Emily Tran

Position title: History Lab

Email: eytran@wisc.edu

Advisor: Walter Stern

Emily Tran headshot


I am a joint Ph.D. student in History and Educational Policy Studies. My work centers on Americans’ collective memories—or popular recollections—of the nation’s racist past, and on the role of historical understanding in challenging or enabling the persistence of racial injustice.

My master’s thesis examined how Bostonians involved in the city’s effort to desegregate its public schools in the 1970s invoked or elided racism in their personal recollections of racial desegregation. My dissertation traces the history of racial reckonings in the late 20th century, when Americans made renewed yet fleeting attempts to take account of and come to terms with the history and contemporary persistence of racism.


M.A., University of Wisconsin–Madison
B.A., (Hons), University of Alberta


  • U.S./North American History

MA Title

  • “‘Do You Call It Desegregation, Do You Call It Busing’: Race and Personal Memory of Boston’s School Desegregation”

Working Dissertation Title

  • “American Reckonings: Confronting and Repressing the Racist Past and Present, 1968-1998 “

Selected Awards

  • Graduate School Fellowship, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2022–2023
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2019–2022
  • Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction (Doctoral), Government of Alberta, 2020–2021
  • Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction (Master’s), Government of Alberta, 2018–2019
  • Graduate School Fellowship, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2017–2018

Courses Taught (as TA)

  • History 102: American History from the Civil War Era to the Present (Fall 2019)
  • History 221: The Cultural and Intellectual History of Your Parents’ Generation (Fall 2018)
  • History/Educational Policy Studies 412: History of American Education (Fall 2021 & Spring 2022)