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News & Events

black studies as a movement


The Department of African American and Diaspora Studies and Vanderbilt Libraries is pleased to announce the virtual exhibit for  Black Studies As (A) Movement: AADS @50 is now available. Check out this news story on the Library's site for more information and visit the virtual exhibit using the link above!

BCC at Vanderbilt



Come connect with AADS at our Fall 2022 Open House!

When: Friday September 2, 12pm
Where: Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center Patio

Food from Slim & Huskys will be provided. We're excited to welcome you to a new academic year!


visiting artist


The Department of African American and Diaspora Studies and the Art Department are excited to bring artist Farrah Karapetian to campus for a lecture and classroom visit.

Where: Buttrick 101
When: Monday September 19, 12:15PM

Dyson and Randall


Congratulations to Professors Michael Dyson and Alice Randall on their endowed professorships!

Professor Dyson is the University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies
University Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society in the Divinity School
Centennial Chair in African American and Diaspora Studies.

Professor Randall is the Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities
Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies

Unequal book cover

  Congratulations to Professor Michael Dyson and his co-author, Marc Favreau, on the publication of their book, Unequal: A Story of America

Headshot of Erin Logan

  White House reporter and African American and Diaspora Studies alum Erin B. Logan credits Writer in Residence Alice Randall's mentorship as a defining influence on her career as a storyteller. Read more in this article!

Erika Edwards


Wednesday, December 3 at 12noon, Erika Edwards, associate professor in the Department of History, UNC at Charlotte will present her work - Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women the Law and the Making of a White Argentine Republic - as part of the AADS Black Studies @ Lunch Lecture Series.

Jessica Marie Johnson


Monday, December 6 at 12noon, Jessica Marie Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of History at Johns Hopkins University, will present her work - Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World - as part of the AADS Black Studies @ Lunch Lecture Series.

Celeste Smith


December 7 at 4pm, AADS lecture series 360 DEGREES OF ACTIVISM will host an Interactive Activist Report from the Ground moderated by Celeste Smith of the Pittsburgh Foundation.

book cover - dyson


African American and Diaspora Studies faculty member and New York Times Bestselling Author Professor Michael Eric Dyson's new book Entertaining Race: Performing Blackness in America is out on shelves!

From the publisher:

"Entertaining Race is a testament to Dyson’s consistent celebration of the outsized impact of African American culture and politics on this country. Black people were forced to entertain white people in slavery, have been forced to entertain the idea of race from the start, and must find entertaining ways to make race an object of national conversation. Dyson’s career embodies these and other ways of performing Blackness, and in these pages, ranging from 1991 to the present, he entertains race with his pen, voice and body, and occasionally, alongside luminaries like Cornel West, David Blight, Ibram X. Kendi, Master P, MC Lyte, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alicia Garza, John McWhorter, and Jordan Peterson."

Congratulations, Prof Dyson!

Black Literati, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Literary Award Gala with Michael Dyson, Alice Randall, and Colson Whitehead (awardee) November 2021


Our faculty made an appearance at the Nashville Public Library Foundation's Literary Award Gala! Here are Professor Michael Dyson and Writer in Residence Alice Randall celebrating with award winner Colson Whitehead in November 2021.

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Lifetime Achievement Award for Charlie Pride at NMAAM with Garth Brooks and Alice Randall. October 2021


African American and Diaspora Studies Writer in Residence Alice Randall was a keynote speaker at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Lifetime Achievement Award for Charley Pride at National Museum of African American Music in October 2021.

Tracy D Sharpley-Whiting


AADS Chair and Professor Tracy D. Sharpley-Whiting has been appointed as Associate Provost for Academic Advancement for the College of Arts & Science November 2021.

Congratulations, Prof Sharpley-Whiting!

MLK High School Nashville TN


AADS Senior Lecturer Claudine Taaffe won a grant from Black Girl Freedom Fund sponsored by the Grantmakers for Girls of Color for her programming at MLK High School in Nashville.

Gilman Whiting


AADS Associate Professor Gilman Whiting delivered a keynote the National Association for Gifted Children in Denver in November 2021.

Book cover - Desmond


On November 16, 2021, the AADS Black Studies @ Lunch Lecture series and the 360 DEGREES OF ACTIVISM panel series invited author Desmond Meade to speak virtually on his work Let My People Vote.

Desmond Meade is a civil rights activist working to change disenfranchisement laws and other barrierspreventing formerly incarcerated citizens from fully participating in civic life. As executive director of theFlorida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) and a returning citizen himself, Meade understands firsthand thestigma people with prior convictions face and the perception that they are unfit for involvement in democraticgovernance. Desmond Meade received an AS (2008) and BS (2010) from Miami-Dade College and a JD(2014) from Florida International University School of Law. He was also the state director (2012–2016) ofthe Live Free Campaign of Faith in Action (formerly PICO Florida). Most recently, Meade was awarded aprestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2021.



On November 3, 2021, the AADS Black Studies @ Lunch Lecture series invited author Khary Oronde Polk to speak virtually. 

Khary Oronde Polk is an Associate Professor of Black Studies & Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies
at Amherst College. He is a cultural historian of the African diaspora, a specialist in LGBTQ studies, and
a scholar of race, gender, and sexuality in the U.S. military. Polk received his Ph.D. in American Studies
from New York University and teaches courses on Black sexuality, military history, Black European
studies, race & the American imagination, and queer theory.

Tiffany Patterson


African American and Diaspora Studies faculty member Tiffany R Patterson, an expert on Zora Neale Hurston, published " Love in Hurston's Art and Life" in The Langston Hughes Review in 2020.

Headshot of Sonia Sanchez


A conversation with poet Sonia Sanchez set for April 7 - read more here!

Headshots of Anderson and West


Cornel West and AADS Prof Victor Anderson discuss ‘Race, Faith and American Democracy’ - read more here!

Cover of Black Bottom Saints Book


Writer in residence Alice Randall to discuss ‘Black Bottom Saints’ Feb. 4 - read more here!

Illustration of Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams


Words in Common: Mother-daughter duo and writers-in-residence Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams share a deep creative calling - read more here!

Dyson speaking


Michael Eric Dyson , distinguished scholar of race and religion, to join Vanderbilt faculty next year - Welcome!

Headshot of Dara Johnson


A Bus Ride to Smile About: Dara Johnson , BA’20 - AADS student spotlight!