, the 2016 Boahen-Wilks Prize, and the 2022 NAACP W.E.B. Du Bois Award. Field has advised and appeared in historical documentaries including Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" (2013), "Roots: A History Revealed" (2016), and "Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre" (2021). As a public historian, Field co-founded the African American Trail Project and the Du Bois Forum, a retreat center for writers, scholars, and artists of color; served as project historian for the Du Bois Freedom Center, the first museum in North America dedicated to the life and work of W.E.B. Du Bois; co-curated "We Who Believe In Freedom: Black Feminist DC," the inaugural exhibition (2023) of the National Women's History Museum; and serves as chief historian for the 10 Million Names Project. Field received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She also holds a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Before entering the academy, she worked in education, organizing, and the non-profit sector in Boston and New York.