Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Freedom, Black Studies, Geopolitics, Political Theory, Critical Race Studies

Major Advisor

Kristin Kelly

Associate Advisor

Heather M. Turcotte

Associate Advisor

Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat

Field of Study

Political science


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This project challenges the conventional construction of the academic and real-life search for freedom by exploring how Blackness changes the dynamics of who is a liberated and free subject. In order to do so, this project engages with three specific iterations of freedom: freedom as liberty, freedom as emancipation and freedom as revolution. By focusing on “Freedom Trails”- namely, the Boston Freedom Trail, the geography of the Nat Turner slave rebellion, and the embodied geography of Black Power – this project maps the spaces that enhance a Black sense of freedom. These particular cases conceive of freedom in both conventional and revolutionary ways. Conventional freedom gets marked in the terrain, while Black Revolutionary Freedom is covered and silenced. This project grapples with what it is people who inherit and own Blackness have to do in order to be free? I employ an assemblage of methodologies, which creates an expanded archive through memory work, haunting, deconstruction and textual interdiction. This project is just as much about trailing freedom as it is about the method of Freedom Trails.