Miles Wilkerson

PhD student, History

Faculty advisor: James Sweet

Miles WilkersonMiles is a PhD student in the Department of History, studying the Atlantic slave trade from a disability studies lens. His work will connect the history of corporeal, cognitive, and sensory impairment from the slave castles of the West African shore to colonial North America and the Caribbean. “By better understanding how debility impacted the development of globalization, we can discover better means of empowering and enabling people with diverse impairments in the present-day,” Miles said.

Miles formerly completed his bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in Latin American studies at Eastern Connecticut State University. Miles is learning Yoruba with the help of a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship. This language training will help him incorporate African understandings of disability into his research.

“Receiving a first-year fellowship cemented my decision to come to UW–Madison. Other programs mandated that I teach during my first year; I appreciate that I get to focus on coursework during my first year,” Miles said.