Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Michigan
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 historian of the United States and the world, specializing in the United States colonial empire. Her research focuses on constructions of identity and conflicts over national belonging in U.S. overseas territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Professor Akiboh’s first book manuscript examines how material objects produced by the state that contain national symbols—flags, currency, and postage stamps—have functioned in the overseas territories on the borders of the U.S. national community.

Akiboh has conducted research throughout the continental United States and in archives and museum collections through the colonial empire, in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaiʻi, and American Samoa. Her research has been funded by the American Historical Association, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Smithsonian Institute, the Buffett Institute for International Studies, and the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.

At Michigan, Professor Akiboh will be offering courses in the history of the U.S. Empire. In addition to teaching in traditional college classrooms, she has also taught non-traditional adult learners through the Odyssey Project, an Illinois Humanities program that offers college-level courses to income-eligible students with little or no access to higher education. Outside of the classroom, Professor Akiboh 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

Pocket-Sized Imperialism: U.S. Designs on Colonial Currency,” Diplomatic History 41, no. 5 (November 2017): 874-902.

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