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Professor Jermaine Thibodeaux

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Jermaine Thibodeaux

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Jermaine Thibodeaux is a native of Third Ward, Houston, Texas. For more than fifteen years, he taught history in independent schools in Houston and the Boston area. He is currently Acting Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Trained in the department of History at the University of Texas at Austin, his academic interests include African American history, Texas history, carceral studies, slavery and capitalism, and Black masculinities. He has published essays on slavery in Savannah and on various Hollywood depictions of historical topics. His most recent book chapter appears in the Colored Conventions Movement (UNC Press, 2021) and it explores the role of race and heteropatriarchy during the early Colored Conventions movement in Texas. He is presently at work on articles exploring the historic role of hyper-policing in the untimely deaths of Sandra Bland and George Floyd. Additionally, he is revising his dissertation manuscript that explores the long and sordid connections between the Texas sugar industry and the rise of the state’s penitentiary system. That project, titled, “The House that Cane Built: Sugar, Race, and the Gendered Formations of the Texas Prison System, 1842-1920,” centers the commodity of sugar in a retelling of the prison system’s history and in so doing, foregrounds Black male convicts and their labor as crucial to the establishment and growth of the Texas carceral landscape.

Outside of academia, he follows closely national politics and issues relating to capital punishment and criminal justice reform. He is also a self-proclaimed hip-hop enthusiast, a lowkey opera buff, Facebook/IG fiend, reality tv junkie, and a displaced Cajun foodie and BBQ expert. He can also be found on Twitter at @Thibs27.


A.B. (History), Cornell University

M.A. (History), University of Texas—Austin

Ph.D (History), University of Texas—Austin