VISITING SCHOLARS 2017-2018

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Zinga A. Fraser, PhD is the Endowed Postdoctoral fellow in Women’s and Gender Studies at Brooklyn College. She has a doctorate in African American Studies from Northwestern University specializing in Race, Politics, and Culture.  Zinga received her Bachelor of Arts from Temple University in Political Science with a minor in African American Studies. In 2005, Zinga obtained a Master’s of Arts from the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, where she was a Paul Robeson Fellow.  Her work focuses on African American Politics,  Black Women’s History and Feminism. She has examined the life and work of Shirley Chisholm over eight years.  Her master’s thesis, “Unbought and Unbossed: A Radical Political Ideology” received the Zora Neale Hurston Award, Excellence in Writing Award for Social Sciences at Columbia University.  Her dissertation is a comparative study of Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm and Black women’s politics in the Post Civil Rights Era.

Zinga has also worked for the former Congressman Major R. Owens, the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights and served as the U.S. Policy Program Coordinator for the Women’s Environmental and Development Organization.

She was also awarded the 2009-2010 Vivian A. Ware Fellowship from the Delta Research and Educational Foundation. Dr. Zinga Fraser was recently awarded the 2014 Byran Jackson Dissertation Research on Minority Politics Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarship by a graduate student in the area of race and urban politics, from the American Political Science Association. Dr. Fraser will receive the award at the association's annual conference in Washington DC in August. Zinga A. Fraser currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
 


Joshua Guild Joshua Guild is an associate professor of history and African American studies at Princeton University specializing in twentieth-century African American social and cultural history, urban history, and the making of the modern African diaspora. His teaching includes courses on post-emancipation African American history, the civil rights movement, history and memory, and black popular music. His first book, In the Shadows of the Metropolis: Cultural Politics and Black Communities in Postwar New York and London, will be published by Oxford University Press. The book is a social and cultural history of African-American and Afro-Caribbean migration and community formation in central Brooklyn and west London from the 1930s through the 1970s. His next book project, provisionally entitled The City Lives in You: The Black Freedom Struggle and the Futures of New Orleans, will focus on struggles for racial and economic justice in New Orleans from the mid-20th century black freedom movement through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster.
 
Guild received his PhD from Yale University and his BA from Wesleyan where he was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (MMUF). His research has been supported by fellowships and awards from a number of institutions, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. In 2012, he was a fellow at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute of African and African American Research.


Dr. Obery Hendricks has been called one of the most provocative and innovative commentators on the intersection of religion, politics and social policy in America today. A widely sought lecturer and media spokesperson, Dr. Hendricks’ media appearances include C-SPAN, PBS, National Public Radio, al-Jazeera Television, NHK Japan Television, Air-America, Radio One, Fox News, the Bloomberg Network, among others. He is a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Democratic National Committee, a member of the National Religious Leaders Advisory Committee of the Barack Obama presidential campaign.
 
An Affiliated Scholar at the Center for American Progress (a Washington, DC think-tank) and a featured writer for Godspolitics.com and Faithfuldemocrats.com. He is also an editorial advisor to the award-winning Tikkun magazine, a contributing editor to The Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, and a principal commentator in the The Oxford Annotated Bible. “Essential reading for Americans” is what The Washington Post called Dr. Hendricks’ most recent book, The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted. Social critic Michael Eric Dyson describes it as “an instant classic” that “immediately thrusts Dr. Hendricks into the front ranks of American religious thinkers.” The Politics of Jesus was the featured subject of the C-SPAN program “Class, Politics and Christianity.” The Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation calls Hendricks’ postmodern “guerrilla” approach to biblical discourse “the boldest post-colonial writing ever seen in Western biblical studies.”
 
A former Wall Street investment executive and past president of Payne Theological Seminary, the oldest African American theological seminary in the United States, Dr. Hendricks is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary. He holds the Master of Divinity with academic honors from Princeton Theological Seminary, and both the M.A. and Ph.D. in Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University.
Marsha Jean-Charles is interested in transnational literary studies of black women's bildungsroman and immigration novels. She endeavors to research the cosmologies and revolutionary politics aroused from forced migration and statelessness. A Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, her undergraduate thesis, titled: Of Griottes & Pantomimes, is a work elucidating the place of Black Feminisms in the novels of Edwidge Danticat. In her Master's thesis, titled: Embodying Goddesses: Edwidge Danticat's Literary Revolution, she mixes historical narratives and two of Edwidge Danticat's short stories to include the voices of revolutionary women in Haiti's war for independence. 
 
An organizer at her core she wishes to fuse her academic work with her activist work and expand understandings of the uses of literary and performance art as tools for activism. 
 
B.A., Wesleyan University (2011), M.A., Columbia University (2014),
Ph.D., Cornell University (2019). 
Carmen P. Thompson, PhD is an adjunct instructor of Black Studies and African American History at Portland State University and at Portland Community College.  Since 2009, Dr. Thompson has taught a wide range of courses on the Black experience, including American slavery, Black feminism, and race and racism.  In 2004, Dr. Thompson obtained a Master’s of Arts from the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University.  Her master’s thesis, “The Black Beauty Shop: A Discourse on Ritual, Identity, and the Communicative Aspects of Black Hair,” received the Zora Neale Hurston Award for Excellence in Writing. 
 
Dr. Thompson received her PhD in U.S. History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Her dissertation, directed by Dr. David Roediger, is entitled “‘20. and odd Negroes’: Virginia and the International System of Slavery, 1619-1660.”  This study demonstrates, using a wide range of sources, including county court records (deeds, orders, and wills), estate inventories, statutes, and letters, that Virginia had integrated into the international system of slavery earlier than most historians have suggested, influencing not only its commitment to slavery but also its adoption of Whiteness.  
 
The research from Dr. Thompson’s dissertation provides the historical context for her current book project, tentatively entitled American Whiteness, which argues that the contemporary notion of Whiteness (supremacy and privilege) and its cousin, institutional racism, dates back to settlement in the early seventeenth century.  The book will explore the evolution of Whiteness through White rebellions, protests, and revolutions, including Bacon’s Rebellion, abolitionism, Vietnam War protests, and Trump supporters.  A selected list of Dr. Thompson’s publications is outlined below.  
 
Dr. Thompson’s other research interests include the history of slavery and the slave trade in the New World and Pre-colonial West Africa, early African American history, race and ethnicity in early America, and the Great Migration.    
 
 
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS:
  • Article: “Life in Africa.” in Thomson Gale’s Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, I, II (December 2007).
  • Article: “Capture,” in Thomson Gale’s Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, I, II (December 2007).
  • Article: “The Middle Passage” in Thomson Gale’s Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, I, II (December 2007).
  • Book Review of Jeff Forret’s, Race Relations at the Margins: Slaves and Poor Whites in the Antebellum Southern Countryside. Journal of African American History 92, no. 3 (Summer 2007): 433-35.
  • Article: “Introduction to Whiteness" and "Histories of Whiteness." In Toward a Bibliography of Whiteness, edited by Tim Engles. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006.
  • The Race Riot of 1930. Portland: McNeal Publishing Co., 2002.