Brigitte Fielder is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she works on long nineteenth-century US and African American literature with attention to race, gender, species, and childhood. She is the author of over two dozen articles and a book, Relative Races: Genealogies of Interracial Kinship in Nineteenth-Century America, published by Duke University Press. As an editor she has organized several collections and special issues, including Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print (University of Wisconsin Press), a special issue of Early American Literature on Phillis Wheatley studies, and a special issue of Research on Diversity in Youth Literature on “Minstrelsy and Racist Appropriation.” She is the co-convener of the Just Teach One: Early African American Print project which edits and publishes open source teaching editions of early African American texts to facilitate greater use in teaching and research.

Fielder also writes about race and culture for Avidly, a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books.  Fielder earned her Ph.D. in English from Cornell University with a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Brigitte Fielder Relative Race CoverRelative Races: Genealogies of Interracial Kinship in Nineteenth-Century America

“In Relative Races, Brigitte Fielder enriches our understanding of the cultural landscape of the long nineteenth century. Demonstrating boldness, analytical clarity, and scholarly creativity, Fielder gives us language for the processes of racialization that clearly shape American realities but that we have often failed to name because we lacked a theoretical framework.” — Koritha Mitchell, author of From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture

“Brigitte Fielder makes the bold claim that racialization entails neither the annihilation of kin ties nor the simple linearity of descent…. After Relative Races, we will not be able to think about race and racialization, kinship, and queer theories of temporality separately again.” — Elizabeth Freeman, author of Beside You in Time: Sense Methods and Queer Sociabilities in the American Nineteenth Century

Recent Events and Media


#SlaveryArchive Book Club Reads Relative Races in June 2021.

New Books Network Podcast

An hourlong podcast interview on Relative Races with Dr. Christina Gessler of "The Academic Life" podcast in the New Books Network family of podcasts.

G19 Interview

A chat about the writing of Relative Races and mentorship with members of the G19 Collective, the graduate student caucus of C19: Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.

Book Talk @ American Antiquarian Society

My book talk sharing Relative Races in the AAS's Program in the History of the Book in America new books seriess