Visiting Fellows 2010-11
J.D., Yale Law School, 1993
Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009.
Van is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress. Additionally, he is a senior policy advisor at Green For All. Van also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Van is the founder of Green For All, the national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2007. The Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term "green jobs." Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally.
While best known for his promotion of green jobs, Van has been hard at work for nearly two decades, fashioning solutions to some of urban America's toughest problems. In addition to Green For All, he is the co-founder of two social justice organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change.
Van's work has earned him many awards and honors, including:
- Van was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.
- Van was designated by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader."
- Van is a recipient of the international Ashoka Fellowship.
- Van was one of Essence Magazine's 25 most inspiring African Americans in 2008. Last year, Ebony Magazine named him one of the Power 150.
Lyndon K. Gill
Stanhope Hall 005
Ph.D., Harvard University
A.M., Harvard University (Anthropology)
A.B., Stanford University (African/African American Studies)
Lyndon K. Gill received his Ph.D. in African American Studies and Anthropology (with a Secondary Field in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality) and an A.M. in Anthropology from Harvard University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with an A.B. in African and African American Studies. His scholarly interests include the aesthetics of black and Caribbean diasporas, queer cultural production, the socio-scientific construction of sex and gender, sexuality as a category of cultural analysis, ritual and corporality within performance genres, subjectivity, postcoloniality, desire and the erotic, and psycho-social healing and community building.
Professor Gill is currently preparing his book manuscript Transfiguring Trinidad and Tobago: queer cultural production, erotic subjectivity and the praxis of black queer anthropology for publication. Based upon sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork— ten months of which were sponsored by a Fulbright Research Grant— the book proposes a new theoretical framework for the study of subjectivity through foregrounding the work of same-sex desiring communities and artists in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Carnival masquerade, calypso music and HIV/AIDS activism provide the interlinked terrain upon which to consider Trinbagonian same-sex desire and its place within a newer Caribbean cultural analysis. This study reveals the means by which the postcolonial tropes of civic equality, cultural authenticity and national belonging are both sought after and called into question by same-sex desiring communities.
While at the Center for African American Studies, Dr. Gill will continue researching his second book project. For this study, he looks to a particularly prominent diasporic site for self-defined, queer pan-Caribbean cultural production: Toronto, Canada. In this context, the Caribbean serves as a literal and figurative bridge between the two continents that constitute the Americas. He plans to conduct an ethnography based in the global North that foregrounds queer Afro-Caribbean artists and academicians who use artistry and theory to explore a sexuality-conscious transnationalism in a context shared with various other queer immigrant communities. Less about a particular location than about cultural interrelation, this study will take as its analytic focus cultural movement and interaction across an explicitly queer landscape.
Forthcoming Article Publications
"Training Troublesome Tongues: the Erotic Potential of Chatting Back a Caribbean AIDS Epidemic." In GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (Special Issue: Black.Queer.Diaspora). Durham: Duke University Press.
"Spectral Subjects in Unsettling Sites: a Topography of Black Queer Anthropology." In Transforming Anthropology (Special Issue: Black Queer Anthropology). American Anthropological Association. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.
"Calypso Rose's Phallic Palet and the Sweet Treat of Erotic Aurality." In Transnational Caribbeanities: Women and Music. Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press.
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Ph.D., Yale University, 2010
Sarah Haley received her Ph.D. in the combined program in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale University. Her research areas include nineteenth and twentieth century African American cultural and social history, gender history, feminist theory, labor and working-class studies, gender violence, and carceral regimes. While at CAAS Sarah will continue to develop her research on black women and punishment, incorporating archival material from comparative southern contexts as part of the completion of her manuscript, Engendering Captivity: Black Women and Convict Labor, 1865-1938. Engendering Captivity is an interdisciplinary social and cultural history of imprisoned women’s experiences in southern convict labor systems during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This project investigates the significance of the black female subject to the formation of Jim Crow modernity by using the penal regime as a lens through which to interrogate the institutionalization of gendered racial terror and the racial construction of gendered subject positions during the development of Jim Crow.
While pursuing her academic research Sarah has participated in the labor movement, organizing graduate teachers, clerical workers, and airport food service workers in New Haven and Detroit. She has also been involved in anti-prison organizing campaigns. After concluding her fellowship with CAAS she will begin her appointment as assistant professor of African American studies and women's studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Carina Ray, Fordham University
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Ph.D., Cornell University, 2007
Carina Ray is Assistant Professor of History at Fordham University where she teaches African and Black Atlantic History. Her research interests include the racial and sexual politics of colonial rule; comparative histories of race mixture in Africa and the African Diaspora; and the relationship between race, ethnicity, and political power in colonial and post-independence Africa.
While at CAAS Carina will complete her forthcoming book manuscript, Policing Sexual Boundaries: The Politics of Race in Colonial Ghana. Based on extensive archival research in Ghana and England, Policing Sexual Boundaries illuminates the multiplicity of ways that the domain of colonial interracial sexual relations became a space in which racial, administrative, gendered and indigenous hierarchies were being constructed, contested, and reordered by a broad range of social actors, both African and European in the Gold Coast, as Ghana was then known. She will also begin work on her second book project, Emerging Blackness: A History of Race Making in Colonial and Post-Independence Ghana.
- Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader, co-editor with Salah Hassan (Cornell University Press and Prince Claus Fund Library, August 2009).
- Navigating African Maritime History, co-editor with Jeremy Rich (Memorial University of Newfoundland Press, 2010).
- "The 'White Wife Problem': Sex, Race, and the Contested Politics of Repatriation to Interwar British West Africa," Gender and History 21:3 (2009).
- "Social History and the Engendering of African History," Power and Nationalism in Modern Africa: Essays in Honor of Don Ohadike, Toyin Falola and Salah Hassan, editors (Carolina Academic Press, 2008).
Woodrow Wilson National Foundation Fellow
Salamishah Tillet, University of Pennsylvania
Carl Fields Center
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2007
Salamishah Tillet is an Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization in 2007 and A.M. in English from Harvard University and her M.A.T. from Brown University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania where she received her B.A. in English and Afro-American Studies. In 2010-2011, she will serve her Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship at the Center of African American Studies at Princeton University.
Her book Peculiar Memories: Slavery and the Post-Civil Rights Imagination (Duke University Press) examines how contemporary black artists and intellectuals reimagine slavery as a metaphor for post-Civil Rights citizenship and political desire. With Hua Hsu, she is the co-editor of the forthcoming, The Day that Martin Died: Music, Memory, and Martin Luther King, Jr. She is an associate editor of Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. She recently co-edited the Callaloo Special Issue on Ethiopia and has published academic articles in Callaloo, Novel, and Research in African Literatures. She is currently working on a book on the civil rights icon, Nina Simone.
She is the co-founder of the sexual violence prevention and expressive arts organization, A Long Walk Home, Inc., and a regular contributor to the online magazine, The Root. Her research interests include twentieth-century African-American literature, film, and popular music, cultural studies, and feminism.