Associate Professor of History & Women's and Gender Studies Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Chair, Women's and Gender Studies
LaKisha Michelle Simmons is a historian of African American gender history specializing in Black girlhood, history of the family, history of sexuality and southern history in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Simmons is the author of Crescent City Girls: The Lives of Young Black Women in Segregated New Orleans (UNC Press, 2015), which won the SAWH Julia Cherry Spruill Prize for best book in southern women's history and received Honorable Mention for the ABWH Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award for the best book in African American women's history. She is the co-editor of The Global History of Black Girlhood (University of Illinois Press, summer 2022).
Published Articles: Simmons has written about Black girlhood and historical method in the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, about Black college students and sexual cultures in the 1930s for Gender & History, on southern Black girl writers in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, and most recently on Black mothers and histories of infant and child loss in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
She has also published “Geographies of Pain, Geographies of Pleasure” in Walking Raddy: The Baby Dolls of New Orleans, “Pull the Sorrow from Between My Legs: Lemonade as a Rumination on Reproduction and Loss” in The Lemonade Reader, a blog post on Lemonade’s southern, plantation landscapes, and co-edited a special issue of Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy on "Conjure Feminism."
She is the co-organizer and co-creator (with Corinne Field) of the Global History of Black Girlhood Conference, which first convened at UVA in 2017. Simmons co-edited a special issue on Black girls and kinship for the journal Women, Gender, and Families of Color.
Current Work: Simmons is working on a new book on the history of Black motherhood which explores reproductive health and histories of love and loss in black families during the 19th century.
Field(s) of Study
- African American Gender History
- Cultural Geography & Urban History
- History of the Body
- History of Sexuality
- Girls' Studies/ Childhood History
- Black Feminisms
- Louisiana & Southern History
- Department of History
- Department of Women's and Gender Studies