Mariah Aliza-Kaye  Bender

Mariah Aliza Kaye Bender is a doctoral student in the History Department. They earned a BA in History and Education from Saint Louis University where their senior thesis analyzed the American repression of the Haitian economy in the period following its independence. Mariah earned an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago where their research focused on the role of West Central African religious practices in Haitian Vodou and its impact on national identity and citizenship. Their research explores the intersection of African traditional religion and the construction of the post-colonial state in Haiti and Colombia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Their research methodologies incorporate critical theory, Black womanist theology, and transnational identity formation. Mariah is a Fulbright alumni and former history educator, who taught both internationally and nationally with secondary students.

Research Areas

Atlantic World; State-Building; African Traditional Religious History; Afro-Diasporic Religions


MA, Humanities, The University of Chicago, 2022

BA, History and Education, Saint Louis University, 2015

Honors & Awards

The University of Chicago, Paris Center, Francois Furet Travel Award, 2021

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, The University of Chicago, Tinker Field Research Grant, 2021

Saint Louis University, Department of History Outstanding Alumni Award, 2018

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, ETA, Kenya, 2017

Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship, 2014


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