About Me


I am the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor and Department  Chair of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. My research interests are broad and interdisciplinary, focusing on: critical race, gender, and legal studies; theories of black feminisms and black masculinities; visual and popular culture; and the literature of the African Diaspora in the Americas.

Many of these research areas intersect in my book, Critical Appropriations: African American Women and the Construction of Transnational Identity (LSU Press, Southern Literary Studies Series, 2014), and my second book, When We Imagine Grace: Black Men and Subject Making (U of Chicago P, 2016). A third book, Mansion Day School: Reviving the Uplift Tradition, a grant funded project, is well under way, along with an edited volume, Are You Entertained?: Black Popular Culture in the 21st Century (under contract, Duke UP). 

I am the principal investigator for the OSU Discovery Theme pilot project Transnational Black Citizenship and a team member on a second Discovery Theme project, Human Rights in Transit. I also serve on the editorial board for The Ohio State University Press and Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men (Indiana UP). My administrative training includes the eighteen-month long President and Provost’s Leadership Institute at The Ohio State University, the HERS Institute-Bryn Mawr, and the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Women’s Regional Leadership Forum.


Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, English Literature

M.S.L (Master in the Study of Law), Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

Dual M.A., African American & African Studies and English Literature, The Ohio State University

B.A., Denison University, Classical Civilization and English Literature

Curriculum Vitae