hero image
Jessica Millward - UC Irvine. Irvine, CA, US

Jessica Millward

Associate Professor of History and African American Studies | UC Irvine


Her research focuses on comparative slavery and emancipation, African American history, gender and the law.






loading image loading image loading image


'Yonder they do not love your flesh': Mourning, Anti-Blackness, and Claiming All of Us




Dr. Jessica Millward is an Associate professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on comparative slavery and emancipation, African American history, gender and the law. She is the author of “Teaching African American History in the Age of Obama,” which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education. She is also the recipient of the 2007 Association of Black Women Historians’ Letitia Brown Wood award for the best article in African American Women’s History for her article titled, “More History Than Myth: African American Women’s History since the Publication of Ar’n’t I a Woman,” Journal of Women’s History Vol. 19 No. 2 (Summer 2007): 161-167.” Dr. Millward’s work has appeared in Frontier’s: A Journal of Women’s History, the Women’s History Review and is forthcoming in the Journal of African American History. Dr. Millward’s manuscript on enslaved women, family and freedom in pre Civil War Maryland is forthcoming as part of the Race in the
Atlantic World series, University of Georgia Press.

Dr. Millward is a founding member of the UCI Ghana Project-an educational and cultural exchange program between faculty, students, and staff at the University of California Irvine and the University of Ghana, Legon. For three weeks during summer 2010, UCI collaborated with the Kwame Nkrumah Institute for African Studies, the Ghana Dance Ensemble, and the Department of Dance at the University of Ghana, Legon. Dr. Millward holds affiliate status with the following programs at UCI: African American Studies, the Culture and Theory Program, the Department of Women’s Studies as well as the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies. She is a Research Associate at the Center for Comparative Immigration at UC San Diego as well as a member of the Organization of American Historian’s Committee on the Status of African American, Latino/a, Asian American, and Native American (ALANA) Historians and ALANA Histories.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Anti-Black violence

African American History


U.S. History


Education (2)

UCLA: Ph.D., U.S. History 2003

UCLA: M.A., African American Studies 1997

Media Appearances (5)

New book challenges Civil War’s old myths

The Washington Post  online


Jessica Millward of the University of California, Irvine, is another novelist who brings to life people like Charity Folks, a woman born into slavery in Anne Arundel County in the mid-1700s and eventually emancipated. Millward demonstrates how gender may obscure the ostensibly obvious line between slavery and freedom in Maryland by explaining how she gave birth to both free and enslaved children.

view more

The New Norm for Back to School: Active-Shooter-Response Training

The Chronicle of Higher Education  online


For more than a decade at the University of California at Irvine, Jessica Millward’s in-class emergency-preparation lesson centered on earthquakes and fires. But after a year on sabbatical, and multiple university shootings around the country, the associate professor of history feels compelled to prepare her classes this semester for a now all-too-common threat: the active shooter.

view more

A ballot prop that could boost racial equity among university faculty

CalMatters  online


Jessica Millward, a UC Irvine associate professor of history, and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, a UC Irvine associate professor of African American studies, received a UC-HBCU Pathways Grant to partner with Morgan State University, a public and historically black research university in Baltimore.

view more

‘A people’s project’: UCI professors and HBCU students archive the work of living Black activists

Daily Pilot  online


Featured in the LA Times.

view more

UC Irvine panel discusses mourning, anti-black violence in response to Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19

LA Times  online


The panel featured speakers Willoughby-Herard, Jessica Millward, an associate professor of history, and Sabrina Strings, an associate professor of sociology. “We are experiencing not just physical isolation but also social isolation,” Wu said. “We need a space to collectively learn and process the inhumanity that is evident in our society and to assert our desire for justice and compassion. This is what I believe is the role of the humanities, to explore and claim our common humanity.”

view more

Articles (2)

Charity Folks, Lost Royalty, And The Bishop Family Of Maryland And New York

The Journal of African American History


view more

‘That All Her Increase Shall Be Free’: enslaved women's bodies and the Maryland 1809 Law of Manumission

Women's History Review

2012 This article investigates the relationship between manumission laws and enslaved women's bodies in Maryland, USA. The point of departure is the 1809 ‘Act to Ascertain and Declare the Condition of Such Issue as may hereafter be born of Negro or Mulatto Female Slaves,’ which minimized age requirements for freeing enslaved children. I

view more