Johanna Obenda

Born Cape Town, South Africa 1994.


BA in History and minor in French from University of Alabama, 2012-2016

Completed coursework abroad in Paris, France at Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne, 2015

Professional Experience:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Twelve-Month Intern, Teen Programs Education, 2016-2017

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History research intern NHRE REU, 2015

Emerging Scholars Teaching Assistant, 2014-2016

Multimedia Work:

In Fact

  • Serialized podcast centering on the lives of Cuban detainees in an American federal detention center in Talladega, Alabama, In Production 2016-present

Black Noise

  • Co-directed, filmed, and edited Black Noise, a short documentary on the intersection between race and disability in the Alabama black deaf community, 2014
  • Selected for screenings at Sidewalk Film Festival and New Orleans Film Festival

In Our Nature

  • Directed, filmed, and edited In Our Nature, a short documentary on environmental education for urban Alabama youth, commissioned by The Southern Environmental Law Center, Summer 2014

University Research:

What does it mean to be human?, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

  • Completed museum education research project on visitor responses to the question “What does it mean to be human?” in the Hall of Human Origins

Runaway Advertisements, Hair, and Colonial Racial Identity in Eighteenth Century America

  • Researched the connection between descriptions of hair in runaway slave advertisements and 18th century colonial American identity

Freedom on the Move

  • Worked as a research assistant for the project “Freedom on the Move” collecting runaway slave advertisements for the purpose of adding them to a digital database.

Presentations and Awards:

  • American Association of Physical Anthropologist, 2016
  • National Undergraduate Research Conference 2014
  • University of Alabama Undergraduate Research Conference 2013
  • Harold Bishop Award
  • National Achievement Scholar