I am a historian of the African American experience in the U. S. South during the 19th and early 20th centuries. I’m particularly interested in the intersections of race, gender, and the multiplicity of confinement.

I attended Howard University but completed my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice at Martin University in Indianapolis. I hold master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and History from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Brooklyn College, respectively. Prior to attending IU, I led a large prisoner reentry initiative in New York City, assisting women and men in their transition from incarceration to society. I’ve served as a lecturer of Criminal Justice at LaGuardia Community College and an adjunct lecturer in Global and Historical Studies at Butler University. My work is motivated by my personal and professional experiences — particularly my work with individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and incarceration — and these experiences continue to fuel my passion for my work today.

You’ll find more information about me, my research, and some of the awesome media projects I’ve conducted over the past two years. If you’d like to know more about my work, don’t hesitate to reach out.


My current research explores the experiences of confined African-American women in Kentucky from Reconstruction to the Progressive Era, specifically illuminating the lives of confined black women by examining places other than carceral locales as arenas of confinement, including mental health asylums and domestic spaces. I seek to explore how these women both defied and defined confinement through their incarceration, interactions with public, social and political entities of the period, as well as how they challenged Victorian ideas of race and femininity and shaped prison and political reform in Kentucky.

I am definitely a historian of the African-American experience, women, and the U.S. South. While my dissertation centers on confinement in Kentucky, the project has led me to follow the rabbit hole to more on legal history and politics, African-American life and spirituality, and social activism in the American South. My master’s thesis research explored the race riots of the Red Summer of 1919 and the implementation and consequences of the use of martial law during the 1918 and 1919 race riots in Charleston, South Carolina.


Background images courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Capital City Museum, Frankfort, Kentucky.


I conducted several awesome interviews while at the AHR, the first with Dr. Elizabeth Hinton of Harvard University on the future of carceral studies and the second was a series of interviews with historians about the impact of the blockbuster hit Black Panther.  







Ph.D., History, Indiana University–Bloomington (expected May 2020)

  • Examination fields
    • U.S. History (major)
    • African Diaspora (inside minor)
    • Gender Studies (outside minor)

MA, History, Brooklyn College

MA, Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

BS, Criminal Justice, Martin University


“Confined Femininity: Race, Gender, and Incarceration in Kentucky, 1865­­­–1920”

Chair: Amrita Myers

Professional Experience

2015-2018   Editorial Assistant, American Historical Review, Bloomington, IN

2014      Metadata Consultant, HistoryIT, Indianapolis, IN

2013-2014     Intern, Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC

2013    Visiting Researcher/Co-Curator, Museum of Women’s Resistance, Brooklyn, NY

2007-2011  Director of Criminal Justice Programs, The Doe Fund, Inc., New York, NY

2006-2007 Project Coordinator, Queens Comprehensive Perinatal Council, Jamaica, NY

2004-2006 Program Coordinator, Indianapolis Birthing Project, Indianapolis, IN

Awards & Fellowships

  • Quinn Fellowship, Doris G. Quinn Foundation, 2018-2019
  • Catherine Prelinger Award, Coordinating Council of Women in History, 2017
  • Scholarly Fellowship, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 2017
  • Wiseman Fellowship, Indiana University, 2017
  • Woodburn Dissertation Fellowship, Indiana University, 2017
  • Filson Historical Society Research Fellowship, 2016
  • Scholarly Research Fellowship, Kentucky Historical Society, 2016
  • Wiseman Fellowship, Indiana University, 2016
  • Grant-In-Aid for Research in the History of the Midwest, Indiana University, 2016
  • Frederick W. & Mildred C. Stoler Research Fellowship, Indiana University, 2015
  • Grant-In-Aid for Research in the History of the Midwest, Indiana University, 2015
  • Louise McNutt Fellowship, Indiana University, 2014


Fletcher-Brown, C.  Review of Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America, by Jen Manion, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 115, no. 3 (Summer 2017): 419-421.

Fletcher-Brown, Charlene. “Early Stories of Domestic Violence Raise Awareness, Foster Healing.” The Blog of the Kentucky Historical Society. November 4, 2016. http://history.ky.gov/early-stories-of-domestic-violence-raise-awareness-foster-healing/

Fletcher-Brown, C. Multiple Submissions in Significant People in African American History, BlackPast.org. https://www.blackpast.org/author/fletcher-browncharlenej/.  (2014-2015)

Fletcher-Brown, C. “The Palmer Raids” 1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War. http://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/Palmer_Raids (2014)

Fletcher-Brown, C. “U.S. Race Riots” 1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World Warhttp://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/U.S._Race_Riots (2014)

Teaching Experience

Adjunct Instructor, Butler University, Global & Historical Studies, Core Curriculum, 2017-2018

Assistant Instructor, Indiana Women’s Prison/Indiana University, 2015-2016

Lecturer, LaGuardia Community College-CUNY, Department of Social Science, 2013-2014

Adjunct Lecturer, LaGuardia Community College-CUNY, Department of Social Science, 2010-2013

Adjunct Lecturer, Monroe College, School of Criminal Justice, 2009-2013

Courses Taught as Instructor of Record

Butler University

Freedom and Movement in the Transatlantic World

LaGuardia Community College – CUNY

Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminology, Corrections and Sentencing

Monroe College, School of Criminal Justice

Introduction to Criminal Justice, Introduction to Political Science, Introduction to Human Services, Criminology, Prisons: Punishment and Rehabilitation, Field Experience in Criminal Justice

Selected Conference Participation and Invited Talks

  • “Home Ain’t Always Where the Heart Is: Women, Confinement, and Domestic Violence in the Gilded Age Bluegrass,” for the exhibition Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence, Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, April 2019
  • “Talk What You Know Testify What You See: Fannie Keyes Harvey and the 1897 Kentucky Penitentiary Scandal,” on panel “Prison, Power, and Protest in Black History,” Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Annual Meeting, October 2018
  • Panelist, “History Cafe” for the exhibition Photographing Freetowns: African American Kentucky Through the Lens of Helen Balfour Morrison, Kentucky Historical Society, September 2018
  • “When and Where I Enter: Black Women’s Struggle for Suffrage and Equality,” Women’s Equality Day Symposium, Indiana State University, August 2018
  • “Borderland Business: Slavery and Convict Leasing in Civil War Era Kentucky,” Organization of American Historians (OAH) Annual Meeting, Sacramento, CA, April 2018
  • “Confined Femininity: Race, Gender, and Incarceration in Kentucky, 1865-1920,” African-American Genealogical Society of Kentucky General Meeting, Kentucky Historical Society, August 2016
  • Panelist, “Crossroads: The Future of Graduate History Education,” Drew University/Indiana Women’s Prison, September 2016
  • “Race and Resistance: Black Soldiers, Law Enforcement and Civil Unrest in Charleston, SC, 1918,” on panel “African American Agency in the Struggle for Freedom and Equality,” Indiana Association of Historians Annual Meeting, March 2015

University and Public Service Appointments

  • Graduate Student Representative Association of Black Women Historians, 2017-2019
  • History Graduate Student Association, Indiana University, 2015-2016,
  • Periodic Review Team, LaGuardia Community College – CUNY, 2013-2014
  • Advisor, Alpha Phi Sigma National Honor Society, Monroe College, 2010-2014
  • Curriculum Committee, Monroe College, School of Criminal Justice, 2011-2013
  • Service Provider Advisory Council (SPAC), New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, 2009-2011
  • New York City Discharge Planning Collaboration, 2009-2011
  • Upper Manhattan Reentry Task Force, 2007-2011

Professional Memberships

  • American Historical Association (AHA)
  • Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH)
  • Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH)
  • Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
  • Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH)
  • Organization of American Historians (OAH)

Fridays with Fannie

Pursuing a Ph.D. is no easy feat and writing a dissertation is quite an isolated journey.  Yet, this journey is filled with both historical and personal revelations that I wanted to document and share with the world around me.  Research and writing have led me to some very interesting places around the globe and have gifted fascinating stories and nuggets of knowledge to share.  My hope, each Friday, is to use this blog to share my journey with you – giving you the chance to learn more about Black women, Kentucky, and, most importantly, more about my dear Ms. Fannie.

So, who is Fannie?

You ask such good questions!  Fannie Keyes Harvey (1865-1917) was an African-American woman, Lexington, Kentucky resident, mother, seamstress, and the star of my dissertation project.  She was incarcerated in the old Kentucky State Penitentiary at Frankfort between 1895 and 1913.