William García

PhD Student
Primary office:
213C Bailey


William García is an Afro-Puerto Rican raised between New York and Puerto Rico. William has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in History from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras where he focused on Caribbean music and transnational migration between the United States and the circum-Caribbean. While completing this project, he worked as an educator in Austin, Texas, which later prompted him to move to New York City and complete a Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College-Columbia University. William’s Action Research Project focused on the lack of historical literacies in elementary schools.

In New York, William collaborated with many activists, intellectuals, educators, and writers in the Afro-Latino Festival, City College of New York, The Schomburg Center for Black Culture and Research, and Teachers College. Before coming to KU, he worked as an information assistant and youth program coordinator in Harlem’s Countee Cullen Library. While at the Countee Cullen Library, William began to notice the emphasis on Afro-American picture books and they way they manipulated Black creolizations and reduced black U.S. history to ancestral Afro-Americans and nationhood while ignoring Black migrants narratives. Meanwhile, William also served as an adjunct instructor for The City College of New York’s Department of Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies teaching “Latino Youth in Schools” with an emphasis on Afro-Latino youth.

As a PhD student in American Studies at KU, William’s research is aimed at re-narrating black diasporic historiography in the United States through an afro-diasporic lens in order to explore how Afro-Americanness—as a homogenized identity that has been mediated through the nation—invisibilizes diasporic blackness such as black migrant creolizations, resulting in a U.S. black-white bifurcated re-coloniality of racial discourse and citizenship. He believes that uncovering the reasons why Afro-Americans have more representation in the media and institutions than other marginalized groups at the expense of diasporic blackness and other narratives from people of color will foster more unity and inclusive narratives among marginalized groups.

Areas of Interest:

Afro-American historiography
Blackness in the media
Black history in Public Institutions

  • This article, written by Geoffrey Newman, was published in the August edition of the Kansas History Journal. Congratulations Geoffrey!
  • Rachel Schwaller and Saoussen Cheddadi successfully defended their respective dissertations on October 29, 2018. Congratulations, Drs. Schwaller and Cheddadi!
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kathryn Vaggalis for being awarded the American Studies Association's 2018 Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize!
  • Dr. Gamze Kati Gumus defended her dissertation with honors on May 10, 2018. Congratulations, Dr. Kati Gumus!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts  was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Burrow-Branine for successfully defending his dissertation with honors January 25, 2018.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
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