Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts



Ray Block Jr., associate professor of political science and African American studies and Brown-McCourtney Career Development Professor, recently published a study about racial discrimination that was the subject of an article in the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Check it out here.

2021 Stand Up Award Winner Nyla Holland‘s work as an Environmental Justice Intern recently was highlighted by the Sustainability Institute. You can find the full interview with Nyla discussing her work to create a more just and sustainable future at the following link:

AnneMarie Mingo was quoted today in this MSNBC news story: Ahmaud Arbery trial today: 100-plus Black clergy assemble to show support.

“According to AnneMarie Mingo, an assistant professor of African American studies and women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Penn State University, ‘Historically, liberation-oriented Black pastors and religious leaders leveraged their relative economic independence to speak boldly through their sermons, prayers, songs and Bible studies to educate and motivate parishioners to stand and fight for their civil and human rights by forcing America to live up to its own creeds.’”

This is excellent recognition of her expertise! Congratulations, AnneMarie!

Our colleague, Dr. Cynthia Young (AFAM/ ENG/WGSS) was invited to submit an OpEd on the significance of Colin Powell’s legacy in The Guardian. It is out today, with the title:  “Colin Powell: a career marked by Faustian bargains in service of war.” She offers a powerful account of the racist apartheid system that shaped the US military as Powell rose in its ranks, during wave upon wave of warfare.

Check it out here:

This is excellent work! Congratulations on this important piece, Cynthia!


Here’s a link the Brookings blog of October 20, 2021:

In it, Ray Block, Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies and Brown-McCourtney Career Development Professor, and his team share some results from their research on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Congratulations to Ray on this timely piece of work!

Congratulations to Timeka Tounsel on the publication of Transfiguring Theaters for Disrespectable Leisure: An Ethnography on Black Womxn’s Ratchet Performances in Movie Showings of Girls Trip in Oxford Academic’s Journal of Communication.

This ethnographic study considers how Black womxn audiences collectively negotiated the politics of respectability in the movie theater, anecdotally referred to as cinema etiquette, in showings of the film Girls Trip. Findings revealed that Black womxn audiences (from various age groups) embodied an intersectional resistance discourse of disrespectability through their (non)verbal behaviors and an ecology of the senses (i.e., sight and sound) that were situated at the intersection of ratchetness, playfulness, and informality.

Please join us in congratulating Keith Gilyard on the publication of his recent poetry collection, Impressions: New and Select Poems (Third World Press, 2021)!

The heart of this ambitious and energetic collection is the conscientious and trusted mind of a giving and loving Black artist who in his own way understands history, psychology, economics, politics, and, most of all, the unique power of language in his application of “chord inversions” in the use of serving the urgent needs of Black lives. As a poet and empirical scientist who dances with words, ideas, real life, practical clarifications, and humor, Gilyard challenges his readers to act.

Please join us in congratulating Joshua Inwood, Professor of Geography and African American Studies and Senior Research Associate in the Rock Ethics Institute, who has published an essay (with Anne Bonds of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee) in the journal Society + Space, “Relations of Power: The U.S. Capitol Insurrection, White Supremacy and US Democracy.”

To locate white supremacy within the realm of militias, mobs, and Trumpism not only misunderstands white supremacy as a structuring relation, but also reinforces it by reducing it to the extraordinary and spectacular, and within the worldview of extremists. This essay maintains that white supremacy must be understood as a political economic and racial project that spans ideologies and political commitments within the operations of the liberal, settler state.

The American Antiquarian Society is very pleased to announce that P. Gabrielle Foreman, the Paterno Family Professor of American Literature and professor of African American studies and history at The Pennsylvania State University, will be joining the AAS community for twelve months as the Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence beginning in January 2022. She’s also the Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Syracuse University for calendar year 2021.

An award-winning teacher, scholar, mentor, and creator of community partnerships, Dr. Foreman has published extensively on issues of race, reform, and resistance in the nineteenth century with a focus on the continuing hold of the past on issues we face today. She is the author or editor of four books, including Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women in the Nineteenth Century, and, most recently, The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century.   

Gabrielle Foreman is known for her collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship and institution building. At University of Delaware, she was the founding faculty director of the Colored Conventions Project, a digital archive and research collective that is now a flagship project of the Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk at Penn State University. The CCP has been featured in the New York Times and awarded prizes by the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association, and the American Culture/Popular Culture Association. It was chosen as an NEH Essential: Great Projects Past and Present.

During her year at AAS, Professor Foreman will work on a project titled “Founding Families of the Convention Movement: The Long History of Black Organizing for Civil Rights.” The AAS community is delighted to welcome P. Gabrielle Foreman to Worcester and looks forward to her participation in and mentorship of the community of scholars at AAS.

Zachary Morgan, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, recently published a peer-reviewed article on his current research for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History titled “The Revolta da Chibata: Conscription, Corporal Punishment, and State Control of Free Afro-Brazilians” and one in the Journal of Black Studies “Soldier and Scholar: Abdias Nascimento and the Origins of Afro-Latin American Studies”.

He also appeared on the podcast Dialogues in Afrolatinidad S1-Episode 7 – Zachary R. Morgan: “Exploring Race, Freedom, and Citizenship in Brazil”.

Congratulations to Zach on all the great work so far this year!