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Alvita Akiboh


Alvita Akiboh is a doctoral candidate specializing in the history of the United States colonial empire. Akiboh's dissertation, "Imperial Material: Objects and Identity in the U.S. Colonial Empire," examines material culture and national identity in the U.S. overseas territories. She is specifically interested in those material objects produced by the state that contain national symbols—flags, currency, and postage stamps—and how those objects function in the overseas territories, on the borders of the American national community. Akiboh’s 2017 Diplomatic History article, “Pocket-Sized Imperialism: U.S. Designs on Colonial Currency,” examines how U.S. officials used money to introduce American iconography to colonial subjects in Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

Akiboh has conducted research in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Philippines, Guam, Hawai‘i, and American Samoa. Her work has been supported by the Smithsonian Institute, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Bentley Historical Library, and the Buffett Institute for International Studies.

Akiboh's teaching interests include U.S. History, Global History, and Modern Empires. She is currently a U.S. History instructor for the Odyssey Project, an Illinois Humanities program that offers college-level courses to income-eligible Chicago residents with little or no access to higher education.

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