Halee Robinson

Graduate Student

Halee Robinson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History. She currently works on the histories of race, freedom, citizenship, and the carceral state in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “The Texas Penal System, Community, and the Meanings of Freedom and Citizenship, 1865-1912,” explores how Black, Mexican, and poor white folks increasingly came into contact with the Texas penal system after the Civil War. Focusing on Texas residents’ experiences with policing, courts, and state-sanctioned punishment, she examines how the penal system shaped meanings and contours of freedom, citizenship, and community across the state. 

Halee received her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in History and Political Science. Her undergraduate honors thesis, titled "For My Children's Sake: Enslaved Women and the Idea of Home in Nineteenth-Century Tennessee," explores enslaved women's homes as spaces and ideas that shaped Black women’s conceptions of freedom, womanhood, and motherhood. Halee is also interested in the histories of slavery, gender, and the Black radical tradition.

Year of Study
Sixth Year
Area of Interest
African American
Criminality and Criminal Justice
Gender & Sexuality
Intellectual History
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
19th Century
American South
United States