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


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

Dr. Patterson, Chair of the Department of African American Studies, is an associate professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University. His first book, Exodus Politics: Civil Rights and Leadership in African American Literature and Culture (UVA Press, 2013),  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). Extending his scholarly interests in the post–civil rights era, black popular culture, black music, racial equality, and the politics of race and gender, Dr. Patterson is working on his second book, Destructive Desires: Rhythm and Blues Culture and the Politics of Racial Equality. His forthcoming article, "Marriage Panacea: Black Music Re(imagines) Sociological Explanations of Black Inequality," in the Journal of Popular Music Studies (December 2017) previews the arguments upon which Destructive Desires builds.

Contact Dr. Patterson


Marcus Board, Jr., Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of African American Studies

Dr. Board is an assistant professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the Department of Political Science, where he also earned an MA in 2011, and has a second MA in Social Sciences. Dr. Board earned his BA in Africana Studies and Political Science from the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2007.

His dissertation research is a reconsideration of the political engagement beyond a paradigm of observable action, instead looking towards decision-making within externally framed contexts. Specifically, Dr. Board's theoretical claims utilize qualitative and quantitative data analyses to examine interrelated responses to political and labor markets towards a better understanding of self-determination and its role in facilitating or inhibiting autonomy. His future research will emphasize the significance of maintaining a notion of justice that supercedes and in many ways negates notions of equality while also upholding egalitarianism. More specifically, Dr. Board is interested in the ways that government and social services can be disporportionately allocated for select groups on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality, and how these allocations require a reconsideration of capitalism and neoliberalism in order to be both legitimate and viable.

Contact Dr. Board


Rosemary Ndubuizu, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of African American Studies

Dr. Ndubuizu is an assistant professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University. An interdisciplinary scholar who studies how housing policies are shaped by race, gender, political economy, and ideology, her untitled manuscript-in-progress historically and ethnographically traces how low-income black women have been affected by post-1970s changes in public and affordable housing policies and advocacy. Her research project also examines the contemporary landscape of afforadable housing policy and politics to better understand why low-income black women remain vulnerable to eviction, displacement, and housing insecurity in cities like the District of Columbia. Additionally, her work presents the organizing challenges low-income black women tenant activists in D.C. face as they organize to combat the city's reduction and privitization of affordable housing.

Dr. Ndubuizu's teaching interests include social policy, post-civil rights black politics, the black radical tradition including black feminism, social movements, the political economy of non-profits, and women of color feminisms.

Originally from Inglewood, CA, Dr. Ndubuizu relocated to the Bay Area to complete her undergraduate studies at Stanford University. In 2006, she relocated to D.C. and eventually became a community organizer with Organizing Neighborhood Equity DC, a D.C.-based community organization that organizes long-time Washingtonians of color to campaign for more local and federal investments in affordable housing and living-wage jobs. She completed her graduate studies at Rutgers University in the Women's and Gender Studies Department.

Contact Dr. Ndubuizu


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

Dr. Soyica Colbert is the Chair of the Department of Performing Arts, Director of Theater and Performance Studies and an Associate Professor of African American Studies and Theater and Performance 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, 2017). Dr. Colbert edited the Black Performance special issue of African American Review (2012) and co-edited The Psychic Hold of Slavery (Rutgers University Press, 2016). She is currently working on two book projects, Lorraine Hansberry: Artist/Activist and I See You: Blackness in Visual Culture and Performance Theory. Dr. Colbert has published articles in American Theatre, African American Review, Theatre Survey, Modern Drama, Boundary 2, South Atlantic Quarterly, Scholar and Feminist Online, and Theatre Topics and in the collections: Black Performance Theory, Contemporary African American Women Playwrights, and August Wilson: Completing the Cycle. She is the recipient of the Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mellon Summer Research Grant, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library Fellowship. Her research 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

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