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Post-Doctoral Fellows

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2016-2017 Fellows

Amira Rose Davis, Ph.D.


Johns Hopkins University, 2016


Amira Rose Davis received her doctorate in History from Johns Hopkins University in 2016. Her research interests include African-American gender history, sports, politics, and the history of black institutions. Her dissertation, “Watch What We Do: The Politics and Possibilities of Black Women’s Athletics, 1910-1970” examines the intellectual and institutional development of recreational, competitive and professional sporting opportunities for black women in the United States. In tracing the long history of black women’s athletic participation, this research explores the ways in which gendered power dynamics, particularly intra-racial ones, mediated black Americans’ engagement with athletics and physical culture. The study draws on a wide array of sources including black newspapers, black college and university records and oral histories. Her article “No League of their Own: Baseball, Black Women and the Politics of Representation,” is forthcoming from Radical History Review. She will spend her fellowship year completing follow up oral history interviews, working on an article on black college protests in the 1920s and revising her dissertation for publication.


Olivenne Skinner, Ph.D.


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014


Olivenne Skinner received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. Broadly, her research focuses on understanding how race and gender influence African American youth’s development.  She is also interested in understanding gender dynamics in African American families, with an emphasis on mothers’ and fathers’ relationships with sons and daughters, and parents’ and adolescents’ gendered roles and their implications for youth’s interests, achievement and well-being.   Over the past year, Dr. Skinner has worked under the mentorship of Dr. Susan McHale preparing manuscripts for publication and presenting at national conferences.  During the upcoming year, she will continue to prepare manuscripts for publication and explore innovative ways to understand African American families’ roles and functioning and their implications for adolescent’s development.  Dr. Skinner is a 2016 participant of the CIC's Professorial Advancement Postdoctoral Program funded by the National Institute of Science.

Sarah Stefana Smith, Ph.D.

Social Justice Education

University of Toronto, 2016


Sarah Stefana Smith is a visual artist and scholar. She obtained her Ph.D. in Social Justice Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in June 2016. Her research communicates between the fields of black art and culture, queer theory and affect studies, visuality and aesthetics. Her dissertation, “Towards a Poetics of Bafflement” argues that Black women and queer artists negotiate deeply dissatisfying forms of blackness and belonging. This negotiation, termed a ‘poetics of bafflement’, is foregrounded by racial slavery and offers methodological tools to generate other possibilities for world making. She has lectured on women and the media, theories of feminism and visual culture at the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus.  Sarah was a recipient of an Art and Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation, Ontario Arts Council Grant, and the John Pavlis Fellowship as an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center. She most recently was the recipient of an the Bremen International Student Fellowship at the University of Bremen in 2013. Her article “Appetites: Destabilizing the Notion of Normalcy and Deviance Through the Work of Wangechi Mutu and Octavia Butler” was published in Ruptures: Anti-colonial and Anti-Racist Feminist Theorizing. She will spend the year revising her manuscript for publication and writing two articles—one on bafflement and black visual art and the other on black affects. For more information, visit:



2015-2016 Fellows

Juli Grigsby, Ph.D.

Cultural Anthropology African Diaspora program

University of Texas at Austin, 2014


During the fellowship year, Dr. Grigsby sent her book proposal to several academic presses and begun work on her book manuscript: Grim Sleeper: Gender, Violence and Reproductive Justice. She is currently working on two publications. The first is entitled: Returning to the Scene of the Crime: Researching Home and Reframing Activist Anthropology to be included in a forthcoming anthology on the Anthropology of Los Angeles. The second is The Black Coalition Fighting Back: Recovering Black Women's Community Organizing in the 1980’s. In addition to participating in numerous ARC workshops and evaluating undergraduate research proposals Dr. Grigsby also contributed as a respondent for the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center annual Emerging Scholar Workshop: New Perspectives on Racial and State Violence in the African Diaspora as well as the African American Studies Department symposium Fire This Time: Citizenship, Civil Rights, and New Racisms in the 21st Century. Dr. Grigsby presented her research at several academic conferences including the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD). Recently she became an alternate for the UC President's Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA. In the fall, she will begin a tenure-track position in the Department of Anthropology at Haverford College.


Aditi Malik, Ph.D.

Political Science

Northwestern University, 2015


During Dr. Malik’s fellowship year two of her articles entitled, “The Value of Interpretive Research in Studies of Reconciliation: Evidence from Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts” and “Mobilizing a Defensive Kikuyu-Kalenjin Alliance: The Politicization of the International Criminal Court in Kenya’s 2013 Presidential Election” were accepted for publication. These pieces are currently forthcoming in the journals Transitional Justice Review and African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, respectively. She has another article that is under review and has completed working drafts of two additional pieces. Dr. Malik also conducted follow-up elite interviews in India, which will be integrated into her ongoing book project. Additionally, she sent out her book proposal to several academic presses and began revisions on her manuscript during the course of her fellowship at the ARC. Along with collaborators from the City University of New York and the University of Pretoria, Dr. Malik won a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and American Political Science Association to co-convene an academic workshop at the University of Pretoria around the themes of migration and displacement in sub-Saharan Africa. She presented her research findings at the African Studies Association annual convention and Penn State’s Department of Political Science. In addition, Dr. Malik served as a guest lecturer for two courses on campus: “Africa in Film” and “Introduction to South Asian History II: Early Modern to Contemporary.” In Fall 2016, she will begin a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Global Studies at California State University San Marcos.

Nicole Myers Turner, Ph.D.


University of Pennsylvania, 2013


During the fellowship year, Dr. Turner submitted one journal article for publication.  She chaired a panel for C19 conference and presented her research at the Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion and for the Pennsylvania State University Society for the Study of Religion, (co-sponsored by the Africana Research Center and the Richards Civil War Era Center.) She also wrote a book proposal and revised one chapter for submission to book publishers. She wrote two successful workshop applications and was invited to participate in the Young Scholars in American Religion program of the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and a NEH-sponsored workshop on Black digital humanities.  In fall 2016, she will be Assistant Professor of African American History at Virginia Commonwealth University.



2014-2015 Fellows

Jaime Amparo Alves, Ph.D.


University of Texas at Austin, 2011


During Dr. Alves’ fellowship year, he accomplished several projects. His article, “On Mules and Bodies: Black Captivities in the Brazilian Racial Democracy” was published in Critical Sociology. Also, "Race and Drug Polices in Brazil" appeared in Pan-African Issues in Drug and Drug Controls. He currently has three journal articles and a book manuscript under review. The book, tentatively titled Macabre Spatialities: State Delinquency and the Struggle for Black Urban Life in Brazil draws on Jaime's activist work with the Black Movement and anti-prison activists in Sao Paulo.  As a journalist, he has contributed to alternative newspapers and given public lectures on radicalized policing practices in Brazil. Currently, Jaime is undertaking a long-term project on police terror and black insurgency in Brazil, Colombia and the United States. He has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at The College of Staten Island of the City University of New York starting fall 2015.

Keisha N. Blain, Ph.D.


Princeton University, 2014


During the fellowship year, Dr. Blain completed two journal articles for publication. Her article, “‘[F]or the Rights of Dark People in Every Part of the World’: Pearl Sherrod, Black Internationalist Feminism, and Afro-Asian Politics during the 1930s,” was recently published in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. She has forthcoming publications in the Journal of Social History and Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International. During the year, Dr. Blain sent out her book proposal to several academic presses and completed revisions for her book manuscript, Contesting the Global Color Line: Black Women, Nationalist Politics, and Internationalism, 1927-1957. She presented her research at various academic conferences including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the Organization of American Historians (OAH). She also gave several campus presentations including one for Penn State Reads on transnational black identities in Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah. Dr. Blain won several awards and fellowships during the year including the UC President's Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley and the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Most recently, she received honorable mention for the 2015 Lerner-Scott Prize, which recognizes the best dissertation written in the field of women’s history.  In the fall, she will begin a tenure-track position in the Department of History at the University of Iowa.


Cynthia R. Greenlee, Ph.D.


Duke University, 2014


During her fellowship year at the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center and the ARC, Dr. Greenlee completed additional research on her manuscript, “Dangerous Childhood: Black Girls, the Law and the Rise of Segregation in South Carolina, 1880-1920,” and she will complete her manuscript by June. Dr. Greenlee currently has two journal articles under review and two in progress. She published several popular media articles about racial violence or reproductive history at American Prospect and RH Reality Check, including a piece about similarities between the cases of Emmett Till and Tamir Rice. She presented on a panel about gender and the carceral state at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference in Puerto Rico, and she also helped organize a panel of physicians, historians and activists at the National Abortion Federation. In addition to those meetings, she presented preliminary findings from a future research project in a public webinar about African-American history and reproductive health care. In May, she will be one of a few emerging scholars invited to present new work before the Little Berks convening of women’s historians in Massachusetts. While on campus at Penn State, she participated in an African-American Studies forum about events in Ferguson, Missouri, and also discussed reproductive rights and justice with women’s studies students. Greenlee was also named to the board of the Institute of Southern Studies and to the William Holmes Award Committee of the Southern Historical Association. This fall, Greenlee will accept a position as director of strategic communications at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a nonprofit that litigates cases on behalf of pregnant and parenting women.

Surya Parekh, Ph.D.

History of Consciousness

University of California-Santa Cruz, 2013


During Dr. Parekh’s fellowship year, he completed two articles for review and has two more in progress. He also completed much of the research for his book manuscript, titled, Black Enlightenment: Black Subjectivity, Indigeneity, and the Cosmopolitan. He was invited to present at the California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race at Marquette University and the Comparative Literature Luncheon Lecture Series at The Pennsylvania State University. He was also invited to talk to the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Buffalo and the English Department at the State University of New York, Binghamton.  In addition, Dr. Parekh proposed a plenary panel for the 2016 MLA, moderated a panel at the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, and participated in events sponsored by the Africana Research Center.  In the fall, he will begin a tenure-track position in the Department of English at the State University of New York-Binghamton.


2014-2015 Affiliate Fellows

Anyabwile Aaron Love, Ph.D.

African American Studies

Temple University, 2014


Anyabwile Aaron Love is an Africana Studies scholar. He completed both his B.A. (Cum Laude) and his M.A. in African American Studies from Temple University. He received his Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University in May 2014. His primary research interest considers the necessity of developing and utilizing African centered methodologies in the research of African cultures. Anyabwile’s major research focus proposes a methodology that incorporates African cosmology and philosophies to inform the research of African and African diaspora music and musicians. His passion project is to author a biography on John William Coltrane that utilizes his proposed methodology in the telling of John Coltrane’s narrative. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Lincoln University, Drexel University and was the instructor of record at Temple University during his doctoral studies. Anyabwile has studied in Legon at the University of Ghana. He was a co-founder of the Uhuru Underground Education Conferences in both Philadelphia, PA and Oakland, CA, and is an active member of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC). Anyabwile spent his time as a post-doctoral teaching fellow in the Department of African American Studies refining his teaching pedagogy and revising his dissertation into a book manuscript.


2013-2014 Fellows

AnneMarie Mingo, Ph.D.


Emory University, 2013


During Dr. Mingo’s fellowship year, her book chapter “‘They Must Have a Different God than Our God’: Towards a Lived Theology of Black Churchwomen during the U.S. Civil Rights Movement” was finalized and sent to press for publication in Color and Transcendence: Contested Post-Racialism and Conflicted Churches in the U.S. and South Africa, edited by R. Drew Smith, William Ackah, and Anthony G. Reddie, University Press of Mississippi. She has also submitted a journal article for review and has two others in progress. She received IRB approval for her next round of research in April 2014 and will now be able to do the work to complete the articles that are in progress. She has written her initial draft of her manuscript proposal and will finalize it for submission later in the year. In the fall she was invited to co-edit a special issue on new narratives of the Civil Rights Movement fifty years later for the Association for the Study of African American History and Life’s FIRE!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies. After a successful call-for-papers, she and her co-editor are now reviewing the submissions and identifying those that will fully go through the peer-review process. As an active member in her primary academic guilds, Dr. Mingo was appointed co-chair of the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Group for the American Academy of Religion, she also served as the secretary to the Board for the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE). At the annual meeting for the SCE, she presented as the respondent for the Methodist/Wesleyan Ethics Group section on “Holiness in Black & White: Women, Race, and Sanctification.” She organized and hosted a regional forum in Atlanta for the Equipping the Saints: Promising Practices of Black Congregations project. She also presented a paper at the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. On Penn State’s campus, Dr. Mingo gave the keynote address for the Africana Research Center’s Undergraduate Research Exhibition, presented “Seven Habits of Highly Successful African American Studies Programs” to the Department of African American Studies, and spoke as a panelist in the Black Law Students’ Association’s community summit on “What is the New Black?” Dr. Mingo has accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of African American Studies and Women’s Studies Department at Penn State University that she will begin fall 2014.


Sasha Turner, Ph.D.


University of Cambridge, UK, 2008


In Fall 2013, Dr. Turner completed her book manuscript, Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Childrearing, and Slavery in Jamaica, 1780-1834. The project, which is not a revised dissertation, benefitted from reviews from external specialists in the study of gender, slavery, and the Caribbean during her book workshop. The manuscript was revised for submission to press in Spring 2014. Her article, “The art of power: Poison and Obeah accusations and the struggle for dominance and survival in Jamaica’s slave society” was published in the Fall 2013 volume of Caribbean Studies. Currently, she is completing an article titled, “Demystifying the mysterious and uncanny: Witchcraft as an interpretative framework for decoding Obeah and other unnamed mysteries among slaves in Jamaica”, which was accepted for publication in Caribbean Quarterly. Dr. Turner is working on her second book that explores emergent ideas and anxieties about beauty and bodily ideals in the period of British colonization and how they shaped the construction and performance of white womanhood. She is working on an article that examines white women’s negotiation of colonial gendered expectations that complicated their efforts to secure property rights and economic participation. During the fellowship year, she also presented parts of her work at the Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora and the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. In Fall 2014, Dr. Turner returns to Quinnipiac University where she will continue to teach courses on the Caribbean, women, and slavery.


Michael Woldemariam, Ph.D.


Princeton University, 2011


During Dr. Woldemariam’s fellowship year, his article “Battlefield Outcomes and Rebel Cohesion: Lessons from the Eritrean Independence War” was accepted for publication and is currently forthcoming in Terrorism and Political Violence. He currently has two journal articles under review and three more in progress, in addition to co-authoring a lengthy forthcoming peer-reviewed report on governance and conflict in Somalia.  He has made substantial progress on his book manuscript on rebel fragmentation in the Horn of Africa and expects to submit it for review at the conclusion of this summer.  Dr. Woldemariam also conducted a brief stint of research in the Horn of Africa where he interviewed over 60 informants for his book and other related articles. His research findings were presented at the African Studies Association, Penn State’s Department of Political Science, and the Africa Turning Points Colloquium.  Dr. Woldemariam will be resuming his duties as an assistant professor of international relations at Boston University in fall 2014.



2013-2014 Affiliate Fellows

Moya Bailey, Ph.D.

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Emory University, 2013


During Dr. Bailey’s fellowship year, her article, “Homolatent Masculinity in Hip Hop Culture” was published in the journal Palimpsest and was featured on Dean Christopher Long's podcast, Digital Dialogue. Her interview with cultural worker adrienne maree brown appeared in the November issue of the journal, Ada. She also published a piece in the African American studies journal Souls, called "New Terms of Resistance: A response to Zenzele Isoke." Additionally, Dr. Bailey was part of a participatory project recorded in the International Journal of Communication in which she and other scholars theorized the digital public sphere and its impact on politics. She currently has two journal articles under review and two in progress. She has begun work on her manuscript about queer and trans people of color's digital media creations. Bailey was one of the first five researchers to examine the papers of Afrofuturist MacArthur Genius and Nebula award winning author Octavia E. Butler and began planning a 2016 conference to honor Butler's memory. In the fall, Bailey taught Penn State's first iteration of Intro to African American Studies in which students created Wikipedia articles for little known figures and events in Black history. In the spring, From Baartman to Beyoncé: Black Women in Popular Culture culminated with a launch party for a student produced digital magazine that addressed issues relevant to the representation of Black students on Penn State's campus. She also gave several keynote lectures at various institutions including Chatham University, Oberlin College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to her invited lectures, Dr. Bailey spoke with Penn State faculty, students, and staff about her digital humanities work as part of the campus Digital Humanities Interest Group. Honors student, Andrea Mitchell-Meyer, sought Bailey out to become her research assistant and learned how to use Zotero, Wordpress, Voyant and other digital research tools. Bailey was invited back to the University of Illinois at Chicago to lead a Feminist Digital Humanities Primer workshop for faculty in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, inclusive of faculty from four other departments. Bailey presented her work at the National Women's Studies Association Conference and Critical Ethnic Studies Conference. She accepted a postdoctoral position in the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University and will be working with the university's Digital Humanities Center, the NULab, beginning in the summer of 2014.

Surya Parekh, Ph.D.

History of Consciousness

University of California-Santa Cruz, 2013


During Dr. Parekh’s fellowship year as Alain Locke Post-doctoral Fellow in the Philosophy Department and Rock Ethics Institute and affiliate fellow at the Africana Research Center, he completed one article for review and has two more in progress. He also completed much of the research for his book manuscript on the emergence of cosmopolitanism alongside 18th century discourses of race and gender. Portions of this work were presented in two public lectures at Penn State, at the “Critical Philosophies of Race” conference at the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa, and at the “Alternative Sovereignties” conference at the University of Oregon. In addition to his public presentations, Dr. Parekh gave guest lectures in Professor Robert Bernasconi’s “Critical Philosophy of Race” graduate seminar in Philosophy, in Professor Jonathan Eburne’s “The Age of Reason” graduate seminar in Comparative Literature, and at the Rock Ethics Institute Fellows Seminar. For the Philosophy department, he taught two courses, “Philosophy, Race, and Diversity” and “Contemporary Philosophy”. He also helped develop the Rock Ethics Institute’s Critical Philosophy of Race Initiative. He mentored graduate students in the Critical Philosophy of Race Initiative, served as Book Review Editor for the Critical Philosophy of Race journal, and co-organized the 20 Years Since 1994: Reflecting on African Turning Points in South Africa and Rwanda Colloquium with Professor Gabeba Baderoon. Dr. Parekh also participated in events sponsored by the Africana Research Center, including the post-doctoral works in progress and professional development seminars. Dr. Parekh has accepted a post-doctoral fellowship position within the Department of African American Studies, which he will begin in fall 2014.



2012-2013 Fellows

Jessie DunbarJessie Dunbar, Ph.D.


Emory University, 2012


Jessie Dunbar completed her B.A. in English at Clark Atlanta University. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Georgia, where she completed a thesis entitled, “Tracing the Arc: Representations of Slave Children in History and Literature.”  Jessie holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Emory University.  Her research interests include nineteenth and twentieth century African American literature as well as Diaspora studies. She has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Graduate Research Opportunities Fellowship and the Laney Graduate School Diversity Fellowship. Jessie is revising her dissertation, “Democracy, Diaspora, and Disillusionment: Black Itinerancy and the Propaganda Wars,” for publication.  Dr. Dunbar has accepted an Assistant Professor of African American/African Diasporic Literature position at University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Jessica JohnsonJessica Johnson, Ph.D.


University of Maryland-College Park, 2012

Jessica Marie Johnson completed her doctorate in History at the University of Maryland-College Park.  Her dissertation explores free women of African descent in the eighteenth-century French Atlantic.  Jessica's research interests include African-American and Afro-Atlantic history; women, gender, and sexuality in the African diaspora; slavery and the slave trade; digital feminisms, digital humanities, and new media; and diaspora and race theory.  She has been the recipient of a number of awards including a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellowship at Bowdoin College, a Woodrow Wilson Mellon-Mays Dissertation Grant, and a Gilder-Lehrman Institute Research Fellowship.  As a postdoctoral fellow with the Africana Research Center and the Richards Civil War Center, she will be revising her dissertation for publication.  Dr. Johnson has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Department of History at Michigan State University. Jessica tweets at @jmjohnsophd and tumbles at Diaspora Hypertext (


Sabrina StringsSabrina Strings, Ph.D.


University of California-San Diego, 2012


Sabrina Strings has a B.A. with High Honors in Psychology from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in Sociology from UC San Diego. She recently received her Ph.D. from UC San Diego. Her research examines the co-construction blackness and whiteness vis à vis the discourse surrounding "racially appropriate" female bodies from the Enlightenment through the early 20th century. Sabrina is a former McNair Scholar and has received several awards for her research from the African and African American Studies Research Center, as well as the Ujima Network. She has served as a UC President’s Dissertation Year fellow, and is currently a member of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.  Dr. Strings has been awarded the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (to start July 2013) and will have a joint appointment in the School of Public Health and the Department of Sociology.


William SturkeyWilliam Sturkey, Ph.D.

African-American History

Ohio State University, 2012


William Sturkey received his Ph.D. in History at The Ohio State University where he is finishing a dissertation titled "The Heritage of Hub City: The Struggle for Opportunity in the New South." Through the lens of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a classic town of the New South, William's project explores the racial struggle for opportunity across a century of American life between Emancipation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. William received his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007 where he wrote "Houses of Liberty," which won the Mississippi Historical Association's Glover Moore Prize. He has also written articles published or forthcoming in the Journal of African American History and the Journal of Mississippi History and been supported by numerous grants and fellowships. At Penn State, William will revise his dissertation manuscript for publication and begin working on his next project, a social and cultural history of Northern black life, amusement, and vice in the decades before World War II.  Dr. Sturkey has accepted a two-year post-doctoral position in the History Department at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( and his first book "To Write in the Light of Freedom: The Newspapers of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools" is available for purchase here.


2011-2012 Fellows

Michael KehindeMichael Kehinde, Ph.D.


Durham University, UK, 2010


Michael Kehinde has degrees from University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Durham University in the United Kingdom. He recently completed a Ph.D. in Politics at Durham University researching the implications of colonial boundaries in West Africa as a fellow of SEPHIS. His current research focuses on the significance of trans-border ethnicity for regional integration in West Africa. Michael had previously taught political science at Lagos State University in Nigeria and African politics at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. He is an alumnus of the Global South Workshop of the Graduate Institute of International Affairs, Geneva, Switzerland as well as a graduate fellow of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, India.  Michael's research and teaching interests include African politics and development, borderland studies and migration.


Crystal Sanders

Crystal Sanders, Ph.D.


Northwestern University, 2011


Dr. Sanders is a twentieth century United States historian with a particular interest in the African American freedom struggle in the U.S. South. She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her doctoral dissertation, which was entitled, "To Be Free of Fear: Black Women's Fight for Freedom Through the Child Development Group of Mississippi." In the book project, she considers how the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM), a federal Head Start program for low-income preschoolers, produced a political battle between poor black mothers and grandmothers and white southern congressmen. Between 1965 and 1968, Mississippi's black working-class participants collaborated with the federal government to seek bottom-up change in the most repressive state in the country. They moved beyond teaching shapes and colors to challenge the state's closed political system and white supremacist ideology. Black women who had previously worked as sharecroppers and domestics now had significantly higher salaries as preschool teachers in jobs that provided them with the financial freedom to vote and send their children to previously all-white schools. Their challenge antagonized a white power structure, at both the local and state levels, that was unaccustomed to financially independent and assertive blacks. It provoked opposition that significantly diminished the transformative possibilities of Head Start and other War on Poverty programs.


2011-2012 Affiliate Fellows

Luvell Anderson

Luvell Anderson, Jr., Ph.D.


Rutgers, 2011


Luvell Anderson is the first Alain Locke Postdoctoral Fellow in the Philosophy Department at Pennsylvania State University.  He received his BA in philosophy from University of Missouri at St. Louis and has recently completed his PhD in philosophy at Rutgers University.  He specializes in philosophy of language and critical philosophy of race and has published articles on racial slurs.  Luvell is currently working on a co-edited volume on the Philosophy of Race.  He is also working with the Implicit Bias and Philosophy International Research Project, developing research that looks at the propriety of reappropriating racial humor and racist slurs to combat implicit bias.  Dr. Anderson has accepted an assistant professor of Philosophy position at the University of Memphis.


Papori Bora

Papori Bora, Ph.D.

Feminist Studies

University of Minnesota, 2011


Papori Bora is a Post-Doctoral Scholar in the Department of Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Feminist Studies with a minor in Development Studies and Social Change from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research engages with the interweaving themes of postcolonial and transnational feminist studies, South Asian historiography, feminist political theory, law and citizenship and human rights to examine questions of the political from a feminist perspective. Her recent work titled “Between the Human, the Citizen and the Tribal: Reading Feminist Politics in India’s Northeast” has been published in the International Feminist Journal of Politics. Her current research is focused on two broad themes. First, she has been interested in developing a critical engagement between the concepts of performativity and postcoloniality, through which to articulate the limits of citizenship and representative democracy as ways of belonging and accounting for difference in the post-colonial nation-state. Second, she has been working on a book on the intellectual and political history of India’s “Northeast,” which traces the political history that has ensued from the British colonial strategy of separating the region, politically and administratively, from the rest of colonial India, through the Inner Line regulation that created the categories of the “governed” and the “ungovernable,” and how the specters of these categories haunt the functioning of post-colonial citizenship in the region.  Dr. Bora has accepted a tenure-track position at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.


Eugene WaltonEugene Walton, Ph.D.

Political Science

Duke University, 2011


Eugene Walton completed his Ph.D. degree in the Department of Political Science at Duke University and is a graduate fellow at The Center for the Study of Race Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Science (REGSS).  His research focuses on international security, armed non-state actors, and the politics of identity.  His dissertation is entitled, "Armed Non-State Actors and International Crises: Rebel Group Mobilization and Crisis Violence". It is a quantitative analysis that features the collection of an original data set, and assesses the influence of armed rebellion on interstate violence.  Dr. Walton has accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at The Pennsylvania State University through the Department of Political Science.


2010-2011 Fellows

Ikuko AsakaIkuko Asaka, Ph.D.

History, Gender and Women’s History Program

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010


Ikuko Asaka hails from Osaka, Japan. After earning her M.A. in American Studies from Doshisha University, Kyoto, she began her Ph.D. studies at UW-Madison.  Her work focuses on transnational African American studies, nineteenth-century U.S., empire and race, and gender and women’s history.  Ikuko’s dissertation is titled “Race across Empire and Republic: Black Migration to Canada and Racial, National, and Gender Formations in Atlantic Context.”  She is the recipient of a number of fellowships, including OAH La Pietra Dissertation Travel Fellowship in Transnational History and Graduate Scholars Associates Fellowship at UW Institute on Race and Ethnicity. She is also a finalist for Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize for the best graduate student paper presented at American Studies Association.   Dr. Asaka has accepted a visiting professorship at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University.


Jasmine Cobb

Jasmine Cobb, Ph.D.


University of Pennsylvania, 2009


Jasmine Nichole Cobb recently completed a PhD in Communication & Culture at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.  Her research focuses on both historical and contemporary representations of race, class, gender and sexuality in visual cultures with published works on sexuality in popular music, Black filmmaking, and race on television.  For her book manuscript, Picturing Freedom: Race, Place and Emancipation in the Transatlantic Parlor, she uses nineteenth century media to discuss freedom as a crisis of visual culture that demanded reconfigurations of race and spectatorship.  Dr. Cobb has accepted an assistant professor position at the Department of Communication Studies, School of Communications, at Northwestern University.


Ariane Cruz

Ariane Cruz, Ph.D.

African Diaspora Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women Gender and Sexuality

University of California-Berkeley, 2010


Ariane Cruz received her B.A. from Stanford University with honors in Art Practice (Drawing and Painting) and African American Studies.  She received her M.A. from UC Berkeley in African Diaspora Studies.  She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral fellowship, and the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Sexual Culture Dissertation Grant for her dissertation entitled “Berries Bittersweet: Visual Representations of Black Female Sexuality in Contemporary American Pornography.”  Her research and teaching interests include images of black female sexuality, black visuality and race and representation.  Dr. Cruz has accepted a tenure track assistant professor position in the Department of Women's Studies at Penn State University.


2009-2010 Fellows

Kristina BoboKristina Bobo, ABD


University of North Carolina, 2009


Kristina’s work focuses on African American and Southern Literatures. Her dissertation is titled “The American South in the African American Literary Imagination.” She was the recipient of several graduate student awards and grants at Chapel Hill, where she also served as the managing editor of Southern Literary Journal. She is co-editor for The North Carolina Roots of African American Literature and has published several essays, including “Language and Linguistic Inadequacy in Thomas Wolfe’s O Lost” for the Thomas Wolfe Review.  She works for Educational Testing Services in NY.


Antoinette Pressley-Sanon

Antoinette Pressley-Sanon, Ph.D.

African Languages and Literature

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009


Toni’s teaching and research interests include Caribbean Literatures, African Literatures, Postcolonial Literatures, African-American Literatures, African Diaspora Studies, Memory Studies, and Black Speculative Fiction. Her dissertation is titled “A Grain of Salt: Remembering the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Benin Republic and Haiti.” She is the recipient of a number of fellowships, including a Fulbright IIE for her project titled “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the Oral Tradition” in the Benin Republic, and is now an Assistant Professor at State University of New York - Buffalo.


Cedric Tolliver

Cedric Tolliver, Ph.D.

Comparative Literature and Theory

University of Pennsylvania, 2009


Cedric’s work focuses on African American and Francophone Literatures. His dissertation, “Of Vagabonds and Fellow Travelers: African Diasporic Cosmopolitan Culture,” argues that African American, Anglophone Caribbean, and Francophone Caribbean writers and intellectuals built through their life and works a diasporic cosmopolitan culture in the wake of World War II.  Dr. Tolliver is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston.


2008-2009 Fellows

Tommy Curry, Ph.D.


Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 2008


During his fellowship year, Dr. Curry produced ten scholarly essays and placed six of them in peer-reviewed venues such as The Crit, The Pluralist, The APA Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience, and the Journal of Black Studies. In addition, he presented his work at five national conferences, secured four additional invitations for paid speaking engagements, and secured a book contract from Fordham University Press. Dr. Curry ended his year by securing a tenure-track position in the Department of Philosophy (with affiliations in Africana Studies and Gender Studies) at Texas A&M University. He continues to work on several book projects, including a monograph tentatively titled “Nationist Dawn.”  Dr. Curry is now an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University.


Alyssa GarciaAlyssa Garcia, Ph.D.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008


During her fellowship year, Dr. Garcia conducted fieldwork on Dominicans in the state of Pennsylvania, particularly in the areas of Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Hazleton, and Philadelphia. The results of this preliminary investigation will be published as a book chapter in an edited volume on Dominican migration in the United States sponsored by the Dominican Studies Institute (City College-CUNY). She produced and submitted two articles to peer review journals: “Situating Race, Navigating Belonging: Mapping Afro-Cuban Identities in the U.S.” and “Continuous Moral Economies: The State Regulation of Bodies and Sex-Work in Cuba.” She also revised her manuscript and book proposal for “Discourses of Discipline: Sex, the State, and Subjectivity in Cuba.” Finally, Dr. Garcia presented her work at several conferences including “Integration, Globalization and Racialization: Theories and Perspectives on Immigration” at The University of Massachusetts Boston’s Social Theory Forum, and “Cuba: The Measure of a Revolution, 1959-2009” at Queens University at Kingston, Ontario Canada. Dr. Garcia is now an Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and African & African American Studies at Penn State University.


Kathryn Gines

Kathryn Gines, Ph.D.


University of Memphis, 2003


Professor Gines' primary research and teaching interests lie in Continental philosophy (especially Existentialism and Phenomenology), African American/Africana Philosophy, Black Feminist Philosophy, and Critical Philosophy of Race.  She has also taught in African American Studies/African Diaspora Studies.  Some of the major figures she writes about and teaches include Hannah Arendt, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon,  Anna Julia Cooper and Richard Wright.  Professor Gines has published articles on race, assimilation, feminism, intersectionality, and sex and sexuality in contemporary hip-hop.  She  co-edited an anthology titled "Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy" (SUNY Press, 2010) and is author of "Hannah Arendt and the Negro Question" (Indiana University Press, 2014).  Professor Gines is the founding director of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers (CBWP), the director of Cultivating Underrepresented Students in Philosophy (CUSP), and a founding co-editor of the journal Critical Philosophy of Race (CPR).  She is an active member of several professional organizations such as the American Philosophical Association, Society for Phenomenology and Existentialist Philosophy, Caribbean Philosophical Association, and Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora.  Married with four children she has a passion for empowering academics and professionals in the areas of work, life, and wellness balance.  The founding director of Work.Life.Wellness.Balance.Bliss, Gines offers workshops on work/life balance, academic balance, home balance, and wellness and self-care balance.  She is certified yoga instructor (RYT, 500 with an emphasis on yoga lifestyle teaching).


2007-2008 Fellows

Gabeba BaderoonGabeba Baderoon, Ph.D.

University of Cape Town, 2004


Gabeba Baderoon is the author of Regarding Muslims: from slavery to post-apartheid (Wits, 2014) and the poetry collections The Dream in the Next Body and A hundred silences. She received a PhD in English from the University of Cape Town, and has held fellowships in the African Gender Institute, the Nordic Africa Institute, and the Centre for Contemporary Islam. Baderoon is an Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies at Penn State, and an Extraordinary Professor of English at Stellenbosch University. She co-directs the African Feminist Initiative at Penn State with Alicia Decker.



Dayo MitchellDayo Mitchell, Ph.D.

University of Virginia, 2005


Academic Advising Director, Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR)

Stanford University






Keisha-Khan PerryKeisha-Khan Y. Perry, Ph.D.

University of Texas at Austin, 2005


Associate Professor of Africana Studies

Brown University





2006-2007 Fellows

Carina Ray

Carina Ray, Ph.D.

Cornell University, 2007


Associate Professor of History

Fordham University





Shirley Moody

Shirley Moody, Ph.D.

University of Maryland, 2006


Shirley Moody-Turner came to Penn State in 2006 as a post-doctoral fellow in the Africana Research Center before becoming an assistant professor in the department of English in 2007 and most recently, an associate professor of English and African American Studies. Specializing in African American literary and cultural studies, her work advances new perspectives on the interrelationships among folklore, discourses of race and gender, and the politics of African American and American literary and cultural productions.  She is most interested in recovering the innovative and resistant literary and ethnographic strategies African Americans have devised in efforts to engage, subvert, challenge, and/or rewrite the existing racialized and gendered protocols informing literary production and cultural representation. Her first monograph took up these concerns in relation to the field of folklore studies, while her second focuses in on African American print cultures.  She is the author of Black Folklore and the Politics of Racial Representation (University Press of Mississippi 2013) and co-editor of Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon (Indiana UP 2013). She recently signed on as editor of volume VII for the Cambridge University Press multi-volume series, African American Literature in Transition focusing on the years 1900-1910.  She serves on the editorial boards for Oxford Bibliographies Online and Resources in American Literary Study and has published and forthcoming articles and book chapters in African American Review, MELUS, MLA Approaches to Teaching Charles W. Chesnutt, Blackwell Companion to African American Literature, Blackwell Companion to American Literature, New Essays on the African American Novel, and Oxford Bibliographies Online. She is co-founder of the Anna Julia Cooper Society, president of the African American Literature and Culture Society, co-organizer of the Celebrating African American Literature conference series, and current director of Graduate Studies for the Department of African American Studies. Her work has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a post-doctoral fellowship from Rutgers University, and Institute for Arts and Humanities Individual Faculty Grant, an Africana Research Center Travel Grant and a ational grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Her current project, tentatively titled, Privately Printing: Anna Julia Cooper and the Gender Politics of Black Publishing, recovers and critically examines Anna Julia Cooper’s innovative engagements with publishing and print cultures, thereby interrogating and expanding the parameters of what counts as African American literary production.


Image Not AvailableSolsiree del Moral, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin, 2006


Associate Professor of American Studies and Black Studies

Amherst College



2005-2006 Fellows

Erin D. Chapman

Erin D. Chapman, Ph.D.

Yale University, 2006


Associate Professor of History

George Washington University




Jason Glenn

Jason E. Glenn, Ph.D.

Harvard University, 2005


Associate Professor at The Institute for the Medical Humanities

University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston

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