About Our Staff

Catherine Fosl

Catherine Fosl

Dr. Fosl is a Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and founding Director of the Anne Braden Institute. Dr. Fosl was Anne Braden’s biographer and is the author of Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South (Palgrave Macmillen, 2002), as well as the books Freedom on the Border:  An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky (co-authored with Tracy E. K’Meyer, University Press of Kentucky, 2009) and Women for All Seasons: The Story of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (1989). Subversive Southerner won the 2003 Oral History Association Book Award and was named an Outstanding Book in 2003 by the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights. A new edition of the book was issued in Fall 2006 by University Press of Kentucky.

Through the Institute, Dr. Fosl strives to widen public understanding of the significance in U.S. social movement history of Anne Braden and other understudied figures and currents at the grassroots level.  She advances engaged scholarship that is grounded in collaboration between researchers and their subjects and producing knowledge that can be acted upon. By providing activists with broader historical and intellectual tools to enhance their efforts, such knowledge can advance racial and social justice aims. At the same time, the Institute exposes scholars to a greater range of community-based knowledge.

J. Blaine Hudson

J. Blaine Hudson (1949-2013), Co-founder

The late Dr. Hudson was the former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of Pan-African Studies.

As the creator of the Institute, Dr. Hudson was a visionary educator and longtime university and community leader who was also a renowned scholar of African American history. He was the author of Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland (2002) and of the Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad(2006), as well as many articles. He co-authored the book, Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History. As a young student activist in the 1960s, Dr. Hudson was mentored by Anne Braden, and they remained friends for nearly 40 years.

The Anne Braden Institute is one of many vehicles through which Dr. Hudson enacted his life-long commitment to connecting history to urban problems and to social change. Another was the Saturday Academy program, a non-credit “open classroom” learning series in African and African American history held in western Louisville.