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Dr. Regennia N. Williams is SPOHP’s 2013 Julian Pleasants Travel Award Scholar

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program congratulates Dr. Regennia N. Williams of Cleveland State University on her receipt of SPOHP’s 2013 Julian Pleasants Travel Award. Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor of History at Cleveland State University in Cleveland,Ohio. She received her BAs in Liberal Studies and Urban Studies, as well as her MPA in Public Administration, from Cleveland State University. She earned her PhD in Social History and Policy from Case Western Reserve University.

This summer, Dr. Williams will conduct research in the Zora Neale Hurston papers at the University of Florida. This research will support her work on articles for a special Zora Neale Hurston issue of The Journal of Traditions and Beliefs, a scholarly publication she launched in the 2009-2010 academic year.  This publication is a follow-up activity for the September 2012 “Watching God and Reading Hurston” International Academic Conference, which commemorated the 75th anniversary of Their Eyes Were Watching God in2012-2013.  For more information on the conference, please visit

Dr. Williams also plans to develop new curriculum materials based on University of Florida manuscripts related to the life, art, and legacy of Zora Neale Hurston at the University of Florida,including Hurston’s work with Stetson Kennedy on the Florida Writers Project. The new curriculum materials will encourage history students and pre-service and in-service teachers to use maps, books, letters, etc. to explore the African roots of American cultures and contribute to “An Atlas of the Cultural History of the African Diaspora as Documented by Zora Neale Hurston,” an online publication that will consider the writer’s work throughout the American South and in Harlem, Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, and other places in the African Diaspora. For information on Williams’ previous online publications, please visit her website,

Dr. Williams will be in residence at the University of Florida throughout the month of June.

The Julian Pleasants Travel Award was created in honor of Dr. Julian Pleasants, Director Emeritus of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and longtime Professor of History at the University of Florida.The Pleasants Travel Award promotes cutting edge oral history research at UF,and includes a stipend of $1,000. Competition is open to graduate students,faculty, and independent scholars throughout the United States.

For more information about the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program or the Julian Pleasants Travel Award, visit: .

News Release
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP), University of Florida
May 14, 2013