Francena F. L. Turner

Headshot of Francena F. L. Turner

Postdoctoral Associate for Data Curation

Francena is a CLIR/Melon Fellow and Postdoctoral Associate for Data Curation in African American History and Culture. In her current role, she is the project manager & principal interviewer for an oral history project that is a part of the Reparative Oral Histories Initiative. Oral history is central in much of her work. She engages in excavation work in an effort to bridge the past and present. Her research interests include histories of Black education, Black women’s higher education, activist scholars, & Black Feminism(s). Her research focuses on historical and contemporary issues of equity, agency, and thriving in education through critical study of minoritized student experiences. Specifically, she researches the ways Black students and faculty go into, through, and out of US higher education institutions and the ways they did or did not remain whole. With this as her focus, she is able to study any number of facets of American higher education without major shifts in focus. Her archival and oral history work on student protests at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Black women’s career trajectories in a number of fields, and Black community colleges and faculties, all speak to her larger question: “How did we learn about, access, experience, and then exit places that either were not made for us or existed within a system designed to see us fail?”