Research & Practice Areas
19th-20th Century African American history; labor; race; gender
Francille Rusan Wilson is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and History at the University of Southern California. She is an intellectual and labor historian whose current research examines the intersections between black labor movements, black social scientists, and black women’s history during the Jim Crow era. Her book, The Segregated Scholars: Black Social Scientists and the Creation of Black Labor Studies, 1890-1950, was awarded the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Prize for the best book in African American Women’s history by the Association of Black Women Historians. She co-curated “Rise Up LA: A Century of Votes for Women” at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and was a member of the historians advisory board for the National Archives exhibit, “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Wilson to the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women in December 2007 and she was its president, 2009-2010. In 2011 Wilson was appointed to a four year term on the State Board of the California African American Museum by the Governor. Wilson was awarded the 2008 Bethune Award for Excellence in Education by Our Author’s Study Club of Los Angeles. She has served on the boards of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the Labor and Working Class History Association, and is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She served two terms as the National Director for the Association of Black Women Historians, 2015 to 2018. She was a 2017-2018 Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
- Ph.D. American History, University of Pennsylvania, 1988
- Fellow, Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, 2017-2018
- Wilson, F. R. (2006). The Segregated Scholars: Black Social Scientists and the Creation of Black Labor Studies, 1890-1950. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.
- Wilson, F. R. (2019). “The Roots of Black American Women’s Internationalism: Migrations of the Spirit and the Heart,”. Women and Migration: Responses in Art and History pp. 379-394. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers and NYU Global Institute for Advanced Study.
- Wilson, F. R. (2014). “Gertrude Emily Hicks Bustill Mossell: Her Heritage, Her Impact, and Her Legacy”. Women and Social Movements, 1600-2000/ Alexander Press. Vol. 18:2
- Co-Curator, Rise Up LA: A Century of Votes for Women, Exhibit for Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 2019-2021
- Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians , 2003
- Residency at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Fellow, CASBS, 2017-2018
- Mary McLeod Bethune Excellence in Education Award, Our Authors Study Club, Inc., 2/9/2008. , 2007-2008
- Winner 2007 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize, Best book in African American Women’s History by the Association of Black Women Historians, 2007-2008
- Interim Chair, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, 01/01/2020-08/15/2020
- National Director, Association of Black Women Historians”, 2014-2018
Other Service to the Profession
- President, State Board of Directors, California African American Museum, 2012-2014
- Commissioner, City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, President, 2010-2011, 2007-2013