Holness defends dissertation, joins Virginia Tech faculty


Sept. 24, 2019

Lucien Holness, a 2010 Slippery Rock University graduate with a degree in education, successfully defended his dissertation for his doctorate degree in African-American history from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Holness' dissertation, "Between North and South, East and West: The Anti-Slavery Movement in Southwestern Pennsylvania," framed southwestern Pennsylvania as a borderland between slavery and freedom and a crossroad between abolitionists in the East and Old Northwest. Holness examined the shifting center of antislavery politics and discussions about race from Philadelphia to southwestern Pennsylvania, which had important consequences for the black freedom struggle statewide and nationally.

Holness recently accepted a job as assistant professor of history at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he is teaching courses covering African American history and the United States from the Colonial Period to the Civil War.