Spring 2023

Poster for the events with photo of Amber Spry in a yellow circle and Diane Wong in a green circle

March 29, 2023

African and African American Studies Professor Amber Spry and Rutgers University Professor Diane Wong will host a conversation on Black and Asian American Visions for Liberation in collaboration with Brandies' Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Studies.

This event will take place both in person in Golding 107 and virtually at 2:30 p.m. March 29.

Diane Wong is assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University, Newark. She is also an affiliate faculty of Global Urban Studies, American Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies. She holds a PhD in American Politics and MA in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration from Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests include Asian American politics, race and ethnicity, critical urban studies, comparative immigration, gender and sexuality, cultural and media studies, and community rooted research. Her work has appeared in PS: Political Science & Politics, Urban Affairs Review, Women's Studies Quarterly, Amerasia Journal, Politics, Groups, and Identities, Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, Journal of Asian American Studies, and a variety of edited book volumes, anthologies, podcasts, and exhibitions.

Diane is also a socially engaged artist, her multimedia exhibit "Archive as Memorial" is on display at Storefront for Ideas in Manhattan Chinatown and her group exhibit "Degentrification Archives" is currently on display at Pace University Gallery in New York City.

Flyer for the event with a picture of Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Shoniqua Roach with details of the evnts

April 18, 2023

The African Diaspora Cluster presents the 4th annual M. Jacqui Alexander Lecture in African Diaspora Studies. Alexis Pauline Gumbs will be having a conversation with African and African American Studies Professor Shoniqua Roach.

The event will take place at 4 p.m. April 18 in Skyline Commons.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all life. She is/they are the author of several books, most recently "Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals" and the co-founder of the Mobile Homecoming Trust, an intergenerational experiential living library of Black LBGTQ brilliance.

A flyer of the poster with the title of the event, the date, time and location, and the names of the speakers all listed in the description of the event
Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Choices: Black Women and Health Justice

April 25, 2023

African and African American Studies Professor Wangui Muigai will be in conversation with Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha from Tufts University, Hafeeza Anchrum from University of Pennsylvania, and Aishah Scott from Providence College. The event title, “Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Choices” comes from an early publication of the National Black Women’s Health Project founded by Byllye Avery, and is meant to recognize and honor the contributions of Black women organizers and activists in the ongoing work of racial and reproductive justice.

This event will take place at 4 p.m. April 25 in the third-floor Reading room in Mandel Center.

Dr. Aishah Scott is a jointly appointed Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Health Science at Providence College. She is an advocate for social justice and closing gaps in healthcare for underrepresented communities. Her article "Erased by Respectability: The Intersections of AIDS, Race, and Gender in Black America" is in a recent issue of the Women, Gender, and
Families of Color journal. Additionally, she has been interviewed about the state of Black health in America by NPR, Marketplace, among others and given many talks about racial health disparities disproportionately impacting the Black community in the United States. Dr. Scott is working on her book manuscript entitled, "Respectability Can’t Save You: The AIDS Epidemic in Urban Black America." This work focuses on the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African American community and the role of “respectability politics,” or moral policing, on state and community leaders from 1980-2010.

Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha is the Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health in the
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the Founder and Director of the Center of Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice (CBMHRJ), and of the Maternal Outcomes of Translational Health Equity Research (MOTHER) Lab. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha’s research investigates maternal health disparities, infant mortality, reproductive health and social justice, and HIV/AIDS as experienced by Black women. She also serves as the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the university’s Public Health and Professional Degree Programs. A well-published author, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha’s research has been presented in over 61 manuscripts, 6 book chapters, a best-selling book on Amazon, and a textbook on culturally responsive evaluation. Her research has also been featured across a series of platforms, including, The Lancet, TedX, USA Today, and most recently broadcasted on MSNBC. She also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Women’s Health Issues. Currently, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the Principal Investigator of two multi-year studies on maternal mortality and morbidity, an R01 funded by National Institutes of Health and an interdisciplinary grant on health equity funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Hafeeza Anchrum is a postdoctoral fellow in the Program on Race, Science, and Society at the University of Pennsylvania, where she co-manages the "Penn Medicine and the Afterlives of Slavery" project. This project investigates the historical connections between Penn’s Medical School and the institution of slavery, as well as the ongoing consequences of this connection in medicine today. Hafeeza’s program of research draws on the history of African American nurses to examine broader questions pertaining to race, gender, and American healthcare from the late 19th century to the present, with the aim to promote health equity. Hafeeza is in the process of transforming her dissertation project, "A New Era in the Fight for Nursing Civil Rights: Mercy- Douglass Hospital School of Nursing 1948–60," into a book manuscript. It builds on her earlier research to argue that integration, although beneficial for Black nurses' professional interests, also facilitated the dissolution of a long-standing bond and social contract of reciprocity between Black nurses and their communities.

Fall 2022

Promotional Poster for event
P**** Valley, Part 2

October 19, 2022

5 p.m.

P**** Valley, Part 2: a black genders and sexualities studies conversation moderated by Professors:

  • Shoniqua Roach
  • Julian Glover (Virginia Commonweath University)
  • Tiffany Lethabo King (University of Virginia)
  • L.J. Stallings (Georgetown University)
  • Omise'eke Tinsley (University of California — Santa Barbara)

Spring 2022

Flyer for event
M. Jacqui Alexander Lecture in African Diaspora Studies Featuring University Professor Anita Hill

April 7, 2022

4:30 p.m.

Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

M. Jacqui Alexander Lecture in African Diaspora Studies Featuring University Professor Anita Hill

Presented by the African Diaspora Cluster.

The African Diaspora Cluster, a AAAS initiative, brings together scholars who work on the African diaspora, broadly defined. The ADC curates an annual lecture named in honor of M. Jacqui Alexander, a pioneering theorist of transnational feminism and sexuality studies, whose work on the African diaspora has been profoundly influential. The lecture series seeks to highlight the innovative work of scholars at Brandeis and beyond, who are shedding new light on the manifold issues that animated Alexander's work.

Thank you to our generous co-sponsors:

  • African and African American Studies

  • Heller School

  • Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences

  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Madeleine Haas Russell Lecture

February 10, 2022

4 p.m. ET

Skyline Commons

Racial Order and Social Progress: Anti-African Religious Racism in Brazil 
Presented by MHR Visiting Professor Rachel Cantave

"Religious racism" is the preferred terminology of Afro-Brazilian activists and religious devotees to describe the increasing acts of violence and discrimination targeting African-derived religions. This presentation will explore the usefulness of the term in enhancing our understanding of how racism is structured and articulated, particularly in Brazil, the so-called "racial democracy."

Fall 2021

Prof. Siri book cover
Virtual Book Launch Featuring Prof. Siri Suh

October 13, 2021

1 p.m. ET

Please join the African Diaspora Cluster for a Virtual Book Launch, celebrating the release of Siri Suh's new work, "Dying to Count: Post-Abortion Care and Global Reproductive Health Politics in Senegal." We will be joined by the author and an illustrious panel of experts in the field:

  • Althea Anderson, PhD, MPH (panelist) — Program Officer in Gender Equity and Governance at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

  • Ellen Foley (panelist) — Professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark University

  • Lynn Morgan (panelist) — Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College

  • Carina Ray (moderator) — Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at Brandeis University.

Siri Suh is assistant professor of sociology and an affiliated faculty member in the African and African American Studies Department at Brandeis University.

More on Dying to Count: Post-Abortion Care and Global Reproductive Health Politics in Senegal

Presented by the African Diaspora Cluster

Spring 2021

Profs. Spillers and Roach
Black Women, Black Feminism and Justice

May 11, 2021

4-5:30 p.m. EDT

Alumni College 2021

While Black feminism is frequently imagined as the paradigmatic ideological, political, and everyday practice through which social justice might be achieved, justice is often figured and treated as dangerous, problematic and risky in the hands of Black women. Professors Hortense Spillers, PhD ’74, an American literary critic, Black feminist scholar and the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor at Vanderbilt University, and Shoniqua Roach, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies will explore this paradox, among others, through an intimate conversation about past, present and future possibilities for Black Women, Black Feminism and Justice.

This event is co-sponsored by the Alumni of Color Network and the Department of African and African American Studies.

Poster with QR code for registration and event details

March 17, 2021

A panel event to launch "Black Privacy," the special issue of The Black Scholar, co-edited by Professors Samantha Pinto and Shoniqua Roach.

Angela Davis (Professor Emerita)

Johnnetta Cole (Professor Emerita)

Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman (Brown)

Simone Browne (University of Texas — Austin)

Sarah Haley (UCLA)

Emily A. Owens (Brown)

Samantha Pinto (University of Texas — Austin)

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Princeton)

Poster with QR code for registration and event details
Linda Villarosa: In Conversation with Professor Wangui Muigai

March 22, 2021

Please join us for a conversation on race and health with the award-winning journalist Linda Villarosa, contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and former editor for the New York Times and Essence Magazine. Professor Wangui Muigai (AAAS/HIS) will moderate. Questions for Linda Villarosa may be submitted ahead of the event to

Event flyer with image of speaker Ben Talton.
2nd Annual M. Jacqui Alexander Lecture in African Diaspora Studies

April 6, 2021

Noon ET via Zoom

Please join us for the 2nd Annual M. Jacqui Alexander Lecture in African Diaspora Studies. This year we welcome Professor Ben Talton of Temple University delivering a talk entitled"Black Power, Human Rights and Humanitarianism in Africa and the U.S."

Thank you to our co-sponsors:

  • African Diaspora Cluster

  • AAAS

  • HIS

  • IGS

  • POL

  • Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences

Fall 2020

Black Lives Matter 2.0

September 15, 2020

5:30 p.m. via Zoom

The Intercultural Center and AAAS presented Black Lives Matter 2.0, a discussion facilitated by Prof. Chad Williams.

Black Lives Matter flyer. Why now? Where do we go from here?

Spring 2020

Prof. Rickford delivered the 35th annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture on zoom
Ruth First Lecture

November 13, 2020

11:30 a.m.

Prof. Russell Rickford, Cornell University, delivered the 35th annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture.

Sponsored by AAAS, Ruth First Lecture Fund

“After the Dance: Performing Sovereignty After the Future,” by Prof. Faith Smith

March 5, 2020

4 p.m. in Skyline Commons

African Diaspora Cluster Inaugural Lecture: "After the Dance: Performing Sovereignty After the Future" by Prof. Faith Smith

Co-sponsors: ADC, AAAS, DAS

Prof. Megan Ming Francis Talk

March 11, 2020

3:30 p.m. in Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Prof. Megan Ming Francis, Visiting Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington

Co-sponsors: AAAS, HIS, POL

Prof. Nitasha Sharma Talk

March 16, 2020


3:30 p.m. in Rapaporte Treasure Hall

Prof. Nitasha Sharma, Northwestern University

Co-sponsors: AAAS, AAPIS, WGS

Sankofa Community Conference: Co-Constructing Racial Justice through Life and Work

April 23, 2020


Time: TBD at Heller School

Sankofa Community Conference: "Co-Constructing Racial Justice through Life and Work"

Co-sponsors: AAAS, Heller

Spring 2019

March 28, 2019

4 p.m. at Mandel Center for the Humanities, G03

Dorothy Roberts is the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. An internationally recognized scholar and social justice advocate, she has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive health, child welfare, and bioethics. She is the author of the award-winning books, "Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty" (1997), "Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare" (2002), and most recently, "Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the 21st Century" (2011).

Watch the Video

Howardena Pindell Opening Celebration at the Rose

February 1, 2019

2-5 p.m. at Rose Museum

Join us for the opening celebration of Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen exhibition. Howardena Pindell explores the intersection of art and activism. "What Remains to be Seen" spans the New York–based artist’s five-decades-long career, featuring early figurative paintings, pure abstraction, and conceptual works, as well as personal and political art. Feb. 1-May 19, 2019.

February 8, 2019

Join us as we mark a half century of excellence in and dedication to the Department of African and African-American Studies.

2019 Richman Fellow: Anna Deavere Smith

March 21, 2019

4-5:30 p.m. in Sherman Function Hall

Join us for the award ceremony and presentation of the 2019 Richman Fellow Anna Deavere "Snapshots: Protraits of a World in Transition." Playwright, actor and educator Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to explore issues of community, character, and diversity in America. The MacArthur Foundation honored Smith with the “Genius” Fellowship for creating “a new form of theatre — a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie.”

Fall 2018

Acoustic Performance by Aurelio Martinez

October 11, 2018

Join us for an acoustic performance by Aurelio Martinez on October 11th in the Mandel Reading Room. Born in the tiny coastal hamlet of Plaplaya on Honduras' Caribbean coast in 1969, Aurelio Martinez represents perhaps the last generation to grow up steeped in Garifuna tradition. Now, over the thirty years into his remarkable career, he has risen to become the foremost global ambassador of Garifuna music and culture, as well as their most influential and respected guardian. This event is sponsored by Latin American and Latino Studies, African and African-American studies, the Intercultural Center, Office of the Dean of the Arts and the Office of Student Activities.

20 Years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill: A Conversation with Joan Morgan

November 7, 2018

The Department of African and African American studies presents 20 years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill: A Conversation with Joan Morgan in Rapaporte Treasure Hall on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm. Joan Morgan is an award-winning cultural critic, feminist author and a pioneering hip-hop journalist. Morgan coined the term "hip-hop feminist" in 1999, when she published the groundbreaking book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down which is taught at universities globally. Regarded internationally as an expert on the topics of hip-hop, race, and gender, Morgan has made numerous television and radio appearances. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the New School, Vanderbilt, Duke and Stanford University and is currently a doctoral candidate at New York University. Her most recent book is She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Jamaican-born and South Bronx bred, Morgan is a proud Native New Yorker.

AAAS Film Series: Talking Black in America

November 29, 2018

Join us at 7 p.m. for popcorn and a screening of "Talking Black in America," a television documentary detailing the unique linguistic circumstances of the descendants of American slaves and their incredible impact on American life and language.

Location: Intercultural Center, Swig Hall

Co-Sponsors: Linguistics Program, ICC

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Featured Event

Rose Art Museum in view behind an illuminated "Light of Reason"
Close Looking Series: What Remains To Be Seen, Untitled #18

February 6

Carina Ray, associate professor of African and African American Studies, and John Wardle, professor of astrophysics, will discuss Untitled #18 by Howardena Pindell, on view at the Rose Art Museum. Free and open to the public.