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Tamara J. Walker

Assistant Professor of History

Tamara J. WalkerTamara J. Walker (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently completing a book manuscript based on her doctoral dissertation, titled Ladies and Gentlemen, Slaves and Citizens: Dressing the Part in Lima, 1723-1845 , which focuses on the relationship between clothing and status in an ethnically diverse slaveholding society, with particular attention to the meanings given to dress and deportment both by subordinate members of the society and by those who presumed to control them. This project offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of history, drawing upon archival research, travel accounts and iconographic evidence, as well as a rich body of comparative slavery scholarship and material culture studies. Using clothing as a tracer, it demonstrates the ways in which the legal, economic, and social restrictions imposed upon slaves and free castas (as the offspring of Europeans, Africans, and Indians were known) affected their access to material goods, but could not prevent them from using such goods to display their own sense of identity and status.

In addition to offering a Colonial Latin America survey (History 70), Walker 's courses take a comparative approach to the study of slavery, urban history, material culture, and cultural representation. This includes AFRC/LALS 107 (Fashion and Image in the African Diaspora), Comparative Slavery, and The City in the Early Americas.

Professor Walker has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright-Hays DDRA, Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion Grant, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at Penn from 2007-2009. She is the author of β€œβ€˜He outfitted his family in notable decency': Slavery, Honor, and Dress in Eighteenth-Century Lima, Peru,” Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave & Post-Slave Studies 30, No. 3 (September 2009), pp. 383-402.

Courses Taught (As Schedule Allows)

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