Faculty Affiliates

Ishan Ashutosh

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography


Dr. Ashutosh is a critical human geographer whose work encompasses the study of migration, the politics of race and ethnicity from an international and comparative perspective, and urban studies. His research examines the multiple and contested representations of South Asia through projects situated in migration and area studies.

Carlos Avenancio-Leon

Assistant Professor, Kelley School of Business


Dr. Avenancio-León is an economist whose work lies at the intersection of finance, labor economics, and political economy. His research agenda focuses on Equitable Finance; i.e. the role of financial mechanisms in economic redistribution and its implications for disadvantaged communities and inequality. More specifically, some of his recent work in this area has documented the link between incarceration and access to credit, and between corporate debt and racial gaps in job security.

Clark Barwick

Senior Lecturer, Kelly School of Business


Dr. Barwick is a literary critic and cultural historian whose research focuses on African American literature and the racial politics of cultural memory. His current project examines the “making” of the Harlem Renaissance, particularly in regards to how certain African American lives, texts, and performances have been neglected in the period’s ongoing canon formation.

Jeannine Bell

Richard S. Melvin Professor, Maurer School of Law


Dr. Bell is a founding member of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law and is a nationally recognized scholar in the area of policing and hate crime. Her newest book, Hate Thy Neighbor: Move-in Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing (NYU Press) investigates anti-integration violence directed by white residents at minorities who move into their neighborhoods.

Cara Caddoo

Associate Professor, Department of History and The Media School


Dr. Caddoo's research examines popular culture, print and visual media, religion, and historical intersections of race, gender, and ethnicity. Her work focuses on 19th and 20th century social, political, and institutional formations organized around the idea of blackness, and how African Americans and Asian Americans contributed to these developments. Her book, Envisioning Freedom: Cinema and the Building of Modern Black Life (Harvard UP), is a history of early African American cinema.

Koji Chavez

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology


Dr. Chavez is a sociologist whose current research focuses on inequality-producing social processes within organizations. Specifically, he focuses on how gender, race, ethnicity, and "foreignness" influence job candidate evaluations and selection, and legitimation of hiring decisions. Dr. Chavez takes a "mixed methods" approach to his work to provide a comprehensive view of sociological phenomena. He also teaches courses on the sociology of work, and on race and ethnic intergroup relations.

Deborah Cohn

Professor, Departments of American Studies and Spanish and Portuguese


Dr. Cohn's research interests include comparative literatures of the Americas, the Mexican Intelligentsia, and the Global South. Her current project examines the promotion of Latin American literature in the U.S. during the 1960s and 1970s, studying how U.S. Cold War politics played a role in motivating support for this activity.

Christopher DeSante

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science


Dr. DeSante's research examines race and racism in America, American political partisanship, and political methodology. His past work explores attitudes toward racialized and redistributive policies such as welfare, testing whether ‘hard work' is rewarded in a color-blind manner, and his current book project examines racial attitudes in American politics.

Freda Fair

Assistant Professor, Department of Gender Studies


Dr. Freda Fair is an interdisciplinary scholar and teacher who studies race, gender, sexuality and culture in the United States with a focus on the American Midwest. Freda's research interests include queer politics and aesthetics, women of color feminist thought, labor, and social movement responses to policing, normativity, surveillance, and precarity.

Bernard Fraga

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science


Dr. Fraga's research interests are in the areas of American political behavior, electoral politics and policy, and racial and ethnic politics. He is particularly interested in how electoral institutions, partisanship, and racial/ethnic context shape vote choice and voter turnout. Dr. Fraga's recent works examine redistricting and the causal impact of the Voting Rights Act language minority provisions.

Terri Francis

Associate Professor, The Media School


Dr. Francis researches noncommercial black film. In 2014 sx salon published her curated collection of essays, “Unexpected Archives: More Locations of Caribbean Film.” She served as guest editor of a close-up on Afrosurrealism in Film/Video for Black Camera, which explored experimental filmmaking and thought in African Diaspora cinema.

Ross Gay

Professor, Department of English


Ross Gay is the author of three books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019. He is currently at work on a book-length essay about gardens, land, race, nation and the imagination, called This Black Earth.

Faye Gleisser

Assistant Professor, Department of Art History


Faye Gleisser is a curator and interdisciplinary scholar and teacher who explores constructions of race and gender in contemporary art, with a focus on art produced and displayed in the United States. Faye’s areas of specialization include art and theory of the African Diaspora, theories of abstraction, curatorial activism, and photographic imaginaries of crime, whiteness, and surveillance. Her current book project analyzes how artists’ deployment of guerrilla tactics in art negotiates cinematic and televisual expressions of militancy, policing, and criminal code reform in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s.

Landon Shane Greene

Professor, Department of Anthropology


Dr. Greene's research is motivated by an interest in movements for social justice and political transformation. He examines these movements through projects on urban subcultures, ethnicity, the environment, and the politics of culture in the Latin American context. His recent book project focuses on the unique position of punk rock musicians and artists in Lima during Peru's historical period of massive political violence in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Valerie Grim

Professor, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies


Dr. Grim's research focuses on African American history, agricultural history, black rural communities, and the black family. Her current book projects examine white paternalism and black self-determinism in a Mississippi Delta Community from 1910-1970 and black farmers' protests against the United States Department of Agriculture from 1995-2005.

Vivian Nun Halloran

Associate Professor, Departments of American Studies and English


Dr. Halloran specializes in Caribbean literature and her research explores the connections between art, history, literature, and performance. Her work has focused on plays as vehicles through which the political history of various islands has impacted how contemporary Caribbean writers throughout the diaspora think through and perform their national and/or collective Caribbean identities. In addition she engages in work on Literary Food Studies, examining culinary memoirs related to the slave trade.

Sarah Imhoff

Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Borns Jewish Studies Program


Dr. Imhoff's research interests include: Gender and American Jewish History, race and Jewishness, Rabbinic Literature, and American religious history. One of her current research projects deals with the relationship of race and DNA in defining Jewish identity and community. She is currently completing her first monograph, Masculinity and the Making of American Judaism.

Karen Inouye

Associate Professor, Department of American Studies


Dr. Inouye's research interests focus on Asian American and Asian Canadian Studies, transnational American Studies, 20th-Century U.S. History, and critical race studies. Her book, The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration (Stanford University Press, 2016) focuses on questions of belonging, race and ethnicity. Her next book project concerns the cultural and political impacts of the decision to build prison camps for Nikkei on Native American and Indigenous lands.

Pamela Braboy Jackson

Professor, Department of Sociology


Dr. Jackson served as the inaugural director for CRRES from 2012-14. Her research focuses on the impact of work and family roles on well-being. She has several projects underway including a book manuscript Family Stories, with Dr. Rashawn Ray, which uses narrative accounts of family situations to reveal how black and white families in the U.S. navigate the social system we call the family.

Alisha Jones

Assistant Professor, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology


Dr. Jones is an ethnomusicologist whose research interests include musical masculinities, music and theology, business and the music industry, music and mysticism, Western European art music, vocal pedagogies of the world, and African-American music. Her research examines black men's performance of gender and sexuality in gospel music and African American worship settings. She is also an engaged ethnomusicologist and practitioner whose research is incorporated in public arts programming in low income, high minority neighborhoods.

Aziza Khazzoom

Associate Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures


Dr. Khazzoom's work traces the formation of ethnic inequality among Jews in Israel, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. She is the author of Shifting Ethnic Boundaries and Inequality in Israel, Or: How the Polish Peddler Became a German Intellectual (Stanford University Press).

Danielle Kilgo

Assistant Professor of Journalism at The Media School


Dr. Kilgo researches the production, distribution, and effects of media representations of marginalized populations in the context of news and social media. Her current work centers social justice movements for Black and Brown lives and representations of these movements in traditional, citizen, and alternative journalisms. She also investigates emerging power dynamics in the new media landscape, examining how social media audiences respond and redistribute mediated narratives.

David Konisky

Professor, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs


Dr. Konisky is a political scientist whose research focuses on U.S. environmental and energy policy, with a particular emphasis on regulation, federalism and state politics, public opinion, and environmental justice. His recent research has examined racial and ethnic disparities in government enforcement of pollution control laws, the effectiveness of federal environmental justice policy, and how the energy transition is affecting vulnerable communities.

Hyeyoung Kwon

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology


Dr. Kwon is a sociologist whose work focuses on race/ethnicity, immigration, and childhood/family. Her research mainly examines how marginalized actors respond to social exclusion in ways that reproduce and challenge multiple inequalities. Her current work examines this question through the case of bilingual working-class Mexican-and Korean-Americans who navigate racialized nativism as “language brokers” for their families in adult-centric, English-speaking institutions. Dr. Kwon previously served as a CRRES postdoctoral fellow.

Jennifer Lee

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology


Dr. Lee's research and teaching interests include sociology of education, immigration, and Asian American studies. Her current work examines how co-ethnic communities and bilingual proficiency influence the educational and occupational experiences and outcomes of Asian and Latino children of immigrants. In other work, Dr. Lee has examined Asian immigrants' employment in ethnic economies, as well as racial attitudes towards Asian Americans.

Sonia Song-Ha Lee

Associate Professor, Department of American Studies and Latino Studies Program


Dr. Lee is a social, political, and intellectual historian of twentieth-century United States, with particular interests in race, ethnicity and the history of medicine. She investigates the ways in which the labor economy, social movements, electoral politics, housing reforms, educational curricula, and mental health treatment shaped contemporary notions of blackness and latinidad in the United States.

Stephanie Li

Professor, Department of English


Stephanie Li is the Susan D. Gubar Chair in Literature. A literary scholar who focuses on issues of race, representation and political discourse primarily in African American narratives, she is the author of five books, most recently, Pan-African American Literature: Signifyin(g) Immigrants in the Twenty-First Century (Rutgers UP, 2018). Her research interests span from the nineteenth to the twenty first centuries.

Alex Lichtenstein

Professor, Department of History


Dr. Lichtenstein's work centers on the intersection of labor history and the struggle for racial justice in societies shaped by white supremacy, particularly the U.S. South (1865-1954) and 20th-century South Africa. His current book project, Trouble in Paradise: Labor Radicalism, Race Relations, and Anticommunism in Florida, 1940-1960, explores the interplay of the civil rights and labor movements in Florida during the 1940s. His book on photographer Margaret Bourke-White's 1950 trip to South Africa will be published by Indiana University Press in 2015.

Michael T. Martin

Professor, Cinema and Media Studies


Dr. Martin is currently the Director of the Black Film Archives and his research interests include diasporic and émigré formations, transnational migration, and diasporic and postcolonial film. He is currently working on two book projects, Caribbean Cinemas: Evolution, Articulations, Transnationality and History Betrayed: Gillo Pontecorvo's Cinema of Decolonization. Dr. Martin's other works have examined race and gender in Ed Bland's Cry of Jazz, and the pioneering of the African American documentary tradition.

Sylvia Martinez

Associate Professor, Department of Education Leadership and Policy Studies, School of Education


Dr. Martinez's research interests include women's work experiences, Latino/a sociology, and the sociology of education. Current work examines what Latino/a high school students know about accessing a post-secondary education and how they access that information. Additionally, Dr. Martinez has received a grant to examine the role of ethnic identity on participation in a college Latino cultural center, and how this may impact retention in higher education.

Jason McGraw

Associate Professor, Department of History


Dr. McGraw’s research examines the overlapping processes of slavery, emancipation, colonialism, and capitalism that produced the Atlantic World. His book, The Work of Recognition: Caribbean Colombia and the Postemancipation Struggle for Citizenship (UNC Press), tells the story of postemancipation Colombia, and received the 2015 Michael Jiménez Prize in the Colombia Section from the Latin American Studies Association.

Rasul Mowatt

Professor, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, School of Public Health


Dr. Mowatt is an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies and his primary research interests are leisure behavior, social justice, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy. Dr. Mowatt's recent works have examined black, female body hypervisibility and invisibility, as well as heterosexism in campus recreational club sports.

Michelle Moyd

Associate Professor, Department of History


Dr. Moyd's research interests include African military history, militaries and labor, the everyday history of colonialism, and power and its expressions. Her first book, Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa, examines the social and cultural history of African soldiers in the colonial army of German East Africa, today's Tanzania. Dr. Moyd is currently working on a short book, Africa, Africans, and the First World War, which will examine the spectrum of African experiences in the war.

Mary C. Murphy

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Cognitive Science Program


Dr. Murphy's research focuses on understanding how people’s social identities and group memberships, such as their gender, race, and socio-economic status, interact with the contexts they encounter to affect people’s thoughts, feelings, motivation, and performance. In the realm of education, her research illuminates the situational cues that influence students’ academic motivation and achievement with an emphasis on understanding when those processes are similar and different for majority and minority students. She develops, implements, and evaluates social psychological interventions that reduce identity threat for students and examines their effects on students’ motivation, persistence, and performance. In the realm of organizations and tech, her research examines barriers and solutions for increasing gender and racial diversity in STEM fields.

Walton Muyumba

Associate Professor, Department of English, Assistant Director of Creative Writing


Dr. Muyumba is a literary scholar and author. Professor Muyumba’s areas of research include African American literature, African Diaspora literature, literary and arts criticism, creative nonfiction, Black Atlantic studies, jazz studies, cultural studies, pragmatism, and postcolonial studies. He is currently completing a book about contemporary American literary art and popular music, as well as undertaking projects on John Edgar Wideman’s literary works and about ethnic American art in the age of terrorism.

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers

Associate Professor, Departments of History and Gender Studies


Dr. Myers' research interests focus on race, gender, freedom, and citizenship and the ways in which these constructs intersect with one another in the lives of black women in the Old South. Her recent book, Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston, (UNC Press) illuminates the lives of free black women, both legal and de facto, in Charleston, South Carolina, from 1790-1860. Her current book project examines interracial families and relationships in the antebellum South.

Ashlyn Aiko Nelson

Associate Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs


Dr. Nelson studies how the education market is influenced by housing markets, financial institutions, and policies. Her work examines the causes and consequences of inequality in the overlapping areas of housing and education, with articles exploring credit scores, race, and residential sorting as well as non-English speakers' barriers to mortgage access.

John Nieto-Phillips

Associate Professor, Department of History


Dr. Nieto-Phillips' research interests center on U.S. Latina/o history, race and citizenship, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In the classroom and in his research, he explores the various means by which Latinas and Latinos have sought full citizenship and equality in the schools, in politics, and in public spaces.

Dina Okamoto

Professor, Department of Sociology


Dr. Okamoto's research focuses on understanding how group boundaries and identities shift and change, which has broader implications for racial formation, immigrant incorporation, as well as intergroup conflict and cooperation. Her recent book, Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries (Russell Sage Foundation), traces the complex evolution of "Asian American" as a panethnic label and identity.

Alberto Ortega

Assistant Professor, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs


Dr. Ortega is an applied microeconomist with research that examines how social factors and social policies affect the health and educational outcomes of vulnerable populations. Previous work examined funding inequities faced by minority-serving institutions of higher education. Some of his current research evaluates the role of social welfare policy in access to substance use treatment.

Radhika Parameswaran

Herman B. Wells Endowed Professor, Journalism, The Media School


Dr. Parameswaran researches media and its intersections with gender, ethnicity, race, and nation in the context of globalizing India. Her current project examines how the imaginative and resistant media tactics of activist citizens form an emergent global civil society that is centered on challenging colorism and racism in South Asian communities. Dr. Parameswaran is the Editor of Communication, Culture & Critique, a flagship journal of the International Communication Association.

Stephanie Power-Carter

Associate Professor, Department of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education, School of Education


Dr. Power-Carter's research primarily focuses on how Black students, particularly African American females, negotiate their identity in predominately white educational settings. She utilizes Black feminist theory, Black women's fiction writings, and research on whiteness to frame her scholarship. She has two co-authored books in addition to several articles on these topics.

Alan C. Roberts

Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences


Dr. Roberts' research interests focus on personality and individual differences in vulnerability to eating pathology and weight disorders. Recent projects have examined whether images of female beauty and ideal body type have changed over time, as well as the relation between ethnicity, attitudes toward body weight, dating behavior, and female body satisfaction.

Fabio Rojas

Professor, Department of Sociology


Dr. Rojas' research interests include organizational analysis, political sociology of social movements, sociology of education, and mathematical sociology. His work has focused on how the Black Power Movement became an academic discipline and a variety of topics related to the anti-war movement. His new book, Party in the Street: The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party after 9/11, explores the interaction between political parties and social movements in the United States.

Micol Seigel

Professor, Departments of American Studies and History


Dr. Seigel's research interests include: policing, prisons, and race in the Americas; critical ethnic studies; popular culture; Latin American studies; postcolonial and queer theory; and cultural studies. She is a member of Critical Prison Studies caucus of the American Studies Association, and the organizing collective of the Tepotzlán Institute for Transnational Studies of the Americas. Her recent works examine the global currents of U.S. prison growth and racialization in the era of hyperincarceration.

Marvin Sterling

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology


Dr. Sterling's research interests include contemporary Japan, African Diaspora, race, social identity, Afro-Asia, Performance Studies, transnationalism, and human rights. He has examined the Japanese community in Jamaica, with his first book, Babylon East: Performing Dancehall, Roots Reggae and Rastafari in Japan, investigating the ways that many Japanese involved in reggae as musicians and dancers, and those deeply engaged with Rastafari as a spiritual practice, seek to reimagine their lives through Jamaican culture. Dr. Sterling recently developed a new line of research, which traces the development of human rights discourse in Jamaica.

Brenda R. Weber

Professor, Department of Gender Studies


Dr. Weber’s research engages with a wide archive of mostly discredited cultural texts, including non-canonical nineteenth-century transatlantic women’s literature and contemporary media, specifically literature, film, and television. Her work questions how the identity is discursively gendered, constructed, and embodied through written and mediated means, as well as how gender, sex, sexuality, race, and class work together to inform notions of the “normative” self.

Maisha Wester

Associate Professor, American Studies, African American and African Diaspora Studies


Dr. Maisha Wester is an Associate Professor in American Studies, and African American and African Diaspora Studies. She is also Fulbright scholar, having won a 2017-2018 fellowship to the UK. Her general areas of interest are Gothic literature and Horror Film Studies. Dr. Wester's research specifically interrogates the politics of black representation in Gothic literature and Horror film, how these tropes and trends are translated into actual sociopolitical discourse and legislation, and how Black diasporic authors and directors write back to and against these representations. Her first monograph African American Gothic: Screams from Shadowed Places specifically interrogate African American appropriation of the Gothic, from narratives of slavery on into the late twentieth-century fiction of writers such as Toni Morrison and Randall Kenan. She is also co-editor of the collection Twenty-First-Century Gothic and the book review editor for the international journal Gothic Studies.

Jakobi Williams

Associate Professor, Departments of History and African American and African Diaspora Studies


Dr. Williams' research interests are centered on questions of resistance and the social justice revolutions found within the historic African American community. His most recent book, From the Bullet to the Ballot, demonstrates how Chicago's Black Power movement was both a response to and an extension of the city's civil rights movement.

Phoebe Wolfskill

Assistant Professor, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies


Dr. Wolfskill studies African American art history with a particular interest in complicating standard assumptions about the relationship between an artist’s racial identity and his or her artistic production. Her recent book, Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention: The Old Negro in New Negro Art (Illinois, 2017) speaks to the complicated aesthetics and divergent ideologies surrounding the Negro Renaissance and Motley’s place within it.

Y. Joel Wong

Professor, Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, School of Education


Dr. Wong's research interests are in the areas of Asian/Asian American psychology, the psychology of men and masculinities, and positive psychology (particularly gratitude and encouragement). In particular, he is interested in the relationship between cultural variables and mental health, such as risk and protective factors and help seeking patterns.

Cynthia Wu

Associate Professor, Department of Gender Studies


Dr. Wu's research focuses on gender, sexuality, and disability in the Asian diaspora in the United States. She is the author of Chang and Eng Reconnected: The Original Siamese Twins in American Culture and Sticky Rice: A Politics of Intraracial Desire. She is currently writing a manuscript on the U.S. military in the Asian American imagination.

Ellen Wu

Associate Professor, Department of History


Dr. Wu's research interests include 20th Century United States History, Asian American History, race and ethnicity, citizenship, migration, and Chinese diaspora. Her research asks questions regarding issues of race, immigration, citizenship, and nation through the lens of Asian American history. Her recent research has examined the transformation of Asians in the United States from the "yellow peril" to "model minorities."

Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
Schuessler Institute for Social Research
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