Robin McDowell is a Ph.D. Candidate in African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She holds an A.M in History from Harvard University, an M.F.A. in Design from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Robin is a co-convener of History Design Studio, a workshop for new ideas in multimedia history.

She lives and works in New Orleans and writes about oil and slavery in 19th century Louisiana. She also organizes with Asians for Justice, an inclusive community that seeks to unify Asian-identified people and allies in the greater New Orleans area in the struggle for human rights through activism: education, advocacy, and direct action.