Carla L. Peterson is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland, and affiliate faculty of the departments of Women’s Studies, American Studies, and African-American Studies. Peterson received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University. She is the author of “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) (Rutgers University Press, 1998). She has published numerous essays on nineteenth-century African American literature and culture. Her newly published book, titled Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City (Yale University Press, 2011), is a social and cultural history of African Americans in nineteenth-century New York City as seen through the lens of family history.