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Blair Kelley Named Assistant Dean

Dr. Blair L.M. Kelley has been named assistant dean for interdisciplinary studies and international programs at NC State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Kelley is associate professor of History at NC State. She has been at NC State since 2002. Previously, she served the Department of History as the director of graduate programs, overseeing and administering the master’s programs in history and public history.  She also sits on the CHASS Diversity Advisory Committee.

“We are delighted that Blair has accepted this appointment,” says Jeffery P. Braden, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “She developed and implemented program and outcome assessment efforts for two masters-level programs in the Department of History and was part of the team of scholars who developed the successful proposal to start a doctoral program in Public History. She has demonstrated her ability to collaborate with faculty colleagues and to develop new academic programs, while strengthening existing ones. She is a strong advocate for interdisciplinary programs and for faculty input and leadership in academic affairs. We look forward to her leadership of IDS and International Programs.”

Kelley received her B.A. from the University of Virginia in History and African and African American Studies, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Duke University.

Her scholarship centers on the history of African American resistance to segregation. She is the author of Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson, which won the 2010 Letitia Woods Brown Best Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians. Her work encompasses African American women’s history, urban history, legal history and southern history.

Active inside the academy and out, Kelley has provided expert commentary for the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Melissa Harris Perry Show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the Associated Press, She has written for,,,, and Jet Magazine, and produces and hosts a podcast called Historical Blackness.  She has more than 18,000 followers on Twitter.  She has been a guest on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry Show, Democracy Now, and WUNC’s The State of Things.

The CHASS Interdisciplinary Studies Program awards an array of cross-disciplinary undergraduate degrees, including majors and dual-degree programs, as well as minors. IDS major programs include Africana Studies, Arts Studies (including Film Studies), International Studies, Science Technology and Society (STS), Self-Design Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies; minor programs include Middle Eastern Studies and Nonprofit Studies. Five dual-degree programs enable students to combine scientific or professional study with a focus in the humanities or social sciences; students graduate with two undergraduate degrees.