Marcia Chatelain

University of Pennsylvania
Humanities and Arts

Marcia Chatelain is a Penn Presidential Compact Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration, she teaches about women’s and girls’ history, as well as black capitalism. Her latest book, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America , examines the intricate relationship among African American politicians, civil rights organizations, communities, and the fast-food industry. Chatelain has received numerous awards for Franchise, including the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Hagley Prize in Business History, the Organization of American Historians Lawrence W. Levine Award, and the James Beard Foundation Book Award.

An active public speaker and educational consultant, Chatelain has received awards and honors from the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She was at Georgetown University for 12 years before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. During that time she won several awards for her university service, including the 2022 Georgetown Black Alumni Council Distinguished Leader Award, the 2021 Georgetown Alumni James S. Ruby Faculty Appreciation Award, and the 2018 Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professorship, among others.

In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education named her a Top Influencer in academia in recognition of her social media campaign #FergusonSyllabus, which implored educators to facilitate discussions about the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. She has held an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellowship at New America, a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

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