Francena Turner is a CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Fellow and Postdoctoral Associate for Data Curation in African American History and Culture for the University of Maryland Restorative Justice Project. Her archival and oral history work sits at the intersection of African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHum), oral history, and the University of Maryland Libraries faculty. Turner is also an adjunct lecturer in the department of Intelligence Studies, Geospatial Sciences, Political Science, and History at Fayetteville State University.
Francena Turner uses oral history methodology as excavation work in an effort to bridge the past and present. That is, her research has a decidedly social justice centered purpose and end goal. Her research interests include histories of Black education, Black women’s higher education, activist scholars, and Black Feminism(s). She is most interested in historical and contemporary issues of equity, agency, and thriving in education. In her dissertation research for example, she used oral history methodology to explore the organizing and activism experiences of Black women who attended Fayetteville State University during the Civil Rights/Black Power Era. Such scholarship provides valuable information and possibilities for current organizers and activists.
Turner holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership with a concentration in History of Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and degrees from Fayetteville State University (B.A. History) and Fayetteville Technical Community College (A.A.S. Respiratory Care, General Education).