The Department of African American Studies is an intellectual community committed to producing, refining and advancing knowledge of Black people in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Africa. A key component of the mission is to interrogate the meanings and dimensions of slavery and colonialism, and their continuing political, social and cultural implications.
The Department fully embraces the notion that a public institution can lead in shaping and defining disciplines, not just teaching them. It contributes to this mission by investing in a strong faculty and talented and ambitious graduate students from a variety of backgrounds. Faculty is drawn from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, literature, history, sociology, performance, and education. But, the department is not simply a collection of experts from traditional disciplines; it is united by a relentless commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge through excellence in scholarship and pedagogy that are at once interdisciplinary and innovative.
African American Studies: BA, Minor
Faculty and Instructors
+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Brandi N. Catanese, Associate Professor. Critical race theory, African American theater, non-traditional casting, racial performativity, gender studies, sexuality studies, American popular culture.
Chiyuma Elliott, Assistant Professor. Poetry and poetics, visual culture, creative writing, intellectual history .
Nikki Jones, Associate Professor. African American communities, policing, racial/gender disparities and the criminal justice system, violence and violence interventions.
Michel Laguerre, Professor. Globalization, information technology, urban studies.
Jovan Scott Lewis, Assistant Professor. Jamaica and the USA, constructions and infrastructures of poverty, inequality, race (blackness), economy, and the market.
Sam A. Mchombo, Associate Professor. African languages, linguistics, political development, sports and politics, national identity, globalization .
G. Ugo Nwokeji, Associate Professor. Atlantic slave trade, historical demography, African history and political economy, oil and gas policy .
Tianna Paschel, Assistant Professor. Racial ideology, politics and globalization in Latin America, Black political subjects, transnationalism .
John Powell, Professor. Civil rights and civil liberties, structural racialization, racial justice and regionalism, concentrated poverty and urban sprawl, opportunity based housing, voting rights, affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil, racial and ethnic identity, spirituality and social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society.
Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor. Social movements, visual culture, memory, photography, African American history and culture.
Darieck Scott, Associate Professor. 20th and 21st century African American literature, creative writing, queer theory, and LGBTQ studies, race, gender and sexuality in fantasy, science fiction, and comic books .
Janelle Scott, Associate Professor. Educational policy, charter schools, politics of education, race and education, school choice, desegregation, philanthropy and education, advocacy.
Stephen Small, Associate Professor. Public history, collective memory, African diaspora in Europe.
+ Ula Taylor, Professor. African American studies, cultural African American history, colonial times, civil rights movement of the 60's, African American women's history, cultural, institutional and individual racism, United States.
Michael Cohen, Lecturer SOE.
Aya De Leon, Lecturer.
David Kyeu, Lecturer.
Robert Allen, Professor Emeritus.
William M. Banks, Professor Emeritus.
Charles Henry, Professor Emeritus. Human rights, Black politics, race and public policy.
Percy Hintzen, Professor Emeritus.
Margaret B. Wilkerson, Professor Emeritus.
Department of African American Studies
660 Barrows Hall