Race, Anti-Racism, and Equity Contributions

 

M. Cristina Alcalde is Marie Rich Endowed Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies and Associate Dean of Inclusion and Internationalization. Her research areas include gender violence, migration, exclusion, and race and racialization, particularly in connection to Latin America, Latin American diasporas, and Latinx identities. Her most recent book is Peruvian Lives across Borders: Power, Exclusion, and Home. Her interests also include the experiences of women of color in academia, recently featured in Inside Higher Ed.

Tiffany D. Barnes is an Associate Professor of Political Science. She researches the causes and consequences of diversity in political institutions—particularly as it pertains to women, racial and ethnic minorities, and working-class people. This includes her award-winning book, Gendering Legislative Behavior (Cambridge, 2016).  She has also written op-eds based on her research for the Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, and El Estadista and has given media interviews to CNN, FiveThirtyEight, and The Herald Leader. Findings from her research have been featured in news venues such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, the Associate Press, the Guardian, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg News, La Clarín and La Nación (the two leading Argentine newspapers).

Rusty Barrett, Associate Professor of Linguistics has authored and co-authored various pieces on language, race, and racism, and indigenous populations including From Drag Queens to Leathermen: Language, Gender, and Gay Male Subcultures and “You met my Ambassador”: Language and Self-Monitoring at the Intersection of Race and Sexuality” (with Brianna Cornelius) in the Oxford Handbook of Language and Race and. Rusty Barrett, Jennifer Cramer, and Kevin McGowan, all faculty in the Linguistics Department, are revising a book called English with an Accent, which discusses all manners of linguistic discrimination.

Horace A. Bartilow is Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Political Science. In his latest book, Drug War Pathologies: Embedded Corporatism and U.S Drug Enforcement in the Americas, race and its intersection with class, income inequality, mass incarceration and corporate power are important themes that are explored in his research on American drug enforcement. His working book project is, entitled: Blood and Betrayal: The Intersectionality of Race and Cold War Politics in America’s Destabilization of Social Democracy in Jamaica, 1972-1980.

Emily Beaulieu Bacchus has worked on issues of gender equity in Political Science.  She was a founding board member of the Women Also Know Stuff initiative intended to shift perceptions of women as experts on politics.  The initiative provides a searchable database of women political scientists and their respective areas of expertise to facilitate the inclusion of women in media, in journal citations, and on classroom reading lists.  She has also worked in formal mentorship roles, publishing research (with Dr. Tiffany Barnes) on the positive effects of the Visions in Methodology program on women political scientists' research productivity and networking.  Currently she serves as mentorship co-chair for that program.

Stefan Bird-Pollan, Associate Professor in Philosophy, researches questions of race from the perspective of the construction of human subjectivity. His work on questions of race and racism includes Hegel, Freud and Fanon: the Dialectic of Emancipation (2015) as well as papers on different aspects of race and legal philosophy, for instance “Intersectionality, a Dialectical Approach” (Constellations, 2020) 

Eladio Bobadilla, Assistant Professor, History, focuses his work on the history of race and ethnicity, and U.S. Latinx history and politics. His monograph, ”Without Borders”: The Roots and Consequences of the Immigrants’ Rights Movement, is forthcoming with the University of Illinois Press. His opinion pieces have been featured in outlets such as the Washington Post.

Nikki Brown, Associate Professor of History, is the author of Private Politics and Public Voices:  Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal (Indiana, 2006) and the co-editor of the Jim Crow Encyclopedia. She situates her work at the intersection of gender, race, identity, representation, and politics, and is preparing an oral history of the Afro-Turks, the African descendants of slaves in the Ottoman Empire.  She is also preparing for publication her book on Louisiana's history of civil rights photography.  Brown's areas expertise are: African American history after the Civil War, race and racism  the twentieth century, civil rights movements, African American women's political organizations, the Progressive Era, race in the Middle East.  

Robyn Brown, Associate Professor of Sociology, has completed extensive research on the mental and physical health effects of stigma and discrimination. Her work provides compelling evidence that experiencing discrimination in higher education, the workforce, and relationships exacerbates pre-existing health conditions and interferes with medical help-seeking.

Ruth Brown, Hispanic Studies, frequently brings community activists and cultural producers into the classroom to speak with students and facilitate student visits to the community by organizing field trips and incentivizing community engagement activities that provide them with first-hand experience interacting with Lexington’s Latinx communities. She explores and advocates recognition for the cultural production by Latinx communities in Kentucky, building on her ongoing project to collect and catalogue creative production by Latinx people in Kentucky.

Christia Spears Brown,Lester and Helen Milich Professor of Children at Risk, Director of the Center for Equality and Social Justice, and Associate Chair, Psychology focuses on children’s experiences with racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination and the development and impact of stereotypes on children’s school lives. Her books include Discrimination in Childhood and Adolescence and Unraveling Bias: How Prejudice has Shaped Children for Generations and How We Can Break the Cycle. She is previously the Chair of the Equity and Justice Committee of Society for Research in Child Development and is the lead author on SRCD's State of the Science Report: Reducing Prejudice in Children. Her work is regularly featured in national and international media outlets, and she has served as an expert witness for the ACLU on cases of discrimination in schools.

Brenna Reinhart Byrd studies the intersections of identity and language in a German-speaking context, specifically with regards to race, gender, and cultural background. Her most recent work is “Supporting Graduate Students of Color in German Studies: A Syllabus,” a chapter in the volume Diversity, Decolonialization, and the German Curriculum.

Jane E. Calvert, Associate Professor, History, works on social justice movements and rights advocacy in eighteenth-century America. She is the leading authority on US founder John Dickinson, the only major figure who was an abolitionist and advocate for the protection of rights for vulnerable populations, including blacks, women, Indians, the poor, and criminals. Her publications include Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson (Cambridge, 2009), The Complete Writings and Selected Correspondence of John Dickinson (University of Delaware Press, 2020– ), and a biography of Dickinson, in progress.

Francie Chassen-López, Distinguished Professor, History, focuses on Latin America. As an ethnohistorian of Mexico, she studies the struggles of indigenous peoples to defend their customs and traditional rights, as in her award-winning book, From Liberal to Revolutionary Oaxaca: The View from the South, Mexico 1867-1911. The intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, and class are integral to her research and teaching, in particular how many of the same stereotypes are used to feminize and infantilize different peoples of color. In her forthcoming biography of Juana Catarina Romero, she reveals how the racialization of indigenous women has been used to marginalize them and how they have resisted this disempowerment.

Joseph Clark, Assistant Professor, History, does work at the intersection of empire and race in the early modern Atlantic. He studies material relationships – including commerce, migration, environmental exchange, and the circulation of knowledge – that crossed legal and linguistic borders in order to understand how trans-imperial entanglements shaped local concepts of ethnicity, race, and caste.

Anastasia Curwood, Associate Professor, History, focuses on the interface between private life and historical context for black Americans in the 20th century. Her first book, Stormy Weather: Middle-Class African American Marriages between the two World Wars (UNC, 2010) explored marriages between middle-class African Americans in the era of the New Negro and the Great Depression. Her current project is a critical biography of Congresswoman and Democratic candidate for United States president Shirley Chisholm.

Steve Davis, Associate Professor, History, is an authority on the freedom struggle in South Africa. He is the author of The ANC’s War against Apartheid: Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Liberation of South Africa and is currently working on a project on the 1981 Matola Raid, a cross-border raid conducted by the South African Defense Force on ANC residences located outside Maputo, Mozambique. 

Mónica Díaz, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, focuses on race, coloniality, gender and ethnic identity in Latin America. Her publications include Indigenous Writings from the Convent: Negotiating Ethnic Autonomy in Colonial Mexico.

Brandon Erby’s scholarship examines how African Americans strategically use tenets of rhetoric and literacy to respond to social injustices, survive acts of oppression, and create societal change. He is currently writing about the activism and pedagogy of Mamie Till-Mobley and had work recently featured here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/06/george-floyd-emmett-till-deaths-inspire-calls-change-justice/3135768001/ and https://sparkactivism.com/volume-2-call/vol-2-intro/same-american-racism/

Patricia Ehrkamp is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography. Her research focuses on the racialized and racist politics of immigration, with specific attention to the racial-spatial politics of immigrant integration, immigration policies, and racialized exclusions from citizenship.

Kamahra Ewing is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and the African American and Africana Studies Program, with a specialization in the Global Black Studies, Postcolonial, Global South, Media/Film Studies, Ethnography, Gender, and Religion. Currently, she is working on projects that examine Nollywood audience reception within African immigrant and Black Atlantic communities in Brazil, Jamaica, and the United Kingdom. 

Arnold L. Farr is Professor of Philosophy at UK. He specializes in German idealism, Marxism, critical theory, and philosophy of race. He is co-editor and co-author of Marginal Groups and Mainstream American Culture 2000, and author of Critical Theory and Democratic Vision: Herbert Marcuse and Recent Liberation Philosophies, 2009. He is author of dozens of articles and book chapters on German Idealism, critical theory (mainly Marcuse and Honneth), and philosophy of race. He is the founder and President of the International Herbert Marcuse Society. Arnold is presently working on four books, Misrecognition, Mimetic Rivalry, and One-dimensionality: Toward a Critical Theory of Human Conflict and Social Pathology; Liberation, Dialectic, and the Struggle for Social Transformation: The Life and Work of Herbert Marcuse; The New White Supremacy; and The New Slavery.

Abigail Firey, University Research Professor in History, studies how the intersection of religious and legal traditions in medieval Europe shaped ideas about justice, including social justice. Her teaching incorporates current scholarship on formation of ethnicities and identities, and her well-received course on “Barbarians” was an opportunity to explore theoretical and historical frameworks for defining groups as “other”, and to trace through the centuries the racialization of the concept of “barbarism”, especially in colonial and imperial contexts.

Arcelia Gutiérrez is Assistant Professor in Hispanic Studies, specializes in Latinx studies, critical race studies, media studies, and media industry studies. Her current book manuscript traces how Latinx media activists have navigated processes of deregulation and neo-liberalization and the strategies they’ve used to push for the inclusion of Latinxs in television, film, and radio.

Regina Hamilton, Assistant Professor of English and African American and African Studies, writes about twentieth and twenty-first century African American literature. Much of her work, particularly the article "The Somatopic Black Female Body within Archipelagic Space and Time in Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed" and her forthcoming book, engages the history and of black futures in African American literature. Hamilton also writes about the representations of blackness in video games, and in American media more generally.

DaMaris B. Hill is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and writes about ideas of bondage and freedom in the lives of Black women in America. Hill has a keen interest in the work of Toni Morrison and theories regarding ‘rememory’ as a philosophy and aesthetic practice. She is the author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland  (2020 NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry), The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland\Vi-zə-bəl\   \Teks-chərs\(Visible Textures). Similar to her creative process, Hill’s scholarly research is interdisciplinary.

Vanessa Holden is an Assistant Professor of History. She pursues research and teaching interests in African American history, women’s and gender history, and the history of the American South. Surviving Southampton: African American Women and Resistance in Nat Turner’s Community will be forthcoming in 2021 with the University of Illinois Press. She is also co-organizer of the Queering Slavery Working Group, and is active in a variety of public history initiatives in Kentucky and Virginia.

Jennifer Hunt, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Psychology, is an expert on the influence of race in the criminal justice and legal systems, with a particular focus on racial bias in jury decision making.  Her recent work explores people’s willingness to tolerate racist statements or acts by others.

Kathi Kern, Professor, History, is a historian of the US women’s rights movement who has investigated the intersection between scientific racism and religious belief. Her work on Elizabeth Cady Stanton foregrounded the place of race and racism in the suffrage movement. In her book, Mrs. Stanton’s Bible she broke new ground by establishing Stanton’s family’s slaveholding and the impact of that secret on Stanton’s racial beliefs and practices. Throughout the 1990s, Kern worked with African American schoolteachers in the Mississippi Delta and conducted a series of oral histories in the community of Yazoo City, which are archived in the Louie B. Nunn Center.

Erin Koch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a cultural anthropologist with expertise in medical anthropology, feminist science and technology studies, health inequalities, and global health. Erin teaches courses on anthropological theory, ethnographic research methods, medical anthropology, and introductory cultural anthropology. Her teaching praxis employs anti-racist and decolonizing approaches to explore cultural and structural forces that create and enforce health inequalities and injustices, and to dismantle ethnocentric and Euro-American canons in anthropology. 

Ana SQ Liberato is an Associate Professor of Sociology.  Her main research goal is to document and explain the impacts of  social inequalities on  disadvantaged populations. Her published and ongoing projects on Dominican migration document how racist social structures, gender, and nationality shape the lived experience and opportunities of Dominican immigrants in the United States and Europe. Her research has explored issues, such as racialization and stigmatization of Latinos in US media, Anti-Haitian racism in the Dominican Republic, and the interplay of   race, ethnicity, and place in the creation of social inequalities.

Bertin M. Louis Jr. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and African American and Africana Studies. Louis' research interests are in the African diaspora, Africana studies, religion (Haitian Protestantism), race and racism, human rights, statelessness and antiracist movements. He studies the growth of Protestant forms of Christianity among Haitians transnationally, which is featured in his New York University Press book, “My Soul is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas.” The book was a finalist for the 2015 Haitian Studies Association Book Prize in the Social Sciences. Louis is the editor of Conditionally Accepted and president-elect of the Association of Black Anthropologists (2019-2021). 

Peter Kalliney studies the literary and cultural history of decolonization, with special emphasis on literature in English from Africa and the Caribbean.  He has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment of the Humanities for his current research on decolonization and the Cold War.  His essay on CIA sponsorship of literature in Africa, “Makerere Generation,” recently appeared in Times Literary Supplement.

Joyce Green MacDonald publishes on race in Renaissance drama and performance. Her book, Shakespearean Adaptation, Race, and Memory in the New World, is in press with Palgrave Macmillan. Other publications include Women and Race in Early Modern Texts, “Reading Race in Women Writers Online: Thirty Years On,”  and “Actresses of Color and Shakespearean Performance.”

Christopher Marshburn,Assistant Professor of Psychology, examines how people respond when they confront or expect to confront race in various situations. Specifically, I investigate how Black Americans use social support to cope with racism and racial trauma and how White Americans think about, react to, and perpetuate racism.

Nicole Martin, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies (Adjunct Series) and a faculty affiliate for the African American and Africana Studies program, is Director of Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Education. Her scholarship in performance studies, critical race studies, black feminisms, critical pedagogy and critical ethnography informs her work in institutional equity and her belief that systemic inequities must be addressed in community with others and with careful consideration for the materiality of lived experience.

Carol Mason, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, examines the deployment of racialized arguments in right-wing campaigns that have bolstered the conservative resurgence in the US and abroad. Supported by fellowships and grants from the Bunting Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation for the Humanities, and National Endowment for the Humanities, Mason’s scholarship has illuminated race-based rhetoric in antiabortion crusades, curriculum disputes, antigay policies, and organized white supremacism.

Priscilla McCutcheon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography. She specializes in Black Geographies and sustainable agriculture, focusing on the relationships between food, faith, and racial justice. Her work also examines the everyday spaces and potential of inter-racial conflict and healing.

Kevin McGowan, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, has worked on speech perception with Chinese-accented speech, including “Sounding Chinese and Listening Chinese: Awareness and Knowledge in the Laboratory.”

Edward Morris, Professor of Sociology, studies racial inequality in education and the criminal justice system. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on racial disparities in school discipline. He has offered expert testimony in legal efforts to reform racially discriminatory school policies, and his research has been featured in news outlets such as NPR, CNN, and The Atlantic.

Jackie Murray, Associate Professor of Classics, is an associate professor of Classical Greek and Latin in MCLLC. Her areas of research include race and racism in antiquity, blackness in the ancient world, Classical Studies and White Supremacy, and Black Classicism.

Francis Musoni, Associate Professor of History, focuses his research on migrations and cross-border mobilities, borderland communities, refugees, ethnic identities and informal economies in Africa. He is the author of Border Jumping and the Control of Migration in Southern Africa. Based on extensive fieldwork in the Zimbabwe-South Africa border zone, the book examines how border jumping came to be a salient feature of the Zimbabwe-South Africa border's cultural milieu. He is also co-author (with Iddah Otieno, Angene Wilson, and Jack Wilson) of Voices of African Immigrants in Kentucky: Migration, Identity, and Transnationality. He is currently working on the biography of Ndabaningi Sithole, one of the founding leaders of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), a nationalist movement that spearheaded the 1970s armed struggle for independence in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).

Alan Nadel, William T. Bryan Chair in American Literature and Culture, has worked extensively for many decades on post-WWII literature and culture, with extensive attention to African American writers and to the representation of African Americans and other racial minorities across the full spectrum of media, including, fiction, drama, film, and television. His essay on Alice Walker won the prize for the best essay in Modern Fiction Studies, and about his ground-breaking book, Invisible Criticism: Ralph Ellison and the American Canon, Henry Louis Gates wrote, “I can safely say that no one has taught me more about Invisible Man than Nadel.” August Wilson quoted an excerpt from the Introduction of Professor Nadel first book on Wilson’s drama in the playbill of the Goodman Theater premiere of Seven Guitars, and Ralph Ellison’s ten-page letter to him has been included in the recently published volume of Ellison’s selected letters.

Mark Peffley is a University Research Professor in Political Science who studies the separate realities of Blacks and Whites in their treatment by, and views of the U.S. criminal justice system, documented in his award-winning book with Jon Hurwitz, Justice in America (2010) and various journal articles. Peffley’s research documents how whites’ racial attitudes influence their support for ostensibly non-racial policies, such as punitive criminal justice policies and their opposition to policies to address poverty in America. His work is profiled in The Sentencing Project, an influential non-profit, and is widely cited by social scientists.   

Lydia Pelot-Hobbs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and the African American and Africana Studies Program whose research on social movements and the carceral state in New Orleans demonstrates the need to engage with racial capitalism and broader questions of justice and prison abolition.

Christopher Pool, University Research Professor in Anthropology, conducts research on the foundations and subsequent development of indigenous civilizations in Mexico and Central America; the responses of indigenous populations to colonial institutions of forced labor and resettlement; and the inscription of social memories in the physical and political landscapes of the past and present. Through his service on professional boards and committees, and as co-editor of Latin American Antiquity and Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, he has worked to expand the representation of diverse communities in academic leadership and publication.

Jeremy Popkin, William T. Bryan Professor in History, is a leading scholar of the Haitian Revolution, the only successful uprising against slavery in modern history. His Concise History of the Haitian Revolution and his monograph, You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery, are used in many college courses around the country. Popkin has also taught courses on the Holocaust and on modern Jewish history for many years.

Lance Poston, Executive Director of Inclusive Health and Campus Partnerships and Assistant Professor (Adjunct) of Gender and Women’s Studies, is a modern US social historian with research interests at the intersections of race, sexuality, and sexual practices. His dissertation, Deconstructing Sodom and Gomorrah: A Historical Analysis of the Mythology of Black Homophobia, utilizes archival material and oral histories to challenge the myth that Black Americans one of the most anti-LGBT communities in the United States and construct a new narrative of Black support for LGBT people.

Dierdra Reber: 19th-21st century Latin American Latinx and US culture, Latin American Post/coloniality, Biopolitics and Power.

Claire Renzetti, is the Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair for Studies of Violence Against Women and Professor and Chair of Sociology.  Her research focuses on the violent victimization experiences of socially and economically marginalized women, including low-income and impoverished women, among whom women of color are disproportionately represented. She examines how various inequalities, including those based not only on race and ethnicity and social class, but also sexual and gender identity, age, and religion, intersect to either protect women from or increase their risk of violent victimization and also impact the short- and long-terms consequences of these victimization experiences for their physical and psychological health, and their social and economic well-being.

Hugo Reyes-Centeno, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology, conducts research on the evolution of modern human diversity. His work examines the mechanisms that have shaped biological and cultural variation within and between human populations over the last million years, including genetic and skeletal trait differences that are often used to determine “race” and ancestry. Dr. Reyes-Centeno’s courses in bioarchaeology and human evolution contextualize the use of methods that quantify biological variation for applications like forensic identification and medical intervention while discussing their limitations and misuse. 

Ellen D.B. Riggle, Professor and Chair of Gender and Women’s Studies and Professor of Political Science, studies LGBTQ and gender diverse individuals’ wellness and health disparities, including an intersectional focus on race and racialization with sexual identity and gender diversity in the United States and in international contexts.  Their work is cited in popular press and legal court briefs, and their book, A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being, received the American Psychological Association Division 44 Book Award in 2012.

Richard Schein is a Professor of Geography and Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences. As a cultural and urban geographer, his work has demonstrated the importance of studying landscapes as archives of race, racialization, and racism in the United States. Among others, he has examined the racialized landscapes of the city of Lexington, KY.

Gerald L. Smith, Professor in History, is the author, editor, or co-editor of several books and numerous articles on African American history in the 20th century. His books include A Black Educator in the Segregated South: Kentucky’s Rufus B. Atwood, Lexington, Kentucky, The Papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume VI: Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948-March 1963, and The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia.

Gregory Smith, Professor and Chair, Psychology has focused on substance use and disordered eating risk across racial groups. My students and I address issues such as different risk processes for Black and White youth and the phenomenon that Black Americans drink less than White Americans, yet experience more negative consequences from their drinking.

Melissa N. Stein, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies, is an expert in the history of anti-black racism in the United States. Her first book, Measuring Manhood: Race and the Science of Masculinity, 1830-1934, analyzes the role of scientific racism in national debates over slavery, citizenship, immigration, and racial violence. She has also published on critical whiteness studies, and the racialization of disease and health disparities during Jim Crow. She is currently working on a book manuscript about the 1985 police bombing of the Afrocentric group MOVE in Philadelphia that killed six adults and five children and destroyed over 60 homes in a predominantly black neighborhood--a project with deep resonance for the contemporary Movement for Black Lives (M4BL).

Akiko Takenaka, Associate Professor, History, teaches and writes about Asian and Asian-American experiences in the U.S. and racism within Asia. As the chair of the Northeast Asia Council at the Association for Asian Studies, she is currently working on various initiatives to highlight issues associated with Black and Latinx experiences in Asia and within Asian Studies. 

Amy Murrell Taylor, T. Marshall Hahn, Jr. Professor, History, is a historian of the American South whose research focuses on the era of the Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. She is the author of Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps (UNC, 2018), winner of multiple awards including the Frederick Douglass Book Prize. She is also the author of The Divided Family in Civil War America (UNC, 2005), and co-editor, with Michael Perman, of Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction (Cengage, 2010).

Anastasia Todd, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, is an expert on the co-constitution of racism and ableism in the United States. Her current book project, tentatively titled Affective Citizen: Disabled Girlhood and U.S. Disability Exceptionalism, focuses on the intersection of disability, girlhood, and race as a way to understand the process by which certain disabled girls become recognized as integral to the contemporary project of US nationalism.

Kent Ratajeski, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; while teaching a visually-disabled student in his physical geology course in 2017, he developed an interest in the design of tactile graphics as a means of reducing barriers to understanding and participation by low-vision students in the geosciences. This experience resulted in a "Breaking Barrier Award" from the UK Disability Resource Center in 2018, as well as a 2019 grant from the American Geophysical Union to develop an online digital resource collection of tactile graphics for introductory geoscience education.  This resource will be housed at the website of the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (theiagd.org), and is under development and nearing rollout at the upcoming Geological Society of America meeting in October, 2020.  

Ana Rueda, John E. Keller Endowed Professor in Hispanic Studies and Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, studies Hispano-Moroccan relations in colonial and postcolonial times. She has completed extensive work on the War of Africa (1859-1860) and the Rif Wars (1909-1927), focusing on enmity and otherness, race, religion, and gender. Her recent pieces examine minority communities, renegades, and prisoners of war in Morocco. She published El retorno/el reencuentro on immigration in Hispano-Moroccan literature and currently works on Moroccan writers who publish in Spanish.

Karrieann Soto Vega, Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies, studies decolonial feminism and Puerto Rican nationalist rhetorics across diasporas, focusing on women’s interventions on sovereignty efforts. Her attention to anticolonial action transcends geopolitics, noting how intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality manifest in everyday life, including academia.

Monica Udvardy, Associate Professor, Anthropology.  As a cultural anthropologist specializing in Africa, she conducts research in East Africa, especially Kenya.  She specializes in two areas:  (1) Gender, including its intersection with aging, kinship and descent ideology, and women’s organizations; and (2) the illegal global traffic in Africa art and artifacts.  The latter includes the recent global rise in cultural identity politics, cultural property repatriation issues, and the ethics of owning cultural property, both tangible and intangible.  She teaches many different courses, and ANT 160 Cultural Diversity in the Modern World, ANT 220 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and her two gender-focused courses, ANT 401 and ANT 737, focus especially on issues of race, what is race versus ethnicity, ethnocentrism and racism.

Frank X Walker is Professor and Director of the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English, and was formerly the Poet Laureate of Kentucky, 2013-15. Born in Danville, Kentucky, Walker coined the term “Affrilachia” which “spoke to the union of Appalachian identity and the region's African-American culture and history." Frank is the author of many volumes of poetry including Affrilachia (2000), Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York (winner of the 2004 Lillian Smith Book Award), Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride (2010), Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers (2013), About Flight (2015). He is editor and publisher of PLUCK!, the new Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture. Web: https://www.frankxwalker.com/

Derrick E. White, Professor of History and African American and Africana Studies, specializes in sports history, civil rights, and Black Power. He is the author of The Challenge of Blackness: The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s (UPF 2011), which examines how scholar-activists continued the Black Freedom Movement through the creation of Black Studies and Black electoral politics. His most recent book, Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Jake Gaither, Florida A&M, and the History of Black College Football (UNC 2019), looks at how Black colleges developed athletic programs amid segregation and the effect of integration on HBCU football programs. He is also the co-host of “The Black Athlete Podcast” with Professor Louis Moore of Grand Valley State University. They explore the intersection of race, sports, and history based on contemporary issues.

Lauren Whitehurst,Assistant Professor, Psychology, explores the consequences of sleep perturbations, due to environmental stressors, on cognitive processing. I am especially interested in how the lack of access to restorative sleep plays a role in creating or exacerbating disparities in cognitive health for communities historically underserved by science and medicine in the US (i.e. Black, Indigenous People of Color, economically disadvantaged).

Crystal Wilkinson, Associate Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program, is a USA Artist Fellow, and award-winning author of The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for the John Dos Passos Award, the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from the Yaddo Foundation, Hedgebrook, The Vermont Studio Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and others. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in The Kenyon Review, STORY, Agni Literary Journal, Emergence, Oxford American and Southern Cultures.  

Elizabeth W. Williams, Assistant Professor of Gender & Women's Studies, is a scholar on the history of race, gender, and sexuality; imperialism; Post/De-colonial studies; and Queer Theory. She is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Primitive Normativity: Constructing Race and Sexuality in Colonial Kenya.

George Wright, Visiting Professor, History, is the author of A History of Blacks In Kentucky:  In Pursuit of Equality, 1890-1980, Volume II; Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule, and "Legal Lynchings"; Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930, and numerous articles.

Shui-yin Sharon Yam, Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies, does research and teaches at the intersections across race, gender, citizenship, and reproductive justice. She is the author of Inconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of Citizenship (shortlisted for the 2019 Rhetoric of Society of America Book Award). The book interrogates how citizenship policies intersect with racism and nationalism to exclude racialized communities in Hong Kong. 

Nazera Sadiq Wright, is Associate Professor of English and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky, specializing in African American Literature from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Research areas include black girlhood studies, archival research methods, early African American print, material and visual cultures, early African American children’s literature, black digital humanities and gender, women and sexuality studies. She is the author of Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century (University of Illinois Press, 2016), which won the 2018 Children’s Literature Association’s Honor Book Award for Outstanding Book of Literary Criticism. Her Digital Humanities project, DIGITAL GI(RL)S: Mapping Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century documents the cultural activities of black girls living in Philadelphia in the nineteenth century. Fellowships through the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded research for her second book, Early African American Women Writers and Their Libraries. In 2019, she was elected to become a Member of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA.

Charlie Yi Zhang, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, specializes in neoliberal globalization and its cultural and material articulations through gender, sexuality, race, and class in the Asia-Pacific region. His book, Dreadful Desires: The Uses of Love in Neoliberal China, is forthcoming with Duke University Press.

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