Michael Dickinson

Michael L. Dickinson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of History

(804) 827-3901

811 S. Cathedral Place, room 205


  • Ph.D. American History, University of Delaware 2017
  • M.A. American History, University of Delaware, 2013

Research Interests

Dickinson's research interests include comparative slavery, the Atlantic slave trade and early African American history.

Select Publications

  • Almost Dead: Slavery and Social Rebirth in the Black Urban Atlantic, 1680-1807, Forthcoming with University of Georgia Press.
  • “The Propaganda of History: African American Responses to Confederate Memorials in the Jim Crow Era” in After the Monuments Fall: the Removal of Confederate Monuments in the American South, edited by Bryan Clark Green. Louisiana State University Press, Under contract.
  • Black Realities and White Statues: The Fall of Confederate Monuments,” Black Perspectives, African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), June 2020.


  • The Association for African American Life & History
  • American Historical Association
  • Caribbean Studies Association
  • National Council for Black Studies
  • African American Intellectual History Society


  • HIST 103: American History I Seminar 
  • HIST 361-2/AFAM 361-2: Americans from Africa I & 2 
  • HIST 391/AFAM491: Revolutionary Black Thought 
  • HIST 490: American Slavery 
  • HIST 627: Readings in African American History 


  • Residential Fellowship, VCU Humanities Research Center, Spring 2022
  • Workshop fellow, John Carter Brown Library (Brown University), Fall 2020
  • Barra Sabbatical Fellowship, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2019-2020
  • SITPA Fellow, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences, Duke University, 2018
  • Research Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, 2016

Public Speaking/Interviews

  • CNN, The Situation Room, June 2020
  • The Dogwood (Richmond, VA), June 2020
  • The Sydney Morning Herald, July 2020
  • Vox News, July 2020
  • The Globe Post, July 2020
  • NPR, September 2021


Commitment to African American Studies

Dickinson envisions African American studies as essential in understanding the words, thoughts and deeds of African descended peoples throughout the diaspora across geographic and temporal boundaries. The diverse methodologies of African American Studies helps to critically examine how those experiences and contributions impact today and can productively impact tomorrow. As a member of the VCU history department, Dickinson sees the close partnership between my African American history courses and the African American Studies program as vital. He also believes that the contributions of AAS students have deeply enriched his cross-listed courses over the years.