Sheri Ann Huerta

Sheri Ann Huerta

Sheri Ann Huerta

Adjunct Faculty

U.S. History: African American history, U.S. South; Enslavement and Freedom; World History; Legal History; Gender and Identity; Transatlantic World; History, Memory, and the Public

Sheri Ann Huerta holds a PhD in History from George Mason University specializing in the antebellum South, slavery, legal history and social culture. Her dissertation, "'A Great Uneasiness In Our County': Slavery and Its Influence on Family and Community Stability in Northern Virginia, 1782-1860," compares the dynamics of control, resistance, and adaptation to enslavement experienced in Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William counties.

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning recognized Dr. Huerta as a Teacher of Distinction in 2019.

Dr. Huerta teaches courses that explore the history of enslavement; the constructs of race, gender and identity in American culture; and critical thinking about the role of the past in today's world.

She is a frequent public speaker on the history of enslavement and enslaved people in northern Virginia and currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Council of the Southern Association for Women Historians.

Current Research

Dr. Huerta studies the lived experiences of freed and enslaved persons in northern Virginia. Her current projects include researching the life and legacy of Agnes, a woman who, despite her enslavement to the Mason family, resisted against the control of her labor and body. Dr. Huerta is also exploring the degrees of freedoms and negotiated quasi-freedoms created and experienced by free and enslaved persons in Virginia despite the presence of legal obstacles to residency and limited financial opportunities.

Selected Publications

Review of Kimberly M. Welch, Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South. The Historian December 2018, p. 809-810.

Review of H. G. Jones, with David Southern, Miss Mary's Money: Fortune and Misfortune in a Carolina Plantation Family, 1760-1924. North Carolina Historical Review, July 2015, p. 338-339.

Review of Heather Andrea Williams, Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery. H-SAWH, H-Net Reviews. January, 2015.

Review of Katy Simpson Smith, We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. North Carolina Historical Review, July 2014, p. 360-361.

Grants and Fellowships

Mason 4VA OER Grant Recipient for course redesign using Open Education Resources, 2018.

Provost Award, 2014-2015, George Mason University.

Provost Travel Award, 2014, George Mason University.

Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, 2014, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA.

Josephine Pacheco Award for Best Graduate Research Paper, 2010, George Mason University.

Randy Beth Clarke Fellowship, for studies in antebellum southern and women's history, 2010, George Mason University.



Courses Taught

George Mason University

  • HIST 125: Introduction to World History (CHSS)
  • HNRS 130: Identity in Disney's World (Honors College)
  • HNRS 131: Race, Gender, and Culture in Disney's World (Honors College)
  • HNRS 240: Reading the Past - Gender in American Culture (Honors College)
  • HIST 499: Senior History Research Seminar - Slavery in the 19th Century US (CHSS)
  • HIST 615: Slavery in American History and Memory (CEHD)

George Mason University - INTO

  • INYO 501: Graduate Transition for International Students I

Northern Virginia Community College

  • Western Civilization I



PhD, History, George Mason University, Spring, 2017.

Master of Arts, U. S. History, George Mason University, 2011.

Master of Science, Education with Teaching License, Old Dominion University, 1996.

Bachelor of Arts, German, University of Northern Iowa, 1989.

Recent Presentations

“Slave Patrols in Northern Virginia, 1800-1860,” Invited Speaker, Coming To The Table, March 25, 2021.

"Freedom Stories in the Free Black Papers," at the "Expanded Access to History: Digitization of Loudoun's Free Black and Enslaved Papers, 1757-1865" program hosted by the Loudoun County Circuit Court Historic Records Division, the Loudoun County Public Library, and the Virginia Humanities, February 22, 2021.

“‘Remaining in the Commonwealth Contrary to Law’: Enforcing Residency Restrictions against Freed Persons of Color in Early Virginia,” accepted for the 2021 American Historical Association annual meeting.

"Down in the Documents: Slave Patrols in Fauquier County," Afro-American Historical Association, The Plains, Virginia, September 23, 2020.

“'Free liberty to visit his friends': Creating Spaces of Quasi-Freedom for Enslaved Virginians," Southern Historical Association Conference, Louisville, Kentucky, November 10, 2019.

“‘Choosing to be free or not as they think proper’: Manumission as a Strategic Decision in Northern Virginia,” Virginia Forum, Longwood University, March 15, 2019.

Panelist, "A Horrible Intimacy: A Conversation with Melvin Patrick Ely about his new book project on relations between enslaved people and white people in the Farmville region," Virginia Forum, Longwood University, March 16, 2019.

“The Meaning of Freedom in an Era of Enslavement,” Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center for Genealogy and Local History, Bull Run Library, Manassas, Virginia. February 5, 2019.

"Stories of Resistance and Persistence: Enslaved Women in Prince William County." Manassas Lifelong Learning Institute. Manassas, Virginia. April 2018.

Panel Moderator and Commentator, Slavery and Digital Humanities Session, Current Research in Digital History conference, Arlington, Virginia, March 17, 2018.

"Resistance and Persistence: Enslaved Women in Prince William County." Virginia Women in History Presentation. Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center for Genealogy and Local History, Bull Run Library, Manassas, Virginia. October 2017.

“Within These Walls: Slavery, Resistance, and Protest in Prince William County 1822 to 1860.” Invited Speaker. Brentsville, VA Historic Center Jail Opening Ceremony. May 2017.

"Freedom Seekers, Public Opinion and the Law." Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Talks. Oatlands, Virginia. February 2016.

"Slave Trials at Brentsville, Virginia in the 1850s." Lest We Forget: A Conference on Enslavement and Emancipation. Prince William County Historic Preservation Division. February 2013.

"Murder, Law, Sympathy, and Justice in 1850 Virginia: The Prince William County Trial of Agnes, an Enslaved Woman." George Mason Department of History and Art History M.A. Colloquium, April 2010.

In the Media

Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award Winners, George Mason University, Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, April 2019,

"History in Action: Collaborative Comparisons," George Mason University, Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning,

"Steering World History from Flat to Multi-Dimensional," Mason 4-VA OER Grant, 2019,