The W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies is a vibrant center of intellectual productivity and interdisciplinary teaching and research. But because of the statewide and nationwide budget crisis, we are threatened with severe losses in state funding. Please help us preserve our capacity to continue providing our students with excellent education. Your contributions will help us offer scholarships and social events, and host visits by internationally renowned scholars. If you have made contributions to the Department in the past, thank you again. For those who have not, please contribute now to help the Du Bois Department continue its tradition of excellence during this period of economic crisis.

Information for graduates of the Du Bois Department
If you were a graduate or undergraduate student in the UMass Amherst Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, please email Tricia Loveland  to update your alumni profile in our Graduate Alumni Directory. Also we have created a Facebook page for alumni and current students to network (see below). Stay connected to UMass and support the Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.

Dissertation committees may unanimously award students with a distinction for their doctoral work. All dissertations earning a distinction during the defense are automatically nominated for the annual Esther M. Terry Award for the most outstanding dissertation.


Ph.D. Alums


Yelana Sims, Assistant Professor, African American Studies, Penn State Abington
Bianki Torres, Lecturer, Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst
Cécile Yézou, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Baylor University


DeRoy Gordon, Instructor, Westfield State University
Chloe Hunt, Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University
Olivia Ekeh, Assistant Professor, Indiana University
Kiara Hill, Visiting Assistant Professor, Portland State University
Candace King, Woods College Faculty, Boston University


Alex Carter, Upper School Dean, Poly Prep Country Day, NY
Christopher J. Martin, Lecturer, Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst / Visiting Professor, Holy Cross, 2024-2025
Johanna Ortner, Instructor, University of Connecticut, Stamford
Leydi Vidal Perlaza 
Fangfang Zhu


Kourtney Senquiz, Assistant Professor, Clark University


Nadia Alahmed, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, Dickinson College


Evan Howard Ashford, Assistant Professor, African and Latino Studies, SUNY Oneonta
Peter Blackmer, Assistant Professor, Central Michigan University
Nneka Dennie, Assistant Professor, History, Washington and Lee University
Carlyn Ferrari, Assistant Professor, English, Seattle University
Angelique Warner 


Julia Bernier, Assistant Professor, History, Washington & Jefferson University
Crystal Donkor, Assistant Professor, English, New Paltz SUNY
Spencer Kuchle, Associate Director of Collections and Interpretation at the Old Stone House Museum and Historic Village
Trent Masiki, Assistant Professor of African Studies, Social Sciences and Policy Studies Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Xianzhi (Shirley) Meng
Kelli Morgan
Jacinta Saffold, Assistant Professor, English, University of New Orleans
Crystal Webster, Assistant Professor, History, University of British Columbia


Flávia Santos de Araújo, Professor, Federal University of Brazil-Paraiba
Markeysha Davis, 


H. Zahra Caldwell, Associate Professor, Ethnic and Gender Studies, Westfield State University
Emahunn Campbell, Lawyer
Julia Charles, Associate Professor, University of Colorado
J. Anthony Guillory, Assistant Professor, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC)
Jason Hendrickson, Associate Professor, English, CUNY LaGuardia Community College
Karla Zelaya, Instructor, Smith College


Vanessa Fabien
Donald Geesling


Allia Abdullah Matta, Associate Professor, English, LaGuardia College CUNY
James Carroll
David Swiderski, Lecturer, Afro-American Studies, UMass Amherst


Ernest Gibson, III, Associate Professor, English, Director of Africana Studies, Auburn University
McKinley Melton, Associate Professor, English, Gettysburg College
Jamal Watson, Professor, Trinity Washington University, and Editor, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education


Kabria Baumgartner, Dean's Associate Professor, History and Africana Studies, Northeastern University
Jonathan Fenderson, Associate Professor, African & African-American Studies, Washington University


Catherine Adams, Assistant Professor, English, Paine College
Jacqueline Jones, Associate Professor, English, CUNY LaGuardia Community College
David Lucander, Associate Professor, Mulitcultural Studies, SUNY Rockland Community College
Christopher Tinson, Professor and Chair, History and Director of African American Studies, Saint Louis University 


Daniel McClure, Assistant Professor, African American History, Grand Valley State University
Alesia McFadden, Instructor, Prince George's Community College
Anthony Ratcliff, Associate Professor, Pan-African Studies, California State University


Thomas Edge, Associate Teaching Professor, Ethnic Studies, Bowling Green State University
Zebulon Miletsky, Associate Professor, Africana Studies & History, Stony Brook University


Michael Forbes, Teacher, The Dalton School
Ousmane Power-Greene, Associate Professor, History and Director of the Africana Studies, Clark University
Rita Reynolds, Chair and Associate Professor, History, Wagner College
Lindsey Swindall, Teaching Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Letters, Stevens Institute of Technology
W.S. Tkweme, Assistant Professor, Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville
Paul Udofia, Instructor, Roxbury Community College
Angelica Whitmal, Academic Advisor, CPE, UMass Amherst


Sandra Duvivier, Assistant Professor, Medgar Evers College
David Goldberg, Associate Professor, Africana Studies, Wayne State University
Andrew Rosa, Associate Professor, Diversity and Community Studies, Western Kentucky University


Tanya Mears, Associate Professor, History and Politics, Worcester State University
Trimiko Melancon, Professor, Michigan State University 


Shawn L. Alexander, Professor and Chair, African & African American Studies; Director of Graduate Studies; and, Director of the Langston Hughes Center, University of Kansas
Brandon Hutchinson, Associate Professor, English, Southern Connecticut State University
Jennifer Jensen-Wallach, Professor and Chair, History, University of North Texas


Stephanie Evans, Professor, Georgia State University


Carolyn Powell
Francis Njubi Nesbitt 
Christopher Lehman, Professor, African American Studies and Ethnic Studies, St. Cloud State University 

Terminal M.A. Alumni

Willie Smith, May 2023
Radiance Flowers, May 2021
Nasir Marumo, May 2018
Xavier G. Orr, May 2017
Olivia Brown, May 2014

Radwar Ashour

Radwa Ashour (1946-2014), the Egyptian writer and scholar born in Cairo, Egypt in 1946, is the department's first Ph.D. graduate. She earned her degree in African American Literature at the University of Massachusetts in 1975 (working jointly in the English & the Du Bois Department).

In 1973, a joyfully-cultivated friendship with Shirley Graham Du Bois, world traveler, litterateur, and widow of W.E.B., led Ashour to UMass. Madame Du Bois, as the école-educated Ashour called her liaison to Amherst, was living in Cairo at the time, and pointed the young Egyptian toward the then-infant Afro-American Studies department here. "She said, 'the best department in the United States is at UMass,'" recalled Ashour, remembering how Du Bois returned from a visit to Massachusetts with an application and a scholarship for her protegé. Ashour has published seven novels, an autobiographical work, two collections of short stories and five books of criticism. Part I of her Granada Trilogy won the Cairo International Book Fair “1994 Book of the Year Award”; the Trilogy won the First Prize of the First Arab Woman Book Fair (Cairo, Nov. 1995). She has co-edited a major four-volume work on Arab women writers (2004) and its English translation: Arab Women Writings: A Critical Reference Guide: 1873-1999 (AUC Press 2008). In 2007 Ashour was awarded the Constantine Cavafy Prize for Literature. She was a professor of English and Comparative Literature, Ain Shams University, Cairo.