News

2023

Prof.  Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso

Professor Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso has just released her recent book: African Refugees

African Refugees is a comprehensive overview of the context, causes, and consequences of refugee lives, discussing issues, policies, and solutions for African refugees around the world. It covers overarching topics such as human rights, policy frameworks, refugee protection, and durable solutions, as well as less-studied topics such as refugee youths, refugee camps, LGBTQ refugees, urban refugees, and refugee women. It also takes on rare but emergent topics such as citizenship and the creativity of African refugees. African Refugees recognizes African agency and contributions in pursuit of solutions for African refugees over time but avoids the pitfalls of the colonial gaze—where refugees are perpetually pathologized and Africa is always the sole cause of its own problems—seeking to complicate these narratives by recognizing African refugee issues within exploitative global, colonial, and neo-colonial systems of power.

Professor Chad Williams

Professor Chad Williams is releasing his latest book on April 4: The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the First World War

When W. E. B. Du Bois, believing in the possibility of full citizenship and democratic change, encouraged African Americans to “close ranks” and support the Allied cause in World War I, he made a decision that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Seeking both intellectual clarity and personal atonement, for more than two decades Du Bois attempted to write the definitive history of Black participation in World War I. His book, however, remained unfinished. In The Wounded World, Chad Williams offers the dramatic account of Du Bois’s failed efforts to complete what would have been one of his most significant works. The surprising story of this unpublished book offers new insight into Du Bois’s struggles to reckon with both the history and the troubling memory of the war, along with the broader meanings of race and democracy for Black people in the twentieth century.

Drawing on a broad range of sources, most notably Du Bois’s unpublished manuscript and research materials, Williams tells a sweeping story of hope, betrayal, disillusionment, and transformation, setting into motion a fresh understanding of the life and mind of arguably the most significant scholar-activist in African American history. In uncovering what happened to Du Bois’s largely forgotten book, Williams offers a captivating reminder of the importance of World War I, why it mattered to Du Bois, and why it continues to matter today.

Professor Faith Smith
Professor Faith Smith latest book in April 2023: Strolling in the Ruins

Professor Faith Smith is releasing her latest book in April 2023: Strolling in the Ruins: The Caribbean’s Non-sovereign Modern in the Early Twentieth Century

In Strolling in the Ruins Faith Smith engages with a period in the history of the Anglophone Caribbean often overlooked as nondescript, quiet, and embarrassingly pro-imperial within the larger narrative of Jamaican and Trinidadian nationalism. Between the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion and World War I, British imperialism was taken for granted among both elites and ordinary people, while nationalist discourses would not begin to shape political imagination in the West Indies for decades. Smith argues that this moment, far from being uneventful, disrupts the inevitability of nationhood in the mid-
twentieth century and anticipates the Caribbean’s present-day relationship to global power. Smith assembles and analyzes a diverse set of texts, from Carnival songs, poems, and novels to newspapers, photographs, and gardens to examine theoretical and literary-historiographic questions concerning time and temporality, empire and diaspora, immigration and indigeneity, gender and the politics of desire, Africa’s place within Caribbeanist discourse, and the idea of the Caribbean itself. Closely examining these cultural expressions of apparent quiescence, Smith locates the quiet violence of colonial rule and the insistence of colonial subjects on making meaningful lives.

2022

Prof. Muigai

Prof. Muigai has been named 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. This program recognizes extraordinary scholars and writers to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that addresses enduring issues confronting society. She is the second Brandeis faculty member to be chosen by the program.

Prof. Chad Williams
Professor Chad Williams

Prof. Williams shares his expertise following Gen. Colin Powell's passing in The Conversation and NBC News.

Prof. Muigai
Congratulations Professor Wangui Muigai

Prof. Muigai has been selected to receive the 2021 Michael L. Walzer ’56 Award for Teaching. This award is given annually to a tenure-track faculty member who combines superlative scholarship with inspiring teaching.

Prof. Faith Smith
Congratulations Professor Faith Smith

Prof. Smith has been selected to receive the School of Arts and Sciences Faculty Service Award for 2019-2020. This recognizes outstanding service contributions to departments, programs and the University by members of the School of Arts and Sciences.

2020-2021

Linda Villarosa: In conversation with Professor Wangui Muigai

March 22, 2021

On March 22, award- winning NYT & Essence journalist Linda Villarosa joined Professor Wangui Muigai's class for a conversation on race and health.

Black Privacy: A Mini Symposium

March 17, 2021

"Black Privacy," the special issue of The Black Scholar, co-edited by Professors Samantha Pinto and Shoniqua Roach was hosted Professor Angela Davis and Professor Johnnetta Cole.

November 13, 2020

On November 13, Professor Rickford delivered the 35th annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture over zoom.

2019-2020

March 19, 2020

Prof. Roach convened a forum entitled, "(Re)turning to “Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women": A Black Feminist Forum on the Culture of Dissemblance," exploring Darlene Clark Hine's canonical Black feminist essay.

February 20, 2020

Patrick Sylvain (2019-20 Evan Frankel Fellow, PhD candidate) got on of his poems, titled "Rebirth" published in an Australian literary journal—Verity La.

February 19, 2020

Abigail Cooper, associate AAAS professor, has article discussing African Americans lives in Civil War Refugee camps in the Futurity. 

February 5, 2020

AAAS Affiliated Faculty Prof. Wooden Featured in BrandeisNow discussing "Reimagining Blackness."

November 21, 2019

Professor Shoniqua Roach curated a digital symposium featuring Jennifer C. Nash in conversation with scholars engaging with Nash's Black Feminism Reimagined.

2018-2019

April 16, 2019

Learn about the full story of the misunderstood and misrepresented chapter in American history from the PBS special "Reconstruction: America after the Civil War" featuring Professor Chad Williams.

Participants in the Ford Hall 1969 protests before a panel discussion.

February 11, 2019

The weekend featured Angela Davis '65, Julieanna Richardson '76, H'16, Hortense Spillers, PhD'74 and more.

AAAS Commemoration fist graphic

February 11, 2019

Take a trip through the history of the African and African American studies department at Brandeis, which marked its 50-year anniversary milestone with a two-day academic symposium.

Ford Hall 1969 panel

February 11, 2019

Re-live some of the best moments from the African and African American Studies department's 50th anniversary commemoration in this slideshow.

Hortense Spillers smiling

Photo Credit: Ashley McCabe

February 11, 2019

Hortense J. Spillers, PhD’74, an American literary critic, black feminist scholar and the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, has been honored with the Brandeis University Alumni Achievement Award. Provost Lisa Lynch presented the award at the conclusion of the African and African American Studies Department’s 50th Anniversary commemoration held on campus February 8-9.

Ford Hall panel on stage

Photo Credit: Andrew Baxter, The Justice

February 12, 2019

(The Justice) Fifty years after the Ford Hall occupation in 1969, the Brandeis community gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the demands those students made: an African and Afro-American Studies department — now called the African and African American Studies department.

Alumni Legacies panel

Photo Credit: Andrew Baxter, The Justice

February 12, 2019

(The Justice) Hundreds of Brandeis students, faculty and alumni convened in Levin Ballroom on Feb. 9 for the AAAS and Alumni Legacies Panel as part of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the the Department of African and African American Studies.

Julieanna Richardson and Angela Davis

Photo Credit: Andrew Baxter, The Justice

February 12, 2019

(The Justice) Angela Davis ’65 spoke about her experiences as an activist and Brandeis student on Friday as the keynote speaker for an event series commemorating the African and African American Studies Department’s 50th anniversary.

Students gathered outside of Ford Hall

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department

February 5, 2019

(The Justice) The Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS), established on April 24, 1969, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week, but the history of Black students and their influence at Brandeis existed long before then.

Kewsi Jones

February 1, 2019

Sophomore Kwesi Jones is an artist in every sense of the word. His latest work showcases the history of black studies at Brandeis through film.

Hortense Spillers

Photo Credit: “Lou Outlaw,” a.k.a. Lucius T. Outlaw (Jr.)

February 1, 2019

Hortense J. Spillers PhD'74 is an American literary critic, black feminist scholar and the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, and on Feb. 9 will receive Brandeis' Alumni Achievement Award during the African and African American studies 50th Anniversary Commemoration.

But before she began accumulating awards as a leader in her field, she was a newly-minted PhD candidate driving a Buick Skylark from Memphis to Brandeis in the tumultuous summer of 1968. In answer to questions posed by Faith Lois Smith, associate professor of African and African American Studies and English, Spillers discussed her evolution as a scholar and what black feminist theory can teach us in the present moment.

Illustration of fist comprising words related to African and African American studies, including feminism, divestment, Ford Hall, 1969. Text reads AAAS 50th Commemoration Brandeis University

January 31, 2019

The 50th Anniversary Commemoration of African and African American studies features a two-day academic and cultural symposium on Feb. 8-9.

Fall 2018

Congratulations to AAAS affiliate faculty member Janet McIntosh whose book,  "Unsettled: Denial and Belonging Among White Kenyans," received an Honorable Mention for the American Ethnological Society's Senior Book Prize.