Edwin C. Breeden

Ph.D. Candidate
M.A. Rice University, 2013
B.A. Presbyterian College, 2010
Fields of Study: 
  • U.S. South
  • 20th century U.S.
Research Interests: 
I am interested in the history of race and racism in the United States, with a focus on the American South after World War II. My dissertation examines the tri-ethnic desegregation of the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas, to show how the postwar project of school integration was intertwined with more broader struggles over educational content and access. Using such topics as school board politics, pedagogical and curricular reform, faculty integration, and high school activism, I explore how legal and political shifts inside courtrooms and meeting halls were intertwined with more localized power struggles that ultimately determined what "desegregation" meant as a lived reality, rather than mere abstraction.

I am also passionate about the need to connect scholarly training and research with educational spaces outside the academy.  I now live in North Charleston, South Carolina, and am currently leading an effort at a ca. 1771 historic site in Charleston to better interpret the site's significance to the local history of slavery and African American life more broadly.

Selected Presentations

  • "The Enslaved at the Exchange: Uncovering and Interpreting Slavery at Charleston's Cradle of Liberty," presented at 2015 Slave Dwelling Project conference, North Charleston, South Carolina
  • "Segregation on Ice: School Construction Politics and the Landscape of Segregated Education in Postwar Houston, Texas," presented at Race, Ethnicity, and Place VII, Fort Worth, Texas, 2014
  • “The White Politics of Long Hair and Fractured High School Student Activism in Houston, Texas,” presented at 2014 Southern History of Education Society (SHOES) annual meeting, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
  • “Confronting the Confederacy: New Southern Memory and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Reformulation of Regional Identity,” presented at 2013 Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) conference, Jacksonville, Florida.
  • “Meeting Needs at Juan Marcos: The Houston Huelga Schools and Mexican American Responses to School Desegregation,” presented at 2013 Southern History of Education Society (SHOES) annual meeting, Charleston, South Carolina.