Rita Isabela Morales
Fields of Study: 19th-century United States
Isabela Morales is a second-year PhD student in the Department of History. Her research examines race and social mobility in the 19th-century United States, with a particular emphasis on African American history and the American West. More broadly, her interests include U.S. social and cultural history, as well as public history.
Isabela graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in History and American Studies, with Honors.
Her senior thesis -- "Letters from a Planter's Daughter: Freedom and Family in the Life of Susanna Townsend (1853-1869)" -- used the letters and legal files of the youngest daughter of a wealthy white cotton planter and an enslaved African-American woman to piece together the story of a mixed-race girl coming of age during the Civil War.