Dr. Westenley Alcenat is an Assistant Professor of History and Affiliated Faculty, American Studies program at Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus. He holds a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in addition to an MPhil and MA in American History from Columbia. Wes started his academic pursuits with a BA in political science and history from Macalester College, where he was also a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow.
Wes is a historian of the nineteenth century U.S. and Caribbean. His focus is on the shared histories of African-Americans, the African Diaspora, and nations in the Atlantic World. His dissertation, titled “Revolutionary Transnationalism: Prince Saunders, Haitian Emigration, and the Problem of Citizenship in the Age of Atlantic Slavery, 1815-1865,” explores the radicalism and ideologies of African-American settlers who emigrated to Haiti in the nineteenth century. Wes’ academic interests have intersected with public history and equity in higher education to highlight histories of marginalized groups inside the university and provide critical policy recommendations.
His professional experience includes working as a mentor to undergraduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program and as academic adviser for the American Studies Program at Columbia University. Wes has served as an Associate Academic Director in the Great Books Summer Reading Program at Amherst College since 2015.