Andre Taylor, a 2020 Masters of Public History graduate, will begin the doctoral program in American Studies at the College of William and Mary in the fall of 2022. Taylor, who at NC State as a Global Change Fellow, specialized in climate change and Gullah Geechee foodways, is Oral Historian at the Swem Library at William and Mary. He is recently the recipient of an Oral History Association grant for “Black Folk and Our Food: Extracting Traumatic Memory Hidden in Unwritten Family Recipes through Oral Histories,” a project he will discuss in Fall 2022 with Professor Tammy Gordon’s HI 588: Family and Community History class. He also curated the exhibit “Strollin’: A History of Black Greek Letter Organizations at William & Mary” which explores the history of Black sororities and fraternities at William and Mary from 1975 to the present and runs from February 1-August 31 at the Swem Library.
Taylor decided to seek doctoral training to conduct research into African American foodways via recipes and oral history. His dissertation will focus on foodways migration from West Africa to the Americas and how African Americans utilize those foodways for cultural and religious celebrations and how recipes house innate family histories. The American Studies Program at the College of William and Mary, which publishes the prestigious William and Mary Quarterly, is one of the top programs in American Studies. The program encourages its students to engage with complex and diverse histories to examine how they aided in the creation of the United States.