Reclaiming Our Time When There Is None: Navigating Inequalities to Publish and Flourish in the Academy

Endorsed by the OAH Committee on Academic Freedom

Saturday, April 4, 2020, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Type: Workshop

Tags: African American; Intellectual; Professional Development


No pre-registration required
This workshop brings together a bicoastal interdisciplinary collective of African American women at various stages of their careers to discuss the challenges of meeting requirements for research and writing, while navigating demanding institutional spaces. Each participant will share strategies of success and the experimental steps that allowed them to address the institutional and structural inequalities that once hindered their productivity. Workshop attendees will be guided on the steps to forming a virtual and physical writing group as well as on the process of having their institutions support the effort with both monetary and physical resources.

Session Participants

Presenter: Takkara Brunson, California State University, Fresno
Takkara Brunson is an assistant professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Fresno. Brunson received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in Latin American and Caribbean History. She has received research support from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the University of Rochester Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies. Currently, Brunson is completing a manuscript, titled "Constructing Black Cuban Womanhood: Gender and Racial Politics between Emancipation and the Cuban Revolution, 1886-1950s," which examines gender and racial politics from the standpoint of women of African descent.

Brunson's future projects include a study of the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Cuba and of the histories of self-representation among women of African descent in Latin America.

Presenter: Natanya Duncan, Lehigh University
Natanya Duncan is an Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies with an affiliate status
in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Lehigh University. A historian of the African
Diaspora, her research and teaching focuses on global freedom movements of the 20th and 21 st Century. Duncan’s research interest include constructions of identity and nation building
amongst women of color; migrations; color and class in Diasporic communities; and the
engagements of intellectuals throughout the African Diaspora. Her current book manuscript,
Crossing Waters & Fighting Tides: The Efficient Womanhood of the UNIA, focuses on the
distinct activist strategies in-acted by women in the Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA), which Duncan calls an efficient womanhood. Following the ways women in the UNIA
scripted their own understanding of Pan Africanism, Black Nationalism and constructions of
Diasporic Blackness, the work traces the blending of nationalist and gendered concerns amongst known and lesser known Garveyite women. Duncan’s publications include works that explore the leadership models of UNIA women and include “Now in Charge of the American Field”:Maymie De Mena and Charting the UNIA’s New Course” in Journal of Liberty Hall (Vol. 3 2017); “Henrietta Vinton Davis: The Lady of the Race”; in Journal of New York History (Fall 2014 Vol 95 No. 4); “Laura Kofey and the Reverse Atlantic Experience” in The American South and the Atlantic World (University of Florida Press, 2013).

Most recently she co-edited a special volume of Caribbean Women and Gender Studies Journal
“Gender and Anti-colonialism in the Interwar Caribbean” published December 2018. The 12
article volume examines the political ferment of the interwar period (1918–1939), tracking how
gendered conceptions of rights, respectability, leadership, and belonging informed anti-colonial
thought and praxis. Rather than constructing a singular narrative of Caribbean anti-colonialism,
we grapple with the varied political visions and modes of resistance that animated critiques of
colonial rule, attending at once to place-specific strategies and to shared regional agendas.

Presenter: Tammy Henderson, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Tammy Henderson is Lecturer of Africana Studies with a specialty in African American women’s history and public policy. Prior to joining the UMBC faculty in 2011, she was an instructor in African American Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park, and the Academic Program Coordinator for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Washington D.C. Dr. Henderson earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park in American Studies, along with a Certificate in Women’s Studies. Her teaching and research interests include Maternity, Race, and Public Policy, Black Feminist Thought, Black Families, and Black Popular Culture.

Presenter: Felicia Jamison, University of Maryland, College Park
Felicia Jamison is a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department at the University of Maryland College Park. She received her B.A. at Mercer University, her M.A. at Morgan State University, and her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on the lives and experiences of 19th and 20th-centruy African Americans who lived in the rural South. She is currently working on a monograph that analyzes the strategies Southern Black women used to accumulate property during slavery and purchase land during the late 19thand early 20thcenturies.

Presenter: Martha S. Jones, Johns Hopkins University
Professor Martha S. Jones joined the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Department of History on June 1, 2017 as the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History. She came from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts the University of Michigan where she was a Presidential Bicentennial Professor, Professor of history and Afroamerican and African Studies. She was a founding director of the Michigan Law School Program in Race, Law & History and a senior fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows.

Professor Jones is a legal and cultural historian whose interests include the study of race, law, citizenship, slavery, and the rights of women. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, she was a public interest litigator in New York City and a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.

Presenter: Kimberly Moffitt, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
r. Kimberly R. Moffitt is associate professor of American Studies and affiliate assistant professor in the Departments of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. program. Her teaching interests include culture, media studies/criticism, Black hair and body politics, sports and media, and popular culture.

Dr. Moffitt’s research focuses on mediated representations of marginalized groups as well as the politicized nature of Black hair and the body. She has published three co-edited volumes, including Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair and Body Politics in Africana Communities (Hampton Press, 2010), The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign (SUNY Press, 2010) and The 1980s: A Transitional Decade? (Lexington Books, 2011). She has also published her work in academic journals and several edited volumes. Her current research projects continue to explore the black body such as her work exploring white femininity in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and the representations of Black males on Disney television programming. She extends her research interests into the community by offering workshops on Black hair and body politics as it relates to bullying among middle school girls.

Presenter: Michelle R. Scott, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Dr. Michelle R. Scott is an Associate Professor of History, Africana Studies, and Gender, Women’s, Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Her research and teaching interests include 20th-century American history, African American history, women’s history, black musical culture, and civil rights. Interviewed for the website material for HBO’s Bessie, Professor Scott's book, Blues Empress in Black Chattanooga: Bessie Smith and the Emerging Urban South was published by the University of Illinois Press. She published a 2016 article on black female vaudevillian entrepreneurs in the Journal of African American History, entitled “These Ladies Do Business With A Capital B: The Griffin Sisters As Black Businesswomen in Early Vaudeville.” Professor Scott is currently working on a study of the origins of a pivotal black vaudeville theater circuit in the 1920s and 30s, and is the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship, a Smithsonian Institution Senior Fellowship, and is 2019 fellow at the Dresher Center of Humanities at UMBC.

Presenter: Felicia Yvonne Thomas, Morgan State University
Dr. Felicia Y. Thomas is Assistant Professor of History at Morgan State University. Her research interests are women and gender, colonial slavery, labor, and religion. Her book project: Entangled with the Yoke of Bondage: Black Women in Massachusetts, 1700-1783 interrogates gender, race, community formation, public engagement, and spiritual power in colonial New England.