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With a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Perkins has made her career as a historian of women’s and African-American higher education. She has served as vice president of Division F (History and Historiography) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and she has served as a member of the Executive Council of AERA.
Perkins was on the National Planning Committee for the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Brown v. Board of Education at New York University and taught a course on Brown in fall 2004. She hosted a national research conference in February 2008 on the impact of the Brown decision and the 1964 Civil Rights Act on black higher education.
She is on the editorial boards of History of Education Quarterly and Review of African American Education. Her publications include Fanny Jackson Coppin and the Institute for Colored Youth, 1865–1902 (Garland, 1987) and “The African American Female Elite: The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880–1960″ in the Harvard Educational Review (1997). Perkins has several forthcoming book chapters on the female African-American college experience.
“Black Undergraduate Women’s Experiences of Race, Gender, and Class at Fisk and Howard Universities and Tuskegee Institute Through World War II.” In Black Women in College, edited by Lori Patton, 17-30. London: Routledge Press, 2017.
“The Black Female Professoriate at Howard University, 1926–1977.” In Women’s Higher Education in the United States: New Historical Perspectives, edited by Margaret Nash. London: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2017.
“Bound to Them by a Common Sorrow”: African American Women, Higher Education, and Collective Advancement.” Journal of African American History: Special Issue: “African American Education, Civil Rights, and Black Power” 100, no. 4 (2015): 721–47.
“Is She a Feminist and Do I Like Her?: Dilemmas of a Feminist Biographer.” Vitae Scholasticae: The Journal of Educational Biography 31, no. 2 (2014): 64–77.
“Merze Tate and the Quest for Gender Equity at Howard University, 1942–1977.” History of Education Quarterly 54, no. 4 (2014): 516–51.
“The First Black Talent Identification Program: The National Scholarship and Service Fund for Negro Students, 1947–1968.” Perspectives on the History of Higher Education 29 (2012): 173–97.
Gender & Education
Historical & Philosophical Foundations of American Higher Education
Higher Education & Democracy