Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Yale University
Website URL
U.S. empire, U.S. colonies, U.S. overseas territories, material culture, iconography, national identity, nation-building, nationalism, disasters, disaster relief, hurricane, volcano, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Hawai'i, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me
Alvita Akiboh is a U.S. historian specializing in the history of U.S. overseas colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific. She earned her PhD in History from Northwestern University and BA in History from Indiana University. Before coming to Yale, Akiboh was a postdoctoral fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows.
Dr. Akiboh’s first book, Imperial Material (under contract, University of Chicago Press) examines how material objects with U.S. national symbols—flags, currency, and postage stamps—have functioned in the overseas territories. Her latest research looks at the history of natural disasters and disaster relief in the U.S. colonial empire.
Dr. Akiboh has conducted research throughout the continental United States and the overseas territories, including American Samoa, Guam, Hawai‘i, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her work has been supported by funding from a variety of organizations, including the American Historical Association, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Smithsonian.
At Yale, Dr. Akiboh teaches courses on U.S. history, identity, colonialism, and empire. Outside of the classroom, she is committed to mentoring and advancing students and scholars from underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds.

Selected Prizes and Awards

  • Harold Perkin Prize for Best Dissertation (2019)
  • American Historical Association Albert J. Beveridge Grant (2018)
  • Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award (2018)
  • Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Stuart L. Bernath Grant (2017)
  • Lacey Baldwin Smith Prize for Teaching Excellence (2017)
Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
Caribbean, Pacific, Southeast Asia, United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Diplomacy, Environment, Government, Indigenous Peoples, Law, Material Culture, Migration & Immigration, Race, Rebellion & Revolution, World War II