Faculty

The Department of African American Studies faculty membership consists of three categories—primary, joint, and affiliate—and these classifications provide a framework for articulating the faculty members’ relationships, rights, and responsibilities to our intellectual community.  Collectively, the faculty provide a vibrant intellectual community through which we are able to deliver the curriculum and meet the department’s mission and learning objectives. 

Primary faculty are members whose full tenure-lines reside within the Department of African American Studies, and whose primary teaching responsibilities are to the department.  Primary faculty members have the opportunity to have a joint or affiliate faculty status with other units (departments, programs, schools) that align well with the mission and intellectual interests of those units.

Joint faculty are members of other units (departments, programs, schools) who also hold an appointment (either courtesy or shared) in the Department of African American Studies.  Both shared and courtesy joint faculty typically teach courses within the department, and typically enjoy the governance privileges and responsibilities accorded to faculty whose primary appointment resides within the Department. 

Affiliate faculty are members of other units (departments, programs, schools) whose research and/or teaching interests align well with the mission of the Department of African American Studies.  Both tenure-line and non-tenure line faculty constitute our affiliate and are important members of our intellectual community, and their courses often are cross-listed to help the department deliver its curriculum.


Primary faculty

chair

Patterson Robert J. Patterson, Ph.D. 
Chair, Department of African American Studies
Associate Professor of African American Studies
Affiliate Member, Department of English

Dr. Patterson, Chair of the Department of African American Studies, is an associate professor of African American Studies, and an affiliate member of the Department of English at Georgetown University. In his first book, Exodus Politics: Civil Rights and Leadership in African American Literature and Culture (UVA Press, 2013), he examines late twentieth century African American literary texts to demonstrate how this cultural production enhances our understanding of civil rights, black leadership, and black political discourses.  He is also the co-editor of The Psychic Hold of Slavery: Legacies in American Expressive Culture (Rutgers 2016), which is an interdisciplinary collection of scholarly essays that examines slavery's continued significance. In addition to these two projects, Dr. Patterson has published articles on W.E.B. Dubois, Toni Morrison, African American Women’s Writing in the 19th and 20th Centuries, civil rights,  Tyler Perry’s films, slavery’s legacies, and the film 12 Years a Slave. Some of his work appears in South Atlantic Quarterly, Black Camera: an International Film Journal, Religion and Literature, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, The Cambridge Companion to African American Women's Writing, and The Cambridge Companion to Civil Rights Literature. He co-guest edited a special edition of South Atlantic Quarterly, Black Literature, Black Leadership: New Boundaries, New Borders (112.2). Currently, he is the volume editor of Reimagining African Literature in Transition, 1970-1980 (Cambridge University Press), which is one of the twenty volume series that Cambridge University Press has commissioned for new scholarship in African American literature, culture, and politics.  Extending his scholarly interests in the post–civil rights era, black popular culture, black music, and the politics of race and gender, Dr. Patterson is working on his second monograph, It’s Just Another Sad Love Song: Rhythm and Blues Music and the Politics of Race, which is a scholarly examination of the intersections of rhythm and blues music, artists, culture, politics, film, literature, and sociological discourses from the 1980s to the present.

Contact Dr. Patterson


JOINT FACULTY
 

Soyica Diggs Colbert, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and Theater & Performance Studies

Dr. Soyica Colbert is an Associate Professor of Theater and Performance Studies and has a shared joint appointment in African American Studies at Georgetown University. She is the author of The African American Theatrical Body: Reception, Performance and the Stage(Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Black Movements: Performance and Cultural Politics (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming 2017) and editor of The Black Performance special issue of African American Review (2012) and The Psychic Hold of Slavery (Rutgers University Press, 2016). Colbert is currently working on two book projects, Lorraine Hansberry: Artist/Activist and Performing Seeing: Blackness in Visual Culture and Performance Theory. She has published articles and reviews on Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Alice Childress, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Lynn Nottage, Katori Hall, Ntozake Shange, Suzan-Lori Parks, Spike Lee, Kanye West, and Beyoncé Knowles in African American Review, Theater Journal, Boundary 2South Atlantic QuarterlyScholar and Feminist Online, and Theater Topics and in the collections Black Performance TheoryContemporary African American Women Playwrights, and August Wilson: Completing the Cycle. Colbert is the recipient of the Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship, the Stanford Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mellon Summer Research Grant, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library Fellowship. Her research primarily focuses on 20th-21st century black drama, but her interests span the 19th-21st centuries, from Harriet Tubman to Beyoncé, and from poetics to performance.

Contact Dr. Colbert  


Hinkson Leslie Hinkson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Sociology and African American Studies

Dr. Leslie R. Hinkson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and has a courtesy joint appointment in African American Studies at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on the areas of stratification and inequality, with an emphasis on the role and meaning of race across institutional contexts and its effect on educational, employment, and health outcomes. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Fellows at the University of Michigan. There, her interests focused on racial differences in treatment, prevalence, and control of disease. Her works in process include a project on Black-White differentials in the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of hypertension; the determinants of racial differences in the prevalence of premature birth and low birth weight; the link between prisoner health, prisoner re-entry, and community disease burden; and the role of medical education in influencing doctors’ beliefs about race and ethnicity in medical practice.

She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at Princeton University in 2007, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Society Fellow. Her doctoral dissertation compared middle school students in Department of Defense and civilian schools as a means of illustrating how specific institutional contexts work to either ameliorate or exacerbate racial disparities in educational outcomes.

Before completing her Ph.D., Dr. Hinkson received her M.S. in Urban Policy from the New School where she was a Graduate Fellow at the J.M. Kaplan Center for New York City Affairs. There, she conducted research on education policy, welfare reform and workforce development. She has also worked as a consultant for the United Way of New York City, preparing policy briefs and organizational reviews for non-profit organizations in fields including children and family services, workforce development, immigrant outreach programs, alternatives to incarceration programs, and community development.

As a means of enhancing her academic research, Dr. Hinkson also engages in amateur sleuthing and fiction writing. 

Contact Dr. Hinkson


Maurice Jackson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History

Dr. Maurice Jackson is an Associate Professor of History and African-American Studies and Affiliated Professor of Performing Arts (Jazz) at Georgetown University. He is also a Fellow at the GU Center for Social Justice. He teaches Atlantic, African-American, Washington, D.C., and Jazz history. His book, Let This Voice be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism, was published in 2009 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. He is co-editor, with Jackie Bacon, of African-Americans and the Haitian Revolution: Selected Essays and Historical Documents, (Routledge Press,  2010). His articles appear in a number of journals and collections, including "Disaporan Voices of the African Past: James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, Quobna Ottabah Cugoano, Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho as Sources of African History," which appears in The Changing Atlantic Africa: Essays in Honor of Robin Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2009) and “James and Esther Jackson: A Personal Introspective,” which appears in African-American Communists and the Origins of the Modern Civil Rights Movement (Routledge Press, 2009). Additionally, his "‘Friends of the Negro! Fly with me, The path is open to the sea:’ Remembering the Haitian Revolution in the History, Music and Culture of the African American People,” is in Early American Studies (April, 2008) and “The Rise of Abolition” in The Atlantic World: 1450-2000 (Indiana University Press, 2008). Dr. Jackson wrote the liner notes to the Grammy Nominated Jazz CD by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, "Steal Away: Spirituals, Folks Songs and Hymns" (Verve Records, 1995), in addition to writing the liner notes to their new work "Come Sunday, Hank Jones’ last recording" (Fall 2011). "CROWN ME," the story of an African-American men's Checkers Club in D.C., which is the subject of an in-progress special on Public Television, was published in 2010 with Dr. Jackson's introduction. He is currently at work on a social, political and cultural history of African-Americans in D.C. (1700’s until the present), where he has lived his entire adult life. He was inducted into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame in 2009 for his years of service to the people of the nation’s capital. Dr. Jackson has recently lectured in Turkey on Jazz, in Italy on the American Revolution, and in Qatar on African-American culture and history. A former shipyard rigger, longshoreman, house painter, and longtime organizer, Dr. Jackson was a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress and is a 2011-12 Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. 

Contact Dr. Jackson


Angelyn Mitchell, Ph.D.   
Associate Professor of English and African American Studies
Founding Director, African American Studies Program, 2003-2013 

Dr. Angelyn Mitchell is an associate professor in the Departments of English and African American Studies. Her teaching and research interests are in African American literary and cultural studies, African American Studies, race and representation, race and politics, African American music, African American history, slavery in the US, the American South, contemporary black women writers; gender and racial politics, Black Feminist Theory, Women's and Gender studies, and American Studies. She is a recipient of the Georgetown College Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015). 

Dr. Mitchell is an expert on the works and life of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. She has lectured nationally and internationally on Morrison's works and has conducted seminars for audiences ranging from high school teachers to international scholars. She is also a founding member and past officer of the Toni Morrison Society. 

Dr. Mitchell edited Within the Circle: An Anthology of African American Literary Criticism from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present (Duke UP, 1994), the first anthology to chronicle twentieth-century African American literary and cultural criticism. She is the author of The Freedom to Remember: Narrative, Slavery, & Gender in Contemporary Black Women's Fiction (Rutgers UP, 2002), a study of novels written by black women about slavery. She is also the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to African American Women's Writing (Cambridge UP, 2009), a collection chronicling the literary history of Black women writers. 

She is currently completing a book entitled, Toni Morrison, Whiteness, and the Politics of Race. Her next book projects include: "Three Transformative Years: A Racial Biography of 1963, 1965, and 1968 and Performing Activism: Lena, Eartha, and Nina. 

Dr. Mitchell founded Georgetown University's African American Studies Program in 2003 and served as its first director from 2003-2013. She currently directs the Minority Mentoring Program, a program for Georgetown undergraduate students of color who are interested in becoming professors. 

She has served as a consultant and advisor for diversity training, inclusive teaching, and curricular reforms.

Contact Dr. Mitchell  


Samantha Pinto, Ph.D.     
Associate Professor of English and African American Studies 

Dr. Samantha Pinto is Associate Professor of English and has a shared joint appointment in African American Studies at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses on African, African American, postcolonial, and feminist studies. She received her Ph.D. in English from UCLA.  Her book, Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic (NYU Press, 2013), was the winner of the 2013 MLA William Sanders Scarborough Prize for African American Literature and Culture.  Her work has been published in journals including Meridians, Small Axe, and Atlantic Studies, and she has received fellowships from the Harry Ransom Center and the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas in Austin.  She is currently at work on a second book project on the relationship between 18th and 19th century black celebrity and human rights, as well as another book-length project that explores the role of feminist ambivalence in modern political and cultural institutions. 

Contact Dr. Pinto


Affiliate Faculty