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Sidonia Serafini

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
PhD Candidate
2021-22 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow

Sidonia is a doctoral candidate and 2021-22 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow. Her research focuses on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American and American Indian literature in the periodical press as well as multiethnic women's writing.

Sidonia's research examines Hampton Institute's organ, The Southern Workman (1872-1939), and the writings placed in this publication by figures across races, cultures, and nations. Sidonia's work also focuses on the early short fiction of writer and educator, Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935), with an emphasis on how her works address historical memory and cultural citizenship. Her essays on this work have been published in The Southern Quarterly and Women's Studies. With Barbara McCaskill and Rev. Paul Walker of Highgate Baptist Church in Birmingham, England, she co-edited an edition of the writings of the nineteenth-century activist, Rev. Peter Thomas Stanford (c. 1860-1909), published with the University of Georgia Press.

Sidonia has also curated two large-scale museum exhibits for UGA's Hargrett Special Collections Library. These exhibits centered on the history of carceral labor in Georgia as well as the history of women's suffrage in the US. Recently, she adapted the physical convict labor exhibit into a digital one for the newly launched online exhibition platform with the Digital Library of Georgia and the New Georgia Encyclopedia. The exhibit, titled "The New South and the New Slavery: Convict Labor in Georgia," is available here.

In addition to academic activities, Sidonia's university leadership has included service as a PhD and MA Graduate Representative in the Department of English; a mentor with the Pathway to Graduate School Program hosted by the Office of Graduate Recruitment & Diversity Initiatives; and a local school mentor for the Athens-Clarke County Mentor Program.


M.A. in English, University of Georgia, 2017

B.A. in English, Flagler College, 2014


The Magnificent Reverend Peter Thomas Stanford, Transatlantic Reformer and Race Man. Edited with Barbara McCaskill and Rev. Paul Walker, Pastor of Highgate Baptist Church, Birmingham, England. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2020.

Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)

“Black Soldiers, Public Memory, and the Recuperative Work of Historical Fiction in Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s ‘Esteve, the Soldier Boy.’” Women’s Studies, vol. 50, no. 1, 2021, pp. 23-36.

“Black, White, and Native: The Multiracial Writing Community of Hampton Institute’s Southern Workman.” The Southern Quarterly, vol. 56, no. 2, 2019, pp. 63-81.

Selected Grants and Awards


Research travel grant from The Literary Encyclopedia, 2018


Honorable Mention, Outstanding Public History Project Award for exhibit, "The New South and the New Slavery: Convict Labor in Georgia," National Council on Public History (NCPH), 2020

Grant for website and symposium on early Black activism, co-awarded with Barbara McCaskill and Kelly P. Dugan and supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Global Georgia Program of the UGA Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, 2019-2021


University of Georgia Mary Lynn Oliver Hunt and Matthew Alan Hunt Graduate Studies Fellowship, 2020

University of Georgia Graduate School Dean’s Award for Dissertation Research Travel, 2020

R. Baxter Miller Award in African American and Multicultural Literature, 2018

Certificate of Merit from UGA's Institute for African American Studies, 2016


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