Vanessa M. Holden

Assistant Professor of History and African American and Africana Studies, The University of Kentucky

Dr. Holden regularly offers both graduate and undergraduate courses in American and African American History. She also offers courses in African American and Africana Studies.  Please explore the links above to learn more about her teaching and research interests.  

Teaching Experience

Instructor, University of Kentucky (Fall 2017-Present)

History 108: American History to 1877

History 640: Readings in American History to 1877

Instructor, Michigan State University (Fall 2012-Spring 2017)

History 870: Seminar in African American History (Graduate Level) 

Graduate level historiography course that prepares students for comprehensive exams and advanced research in the breadth of African American History .

History 480: Seminar in American History

Topical advanced undergraduate course aimed at instructing history majors in advanced research methods and critical reading and thinking skills. This seminar changes topics based on the instructor. Dr. Holden chose to teach students about American slave rebellion and resistance from the colonial period through the Civil War. 

History 322: History of the American South

In this course, aimed at advanced undergraduates, students studied the South's complex history in units titled "Origin Stories"; "Land and Labor"; "The War"; "Race and Politics"; and "Culture and Life." Each unit introduced students to historical fields such as social history, environmental history, women's and gender history, military history, and others. 

History 310: African American History to 1876

An introductory course in African American history that covers both the broad historical narrative of African American history until 1876 and the development of race as a social construction in the Unite States. 

History 202: US History to 1876

An introductory course in American History. Though broad in nature, the course is designed to introduce entry level undergraduates to more advanced critical thinking around categories of analysis like race, class, gender, and sexuality. 

History 201: Historical Methods and Skills

A topical course for entry level history and social science students. The course's chief goal is to teach students research skills and methods as they produce a college level research paper. The primary source base that Dr. Holden chose for her class was slave narratives. 

Instructor, Rutgers University Summer Session (Summer 2010)

History 512:103 Development of the U.S. I: to 1877

Entry level American History survey that covers American history from the development of the Atlantic World through 1877.

Instructor, Rutgers University Summer Session (Summer 2008)            

History 512:380 “Women and American History”

This course covers the first half of American Women’s History from contact to the Reconstruction.

Co-Instructor, Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility (Spring 2009)

Equivalent of History 512: 104 “U.S. Development II”

This course was designed to provide Mountainview inmates with a course comparable to an entry-level college course in American History. The course prioritized academic writing and the themes of race, class and gender.

Teaching Assistant, Rutgers University

History 512:268 "From Plantation to White House:

Race, Nation, and the African American Experience" (Spring 2011),

instructors, Deborah Gray White and Donna Murch

A Rutgers University Signature course, this class covered the breath of African American history placing a special focus on its influence on contemporary social and political life.

History 512:108 “U.S. Development I”(Fall 2008), instructor Nancy Hewitt.

Introductory American History course.

History 512:108 “U.S. Development I”(Spring 2007), instructor James Reed.

Introductory American History course.

History 512: 104 “U.S. Development II”(Fall 2006), instructor James Reed.                     

Introductory American History Course.

Instructor, Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academy- Rutgers Newark Campus (Fall 2006- Spring 2009)

 “Voices from Slavery: Slave Narrative and American History”(Spring 2009)

This course used slave narratives to create a narrative of enslaved experience for students in hopes of making the 19th century come alive for students.

 “Unnatural Causes: Race, Class, and Health” (Fall 2008)

Using a recent PBS documentary Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, this course looked at contemporary health issues and their historical roots with specific attention paid to race and class.

“Going Green?: Race, Class, and Environmental Justice”(Spring 2008)

This course used historicized contemporary environmental issues. Themes ranged from Indian         removal to housing discrimination with the goal of making environmental issues relevant for a        mostly urban student body.

“Freedom Struggle” (Fall 2007)

This course spanned from Reconstruction to the present with particular attention paid to resistance  and cultural formation.

“Resistance and Rebellion” (Spring 2007)

This course focused on American slave rebellion and resistance in its many forms.

“Voices from Slavery: Slave Narrative and American History”(Fall 2006)

This course used slave narratives to create a narrative of enslaved experience for students in hopes of making the 19th century come alive for students.