African and African American Studies Affiliated Faculty Program

The Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS) and the Office of the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences are pleased to announce a new joint program of Affiliated Faculty in AAAS.

Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of the department, this initiative seeks to expand the research and other networks that support it across Arts and Sciences, enabling the department better to achieve its mission to “prepare [students] to become global citizen[s], scholar[s], and social activist[s] who [are] sensitive to the demands of an increasingly diverse America and world.” Furthermore, it’s a step toward fulfilling a goal in the recently published Anti-Racism Action Plan by the University, which is to increase support for the Department of African and African American Studies and to elevate the department’s visibility.

On behalf of the Department, we extend our sincerest congratulations to all the newly appointed Affiliated Faculty Member in AAAS. 

  • Brandy Monk-Payton is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies and affiliated faculty in African & African American Studies at Fordham University. Her academic interests include the theories and histories of African American media representation and cultural production. She is currently writing her first book, Blackness in the Limelight, which focuses on the aesthetics and cultural politics of contemporary Black celebrities. She is also working on a long-term research project on television and Black Lives Matter. Her work has been published in edited collections such as Unwatchable and From Madea to Media Mogul: Theorizing Tyler Perry as well as the journals Film Quarterly, Women's Studies in Communication, Feminist Media Histories, and Communication, Culture and Critique

  • Caitlin Meehye Beach is an assistant professor in the department of Art History and Music. Her teaching and research focus on transatlantic art histories of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with special attention to histories of colonialism, enslavement, and racial capitalism; African and Asian diasporas; labor and industry; and sculpture.Her first book, Sculpture at the Ends of Slavery, is in contract with the University of California Press and will be published in 2022 as a recipient of the Phillips / UMD Book Prize.This research has been supported by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, and the Royal Academy of Arts. She has also written for publications including British Art Studies, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, and the volume Republics and Empires: Italian and American Art in Transnational Perspective, 1840-1970 (Manchester UP, 2021). Before coming to Fordham, Beach taught in the Core Curriculum at Columbia University. She holds an A.B. from Bowdoin College and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

  • Christina M. Greer, PhD is an Associate Professor of Political Science and American Studies at Fordham University (Lincoln Center Campus). She was the 2018 Fellow for the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University Silver School of Social Work. Her primary research and teaching interests are racial and ethnic politics, American urban centers, presidential politics, and campaigns and elections. Her additional research interests also include transportation, mayors and public policy in urban centers. Her previous work has compared criminal activity and political responses in Boston and Baltimore as well as Baltimore and St. Louis. Prof. Greer's book Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream (Oxford University Press, 2013 ) investigates the increasingly ethnically diverse black populations in the US from Africa and the Caribbean and was the recipient of the WEB du Bois Best Book Award in 2014 given by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Professor Greer is currently working on a manuscript detailing the political contributions of Barbara Jordan, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Stacey Abrams. She recently co-edited Black Politics in Transition, which explores gentrification, suburbanization, and immigration of Blacks in America.

  • Dr. Clara E. Rodríguez is a Professor of Sociology at Fordham University's College at Lincoln Center. She is the author of numerous books including: Heroes, Lovers and Others (Washington, D. C.: Oxford University Press, 2008; Smithsonian Institution Press, 2004); Changing Race: Latinos, The Census and the History of Ethnicity in the United States (New York: New York University Press, 2000); Hispanics in the Labor Force: Issues and Policies, with Meléndez, E. and Barry Figueroa, J., eds. (New York: Plenum Press, 1991); Puerto Ricans: Born in the USA (Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, 1991); and Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in U.S. Media (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997). She is the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, including the American Sociological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in the Field of Latina/o Studies, her university’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Social Sciences, and she was designated “Distinguished Lecturer” by the Organization of American Historians.

  • Isaie Dougnon’s research examines migration, work, and lifecycle in West Africa. Before coming to Fordham, Isaie was a professor of Anthropology at the University of Bamako in Mali where he taught courses on the anthropology of development, migration, and local knowledge. After publishing his first book, Travail de Blanc, Travail de Noir (Karthala 2007), Dr. Dougnon published several articles contributing to current debates on child labor. His work uses historical and anthropological approaches to offer a local perspective on labor and migration in colonial and post-colonial Africa. From 2008-2012, he directed the UNESCO-University of Bamako research program Water and Migration. He is currently finishing a book manuscript, Crises of Passage, which examines how Malian civil servants engage in secret societies and ritual practices to overcome career impasses and moral crises. Dr. Dougnon has contributed to the debate on the Malian political and humanitarian crisis of 2012 by publishing essays in local and international newspapers and journals. His most recent research examines the crisis of academic freedom and higher education in Mali after the end of dictatorship. Hehas held several fellowships, including at the Humboldt Foundation, Re:Work (Humboldt University, Berlin), and the Fulbright Foundation. His work has appeared in many journals and edited collections, including Humanity, African Economic History, African Identities, and Hommes & Migrations.

  • Jordan Alexander Stein is a book historian whose research focuses on methods for literary history––with particular interest in the ways that social identities (including religion, race, and sexuality) inflect material practices (like reading, editing, or printing).  With Lara Langer Cohen he co-edited Early African American Print Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), and in the same year co-directed the American Antiquarian Society's summer seminar in the history of the book, on "African American Cultures of Print."  A scholarly monograph on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century reading in the Protestant Atlantic, When Novels Were Books, was published in 2020 with Harvard University Press.  Stein also writes critical non-fiction for venues such as Avidly, The Awl, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, Salon, and Slate.  A book-length extension of this work, on reading literary theory in the 1990s, was published on the "Avidly Reads" series from NYU Press in 2019.  A related monograph, Fantasies of Nina Simone, will be published in 2023.  He’s currently thinking a lot about textual transmission and doing some research on print practices in early Haiti.

  • Julie Chun Kim is an Associate Professor of English. She has published articles on eighteenth-century Afro-Caribbean medicine, indigenous land rights, natural history, and early Caribbean plantation economies. She is currently writing a book manuscript about the Afro-Caribbean artist John Tyley and his work as a botanical illustrator in the early Atlantic world. Her research and teaching interests include early Caribbean literature and culture, the early Americas, the eighteenth century, empire and colonialism, slavery, the history of science, food, and the environment.

  • Julie Kleinman is an urban anthropologist specializing in migration and social activism in Mali, Senegal, and France. Her 2019 monograph, Adventure Capital: Migration and the Making of an African Hub in Paris (University of California Press) received the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies honorable mention. This book examines how West African migrants retool French urban infrastructures to create alternative pathways toward social and economic integration where state institutions have failed. Since 2013, she has been conducting fieldwork in Mali and Senegal for a second book project on everyday pan-Africanism as seen through African migrants’ experience in Mali, deportee rights activism, and returning migrants’ novel approaches to political participation and development projects. Dr. Kleinman’s work has been funded by the SSRC and the Mellon Foundation and has received prizes from the Society for the Anthropology of Europe and the Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology. In the Spring of 2018, she held the McMillan-Stewart Fellowship at the Hutchins Center’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute of Harvard University. 

  • Michele Prettyman is a scholar of African American cinema, visual and popular culture, and a media consultant. Her recent publications include “The Persistence of Wild Style: Hip Hop and Music Video Culture at the Intersection of Performance and Provocation” in the In Focus Series on Black Liquidity issue in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies. She also contributed an essay to a recent anthology called, The Lemonade Reader entitled, “To Feel Like A “Natural Woman”: Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé and the Ecological Spirituality of Lemonade.” In 2019 she co-edited and contributed to a “Close Up” series in Black Camera journal focusing on the “New York Scene of black independent filmmaking in New York. She also published in the online journal World Records in its recent issue “Documenting Blackness at the National Museum of African American History and Culture” in 2020.

  • Dr. Mónica Rivera Mindt, a board-certified neuropsychologist, is Past-President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society and a tenured Professor of Psychology, Latinx Studies, and African & African American Studies at Fordham University with a joint appointment in Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her multidisciplinary, community-based research is funded by the NIH/National Institute of Aging (NIA) and Genentech. Her work primarily focuses on the intersection between cultural neuroscience and health disparities in cognitive aging. Her current studies are examining genetic, cerebrovascular, and sociocultural risk factors for cognitive impairment and dementia in Latinx, Black, and Indigenous adults, as well as ways to increase diverse representation in cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. In addition, she is Co-Lead of the NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative’s (ADNI) Diversity Task Force. She has authored ~100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters dedicated to three lines of inquiry, including: 1) the effects of biopsychosociocultural factors on cognitive aging;  2)  how  sociocultural  factors impact the expression of neurologic disease, cognition, and health behaviors; and 3) the identification of resilience and modifiable factors to promote brain health in vulnerable and underserved populations.

  • Nana Osei-Opare is an Assistant Professor of African and Cold War history in the History Department at Fordham University. He is working on a manuscript tentatively titled, Socialist Decolony: Ghana’s Cold War, 1957-1966Socialist Decolony gives the first-ever comprehensive treatment of Ghana-Soviet relations and how those connections shaped Ghana’s political-economy, Pan-African program, and its modalities of citizenship during the Kwame Nkrumah era. He is also interested in questions of historical methodology and sources, the global Cold War, and Black political thought. Osei-Opare’s work has been supported in part by the Office of the President of the University of California, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, UCLA International Institute, Fordham, and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Library and Archives. His research has also appeared in the Journal of African History, Journal of West African History, The Washington Post, Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, and Foreign Policy Magazine, amongst other places.

  • Sasha Ann Panaram is an Assistant Professor of English and an Affiliated Faculty Member in African & African American Studies at Fordham University. She received her doctoral degree in English from Duke University in 2020, where she also completed certificates in African & African American Studies, Feminist Studies, and College Teaching. Her research focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century African American and Caribbean literature and culture, with a particular interest in women’s and gender studies and slavery studies. Panaram is currently working on a book that examines rewritings of the Middle Passage in fictive works by African American and Caribbean writers with an eye towards Black movements that outlive the transatlantic slave trade. Her academic writing has been published in The Black Scholar. Other public writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of BooksThe Brooklyn RailHyperallergic, and Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society. From 2018 to 2020, she served as co-host of the weekly webcast Left of Black, a series featuring interviews with Black Studies scholar-activists who work on art, literature, history, and politics.

  • Shellae Versey is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Fordham University. Her research focuses on aging in place, neighborhoods, and housing. Shellae's work engages themes of research and advocacy, exploring how older adults aging in place experience neighborhood change. One of her current projects include the Fighting Displacement Study, a nationwide study examining drivers of displacement (e.g., eviction) among precariously housed women. Shellae graduated from the University of Michigan with a PhD in Psychology, and MS in Epidemiology.  Her teaching now focuses on social psychology, issues of intersectionality, housing and environmental justice.

  • Subha Mani is an Associate Professor of Economics and a Research Associate at the Center for International Policy Studies at Fordham University. Subha also holds a Research Affiliate position at the Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania and Research Fellow positions at the Institute for Labor Economics (IZA) and Global Labor Organization (GLO). She has her BA (honors) degree in economics from Delhi University, Masters degrees in economics from Mumbai University, and a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Southern California. Her areas of specialization are development economics, labor economics, health, education, program evaluation, field experiments, applied econometrics, and applied microeconomics. Subha’s main area of interest is in understanding the causes and pathways through which human capital (health, education, vocational training, language training) can be accumulated for young children and adults and has examined these issues specifically using large scale panel data sets from Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, Peru, and Vietnam. Subha has worked on numerous experimental and non-experimental evaluation studies. She has additionally undertaken extensive primary data collection, fieldwork, and management in India, Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan. Her scholarly work has received external funding from the International Growth Center – India Central, 3ie (International Initiatives for Impact Evaluation), and Grand Challenges Canada.

  • Tom De Luca is a life-long New Yorker, and Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, where he created and is Director of its International Studies Program.  He specializes in the study of democracy and politics in the U.S. and abroad, with additional interest in China. Before coming to Fordham, he was an activist and directed public interest advocacy organizations working on issues of peace and social justice. De Luca is the author or co-author of four books, including: Liars! Cheaters! Evildoers! Demonization and the End of Civil Debate in American Politics.  He comments on politics for major national, international, and local TV, radio, and print and has written op-eds for The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Baltimore Sun, and other outlets. He was the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Fulbright Chair in American Social Studies, at the University of Amsterdam, and Honorary Professor of Political Science at Sun Yat-sen University, and China University of Political Science and Law, P.R.C.

  • Vivian Lu is a cultural anthropologist broadly interested in the politics of profit and identity in contemporary capitalism.  My first book project focuses on the extensive migratory circulations of Nigerian businessmen amongst contemporary commercial sites across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Drawing from academic genealogies in the anthropology of capitalism, critical race studies, and postcolonial African studies, my work examines how transnational south-south diasporic formations have transformed Nigerian social imaginaries and discourses of postcolonial political and economic sovereignty. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Fordham and a faculty affiliate of the Department of African and African American Studies. Before coming to Fordham, she was previously a race and ethnicity studies graduate fellow at Stanford University, a visiting PhD student at the University of Lagos (Nigeria), and an African Studies postdoctoral associate at Yale University. She is involved in the Association for Feminist Anthropology and the Lagos Studies Association, and is broadly interested in the politics of knowledge production in African Studies, Africa-China Studies, and cultural anthropology.

  • Wes Alcenat is an historian of the nineteenth century U.S and Caribbean. He serves as Assistant Professor of History, and is Affiliated Faculty in African & African-American Studies, American & Urban Studies programs at Fordham University in the Bronx, NY. His scholarship covers the shared histories of African-Americans and Afro-Caribbean peoples in connection with the wider African Diaspora in the Atlantic World. His manuscript in revision, “Children of Africa, Shall Be Haytians:” Prince Saunders and the Foundations of Black Emigration to Haiti, 1815-1865 is a study of the radicalism and ideologies of African-American settlers who emigrated to Haiti in the nineteenth century. Wes’s academic interests have intersected with public history and equity in higher education to highlight histories of marginalized groups inside the university and provide critical policy recommendations. Since 2015, he has served as an Academic Director in the Great Books Summer Reading Program at Amherst College. Wes has taught undergraduate courses and seminars in various topics, including: Black Urban Political History, Merchants and Slaves in Atlantic Capitalism, the Radical Tradition in U.S History, and the “Modern Caribbean: From Columbus to Castro/From Slave Ships to Cruise Ships.”

  • Yuko Miki is Associate Professor of History and Latin American and Latinx Studies at Fordham University, specializing in slavery in Brazil and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World. She is the author of Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil [] (Cambridge, 2018), in which she demonstrates how the intersecting histories of the African diaspora and the indigenous Americas were foundational to the formation of race, citizenship, and nation in nineteenth-century Brazil. Frontiers of Citizenship won numerous awards including the 2019 Wesley-Logan Prize for African Diaspora History from the American Historical Association and the Warren Dean Memorial Prize for Brazilian History from the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH). She is currently writing her new book, Emancipation's Shadow: Stories of Illegal Slavery, for which she has received fellowships from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. She has authored various works in English in Portuguese and is also working on a project on a Kongo-based society in mid-nineteenth-century Brazil, in which she interrogates the possibilities and limitations of documentary archives in writing about African people's lives under slavery. In 2021 Fordham recognized Miki's scholarship with a Distinguished Research Award in the Humanities. She serves on the Editorial Board of The Americas and is Chair-Elect of CLAH's Brazil section.