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Mary Poole, Ph.D. - Undergraduate Cultural & Regional Studies Program Coordinator
220 Grove Ave.
Prescott, AZ 86301
Academic Statement (Return to top)
Mary came to Prescott College in 2003 with a background in Public Policy, a doctorate in U.S. History, and years of experience in international development and indigenous rights, all of which has informed her teaching at PC. She teaches history courses including: The Colorline in U.S. History; History of Gender and Sexuality; American Pardox: History of a Varied People. Through all of her courses, Mary teaches students to pay attention to how history is culturally produced, a narrative contructed in ways that reify or challenge existing power relations. As Co-Director, with Meitamei Olol Dapash, of the Maasai Community Partnership Project, Mary leads PC students to Kenya every summer to undertake historical and other research on behalf of the Maasai community of Kenya, especially research that supports the community's interest in recovering land taken under British colonization. In this and other ways, Mary believes that history provides a valuable resource to social justice work, as it reveals possiblities that exist beyond our current imaginations and information useful to politically and economically marginalized communities. Mary's first book, The Segregated Origins of Social Security: African Americans and the Welfare State (UNC: 2006) explores the history of race discrimination and social policy. She is currently co-authoring the autobiography of Meitamei Olol Dapash: London is Burning: the Life of a Maasai Activist.
Background & Experience
Selected Publications (Return to top)
Poole, The Segregated Origins of Social Security: African Americans and the Welfare State (University of North Carolina Press, 2006)
Research (Return to top)
Mary's current research focuses on Maasai community land rights issues. The results of this work can be seen on the project website: maasaicpp.org.
Education (Return to top)
PhD in U.S. History, minor degree in Women's History, Rutgers University, 2000
BA in Political Economy and Education, The Evergreen State College, 1988
Academic Involvement at Prescott College (Return to top)
Areas of Study