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Mary Poole, Ph.D. - Undergraduate Cultural & Regional Studies Program Coordinator; Co-Director Maasai Community Partnership Project; Faculty, Masters in Social Justice and Human Rights

 
Mary  Poole, Ph.D.
 

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)

Meitamei Olol Dapash and Mary Poole, London is Burning: The Life of a Maasai Activist, co-written with Meitamei Olol Dapash. [In Progress; 200+ page draft completed. Expected completion date: Fall, 2015]

 

MaryPoole, The Segregated Origins of Social Security: African Americans and the Welfare State (University of North Carolina Press, 2006)

 

Ann D. Gordon, Ed., Against an Aristocracy of Sex, 1866 to 1873: Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Vol. 2, editorial assistant, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2000)


Presentations (Return to top)

Keynotes

“Walking Our Talk,” Ripple Project, Prescott College, December 2006

 

 “AIDS in Maasailand,” Keynote Address, World AIDS day, Northland Cares, March, 2005

 

“The Meaning of Race in History,” Keynote Address, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Conference on Race, February, 2004

 

Conference Presentations

“Environmental Justice in Maasailand: Neocolonialism and Landrights,” Environmental Justice Conference, Prescott College, 2013

 

“Alice Kessler-Harris: An Historian’s Contribution to Social Justice,” Panel Presentation, Organization of American Historians, April, 2012

 

 “Race and the Social Security Act,” Race and the New Deal, Conference at Sarah Lawrence University, April, 2007

 

“Social Movements in the 1930s,” Notion of Motion Conference, Long Island University, April, 2005

 

“Race and Maternalism” New Directions in the History of the Welfare State, Berkshire Women’s History Conference, Storrs, Connecticut, June, 2002

 

“Gender, Race and Motherhood: The U.S. Children’s Bureau’s Plan for the Social Security Act,” Twenty-Second Annual North American Labor History Conference, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 2000

 

“Race and White Liberalism: the NAACP’s Fight for Inclusion in the Social Security Act,” European Social Science History Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, April, 2000

 

“The Politics of Discrimination: Explaining the Harlem Riot of 1935,” Organization of American Historians, Washington D.C., March, 1998

 

Media and Public Lectures:

 

  • KYCA Radio Interview on Social Justice and Human Rights Masters Program and the Maasai Community Partnership Project, June, 2013
  • “Erusiai Water Project Update,” Prescott Rotary Sunup Club, April 2013
  • “Hope Lies in Land Rights for Maasai People,” University Temple Methodist Church, Seattle, January 2013
  • “Cultural Appropriation,” Presentation to Prescott community, Prescott College, November, 2012, PC
  • “Maintaining Vision in the Trenches,” University Temple Methodist Church, Seattle, May 2012
  • “The Meaning of Sustainability in an East African Community,” Arizona Rotary Awards dinner, Prescott, Arizona, May 2012
  • “The Challenge of Raising Money for Community Based Activism,” Association of Professional Fundraisers, Prescott, March, 2012
  •  “Water Means Education: The Mosiro Water Project in Maasailand,” Prescott Sunup Rotary  Club, Prescott, Arizona, November 2011
  •  “Maasai Women and Empowerment,” Prescott Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Prescott, Arizona, October, 2011
  •  “Mau Narok and the New Kenyan Constitution,” Presentation to Maasai Community, Seasons Hotel, Narok, Kenya, August 2011
  • “Mau Narok and the New Kenyan Constitution,” Presentation to Maasai Students and Activists, Maasai Education and Research Institute, Talek, Kenya, July, 2011
  • “A Movement in Maasailand,” University Temple Methodist Church, Seattle, October 2010
  • “A Century of Land Rights Denied: A History of Mau Narok,” Presentation to Maasai Community Leadership and Activists, Seasons Hotel, Narok, Kenya, August 2010.
  • “Update on Maasailand,” University Temple Methodist Church, Seattle, January 2010
  • “The Maasai Community Partnership Project and Global Service,” Radio Interview, Purposeful Planning Institute, October 2009
  •  “The Meaning of Race as a Social Construct,” Talk at Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Church, Prescott, Arizona, September 2009
  • “Children and Education in Maasailand,” Extine Middle School, Seattle, January 2009
  • “Update on Maasailand,” University Temple Methodist Church, Seattle, January 2009
  • “Academic Activism,” Presentation to students of The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, January 2009
  • “Land Loss at Mau Narok Under Colonial and Independent Kenya: Findings from the Kenyan Archives,” Presentation to Maasai Community, Seasons Hotel, Narok, Kenya, August, 2008
  • “White Privilege,” Presentation to Community, Prescott College, April 2008
  • “Impact of Climate Change on Gender in East Africa,” Prescott College, March 2008
  • “International Collaboration,” Panel, Prescott College, February 2008
  • “Water is Life in Keekonyokie, Maasailand,” Presentation to the Asheville Rotary Club, Asheville, North Carolina, January 2008
  • “Nature and Culture in Kenya,” Environmental Studies Series, Prescott College, November 2007
  • Television Interview: Book Talk, C-Span Television Network, on The Segregated Origins of Social Security: African Americans and the Welfare State, April2007
  • “Social Change,” Panel Discussion, Prescott College, February 2007
  • “Community Environmental Activism in Maasailand,” Prescott Area Bioneers Conference, Fall 2007
  • “History, Power, and the Western Cultural Archive” CRS Brown Bag Series, November, 2006
  •  “A Case for Indigenous Knowledge Based Conservation: A History of Amboseli National Park,” Presentation to Kaijaido County Council, County Council Offices, Kaijaido, Kenya, August 2006
  • Press Conference and Interview, “Maasai Community Calls for Return of Amboseli National Park,” with Meitamei Olol Dapash, Joseph Ole Sayialel, Daniel Ole Leturesh, Covered by NTV, CitizenTV, Daily Nation, Standard, and other Kenyan television and press, Nairobi, August, 2006
  • “Segregated Origins of Social Security” Book Launch, Prescott College, April 2006
  •  “Segregated Origins of Social Security,” CRS Brown Bag Series, Prescott College, April 2006
  • “Segregated Origins of Social Security,” Urbana NPR Interview, May, 2006
  • “Segregated Origins of Social Security,” KYCA Radio Interview
  • Prescott Frontier Club Rotary,  July, 2005
  • Prescott Valley Rotary Club, July, 2005
  • District Governors Presentation, Prescott Rotary, July, 2005
  •  “Crisis and Opportunity in Maasailand: Community Perspectives on Land-use, Conservation and Tourism,” Presentation to Narok County Council, County Council Offices, Narok, Kenya, May, 2005
  • “Historical Context for the Iraq War,” Prescott Community Teach-In, April, 2003
  • “Water is Life in Maasailand,” Presentation to Arizona Rotary District Conference, Laughlin, AZ, May 2009


Research (Return to top)

Mary's current research focuses on Maasai community land rights issues. It includes;

 “Crisis and Opportunity in Maasailand: Community Perspectives on Land-use, Conservation and Tourism,” with Meitamei Olol Dapash, Unpublished research on social and environmental justice issues involving the tourism industry in Masai Mara, Kenya.  Delivered to Narok County Council and other Maasai leadership, May, 2005.  [Updated Publication In Progress; 31 page draft, to be completed Summer, 2014.]

 

“A Case for Indigenous Knowledge-Based Conservation: History of Amboseli National Park,” with Meitamei Olol Dapash, Unpublished archival research on the Kenyan government assumption of ownership of the Amboseli National Park  and loss of that land to the Ilkisongo Maasai community. Delivered to Kadjiado County Council and other Maasai leadership, August, 2006.[Publication In Progress; 31 page draft, to be completed Fall, 2014.]

 

“Historical Injustice at Mau Narok: A Century of Maasai Land Rights Denied,” with Meitamei Olol Dapash and Kaitlin Noss, Unpublished archival and oral history research on the appropriation of a section of Maasailand under colonial and independence Kenya. Delivered to Maasai Community activists and leadership, Narok, Kenya,  [Publication In Progress; 32 page draft, to be completed Summer, 2014.]


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


Expertise (Return to top)

U.S. History; Women’s History; East African History; Social Justice and Movement theory; Critical Theory; Indigenous History and Rights; Human Rights; Race, Gender and Sexuality


 

Academic Involvement at Prescott College (Return to top)

Programs/Degrees

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Prescott College Events

Sep 19
03:00 PM – Mural Unveiling and Herbarium Open House
Oct 3
06:00 PM – Working With Our Hands: Artists' Opening Reception
Oct 9
05:00 PM – Working With Our Hands: Curator's Talk

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