University of Wisconsin–Madison

Athan Biss

abiss@wisc.edu

Advisor: Brenda Gayle Plummer

Athan Biss


Biography

I am interested in the strategies African Americans have developed to “internationalize” their own struggle for full citizenship in the United States. Working outside of the formal channels of high diplomacy, African Americans were still able to press their agenda onto the global stage. My work focuses on how African American “race diplomacy” forced U.S. foreign policy makers to acknowledge and confront domestic race relations as a valid and vital international issue.

Education

B.A., Princeton University

Field

  • Transnational, African American, U.S. Diplomatic

MA Title

  • “‘New Negroes and New Russians: African American-Soviet Relations, 1926-1936”

Working Dissertation Title

  • “Race Diplomacy: African American International Diplomacy, 1850-1958.”

Selected Publications

  • “Unexpected Frontiers of Black Internationalism: African Americans in Soviet Central Asia, 1930-1976.” Central Asian Affairs 2:2 (January, 2015).

Awards

  • 2016 – UW History Capstone Teaching Award for extraordinary undergraduate teaching.
  • 2014 – Professor Jan Lucassen Award, a jury prize given to the best paper by a doctoral student at the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), University of Vienna, Austria. April 22-26, 2014.
  • 2013 – President’s Award, prize for overall best paper, International Graduate Historical Studies Conference, Central Michigan University, April 5-6, 2013.

Professional Affiliations

  • SHAFR
  • AAIHS
  • AHA

Courses Taught as TA

  • From Shtetl to the Suburbs: The American Jewish Experience
  • US Military History, 1620-1899
  • US Military History, 1899-Present

Courses Taught as Instructor

  • History 102 – US History 1865-Present
  • History 397 – US History, 1914-1945