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Feb. 19, 2021

New department to focus on Black feminisms, genders and sexualities

Being built to blaze a trail in higher education with its focus on Black feminisms, Black genders studies, and Black sexualities studies, the architects of the Department of African American and African Studies, the newest department within MSU’s College of Arts and Letters, are unapologetic in this focus as they build the unit they have long dreamed about. 

Leading this new build are Ruth Nicole Brown, inaugural chairperson and professor of AAAS; Tamura Lomax, foundational associate professor of AAAS; Kristie Dotson, executive academic advisor to AAAS and professor of philosophy; and April Baker-Bell, associate professor of AAAS and language, literacy and English education. These department visionaries, each of whom is an expert in Black studies and Black feminisms, are very aware of the importance of their work and the potential impact it will have on these fields.

“This is the department we’ve all been waiting for and we’ve all needed for a very long time,” Baker-Bell said. “I needed this department as an undergraduate student. I’m thinking about my daughter; this is the department she will need to be part of to explain our history and to map out the future we need. I’m so excited about what this will mean for our future students to come, not just at Michigan State, but everywhere, and how this particular department will transform Black studies all around the country.”

Read the full story on the College of Arts and Letters website.

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