African American Women Scholars and International Research: Dr. Anna Julia Cooper’s Legacy of Study Abroad


  • Stephanie Y. Evans



Study abroad, Education abroad, Dr. Anna Julia Cooper, International education, African American students


In this article, a little-known but detailed history of Black women’s tradition of study abroad is presented. Specifically, the story of Dr. Anna Julia Cooper is situated within the landscape of historic African American students who studied in Japan, Germany, Jamaica, England, Italy, Haiti, India, West Africa, and Thailand, in addition to France. The story of Cooper’s intellectual production is especially intriguing because, at a time when Black women were just beginning to pursue doctorates in the United States, Anna Cooper chose to earn her Ph.D. from the Sorbonne in Paris. In this article, it is demonstrated that her research agenda and institutional choice reflected a popular trend of Black academics to construct their scholarly identities with an international foundation. The intersection of race, gender, nationality, language, and culture are critical areas of inquiry from which to study higher education. 


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Author Biography

Stephanie Y. Evans

Stephanie Y. Evans is Associate Professor in African American Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Evans’s research interests are Black women’s intellectual and educational history in the United States, Black women’s intellectual production and 19th and 20th century history; research methods in African American history, community service-learning and experiential education, and Black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs). She is the author of Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850–1954: An Intellectual History, which chronicles black women’s struggle for access to higher education in America.


See endnotes section for references.




How to Cite

Evans, S. Y. . (2009). African American Women Scholars and International Research: Dr. Anna Julia Cooper’s Legacy of Study Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 18(1), 77–100.



Research Articles