Ava Purkiss

color photo of Ava Purkiss
Job Title: 
Program Co-Director, Black Feminist Health Studies; Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and American Culture
Office Address Line 1: 
2201 Lane Hall
Email Address: 
apurkiss@umich.edu

Ava Purkiss' research and teaching interests concern the intersection of race, gender, and health. Her work examines African American women's purposeful exercise in the early twentieth century, with particular attention to how physical exercise enabled black women to express both literal and figurative fitness for citizenship. The significance of this work lies in its unprecedented and unequivocal placement of black women in the history of American fitness culture, intra-racial fat stigmatization, and "active" recreation. Purkiss' book-in-progress compels scholars to rethink assumptions about black women's mobility, physicality, and definitions of health. Purkiss received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin and has held fellowships at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. She is the recipient of the 2017 Organization of American Historians Lerner-Scott Prize for best dissertation in U.S. women's history. 

WORKS WITH

color photograph of Nadine Hubbs
Program Director, Lesbian-Gay-Queer Research Initiative; IRWG Executive Committee; Professor of Women's Studies, LSA; Professor of Music, School of Music, Theatre & Dance
color photograph of Victor Mendoza
Program Director, Colonialism, Race, and Sexualities Initiative; Associate Professor of Women's Studies and English Language and Literature, LSA
color photo of Lisa Martin
IRWG Executive Committee; Associate Professor, Health Policy Studies; Associate Professor of College-Wide Programs; Director, Women in Learning & Leadership U-M Dearborn, Co-Director Sexual Harassment and Social Movements
color photo of Diana Louis
Program Co-Director, Black Feminist Health Studies; Assistant Professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies
color photo of Ella August
Program Director, Building Capacity for Women’s Health, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, SPH
Associate Professor of Sociology; Director, Women in Learning & Leadership, Co-Director Sexual Harassment and Social Movements
Associate Professor of Surgery, Medical School
Associate Professor of Surgery and Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical School
photo of Emily Sluiter
Program Director, Consortium for Gender Responsive Prisoner Healthcare
photo of Jacqueline Williams
Program Director, Consortium for Gender Responsive Prisoner Healthcare