Paula Austin is an Associate Professor at California State University, Sacramento in US and African American History. She is the inaugural archival fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Jackie McLean Fellow at the University of Hartford, and was a fellow at the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her doctoral work examines black poor and working-class subjectivity in interwar Washington, D.C.
Prof. Spencer taught African and African American studies and history at Penn State University from 2001-2007. Before that, she was a Visiting Predoctoral Fellow at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Her areas of interest include black social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender. She is completing a book on the Black Panther Party and will teach courses at Lehman on twentieth-century African American history. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Lehman College in New York, NY.