2007 URO Spotlight: Noel Voltz – History and African American Studies

2007 URO Spotlight: Noel Voltz – History and African American Studies

Undergraduate Research Office
The Ohio State University

Noel Voltz is finishing her degree in African American and African Studies. She is currently writing her Honors Thesis and plans on continuing her research and pursuing a PhD in History.

…What specifically have you researched, and what projects are you currently working on?

My research project/honors thesis is entitled “Black Female Agency and Sexual Exploitation: Quadroon Balls and Plaçage Relationships” and I have been working on it for the past two years.  I am conducting historical research that focuses on New Orleans from 1805 to 1860.  More specifically, I am studying the relationship choices made by some of these free women of color.  It appears that some of these women chose to enter into sexual relationships with white men as a mean of gaining social standing, protection, and money.  Until recently, historians have overlooked the lives of Louisiana’s free women of color during the colonial and antebellum eras.  This research, therefore, expands historical knowledge about the unique social institution of Quadroon Balls and plaçage relationships in order to give greater breadth to our understanding of free women of color’s sexual and economic choices. Ultimately, I plan to continue this project as my graduate dissertation…

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