Africana Research Center welcomes five fellows

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Africana Research Center (ARC) recently announced its five fellows for the 2013-14 year and held its orientation on Aug. 28. The program supports early career scholars and junior faculty who conduct research centered on or related to Africa and the African Diaspora and assists them in establishing themselves in academia.

The ARC Fellows are housed in departments within the College of the Liberal Arts. During their residency, fellows have opportunities to showcase their research and scholarship, as well as to engage with noted scholars in their respective fields. The fellows have no teaching or administrative responsibilities, allowing them undistracted time to focus on research and publication, as well as professional development. Each fellow also received the benefit of being matched with a mentor.

Two types of fellowships are available through the ARC: the postdoctoral fellowship and the Humanities Dissertation fellowship. The goal of this program is to support doctoral students at Penn State who have completed all but their dissertation and are researching topics related to Africa and the African Diaspora. Dissertation fellows also have no teaching or related duties. For 2013-14, the Africana Research Center Fellows are:

AnneMarie Mingo — Fellow for African American Studies

Religion — Emory University, 2013

AnneMarie Mingo has completed her doctorate in ethics and society in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Her research interests include socio-religious activism of African-American women, and theological and ethical influences in social movements. As an Africana Research Center post-doctoral fellow she will focus on revising her dissertation that develops a lived theology and liberative social ethic from the lived experiences of Black Churchwomen who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Her recent publication "Restoring Rosewood: Movements from Pain to Power to Peace," appears in The Practical Matters Journal. She is the recipient of many fellowships and awards including the Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Fellowship.

Sasha Turner — Fellow for Richards Civil War Era Center

History — University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2008

Sasha Turner is a native of Jamaica, where she completed her undergraduate degree in history at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She received a doctorate from Cambridge University, and fellowships from Rutgers University and Washington University. She is primarily interested in histories of the body and women in the Caribbean and the Atlantic World. Her current research explores the dynamics of race, reproduction and the status of freedom in defining women’s lives in Caribbean slave systems. Her most recent publication appeared in the Fall 2011 Journal of Women’s History, titled “Home-grown Slaves: Women, Reproduction, and the Abolition of the Slave Trade, Jamaica 1788-1807.” Turner is currently on leave from Quinnipiac University, where she teaches courses on the Caribbean, women, piracy, slavery and the slave trade, and the Atlantic World. As a Richards Center and Africana Research Center Fellow, Sasha will complete her book manuscript for publication.

Michael Woldemarian — Fellow for Political Science

Politics — Princeton University, 2011

Michael Woldemariam holds a doctorate in politics from Princeton University, and is currently an assistant professor in international relations at Boston University. Woldemariam's teaching and research interests focus on African politics, particularly the dynamics of armed conflict, the behavior of rebel organizations and self-determination movements and post-conflict institution building. He has special expertise in the Horn of Africa, and has conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somaliland, Kenya, South Africa and India. His dissertation and book project, tentatively titled “Why Rebels Collide: Factionalism and Fragmentation in African Insurgencies” investigates a common feature of civil wars: the fragmentation of rebel organizations into mutually exclusive, competing groups. The project is based on a comprehensive analysis of Ethiopia’s civil wars and original data on patterns of rebel fragmentation across post-colonial Africa. Woldemariam has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Bradley fellow and a research specialist with the Innovations for Successful Societies program at Princeton University.

Moya Bailey — Affiliate Fellow for African American Studies

Women’s, gender and sexuality studies — Emory University, 2013

Moya Bailey is a scholar of critical race, feminist and disability studies. Her current work focuses on constructs of health and normativity within a U.S. context. She is interested in how race, gender and sexuality are represented in media and medicine. She is the co-conspirator of Quirky Black Girls, a digital collective of strange and different Black girls. She is a blogger and digital alchemist for the Crunk Feminist Collective. She also co-curates the #transformdh initiative in Digital Humanities.

Antwain K. Hunter — Spring 2014 Dissertation Fellow

Department of History

Antwain K. Hunter is currently a doctoral candidate attached to the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State, where he is studying slavery and emancipation under professor Anthony Kaye. While he is interested in a wide range of antebellum topics, his dissertation, "Politics, Manhoods, and Rebellions Real and Imagined: Slaves, Free Black People, and Firearms in North Carolina, 1729-1865," focuses on free and enslaved black North Carolinians' access to and use of firearms from the mid-18th century through the end of the Civil War. He is interested in how this issue affected the various relationships between and among slaveholding and non-slaveholding white people, enslaved black people, free black people and the state. He is also curious about how both black and white people conceived of black manhood as it related to firearm use. Additionally, he is interested in how both the state and white slaveholders balanced the need to protect North Carolina from the threat (real or imagined) of black violence with the benefits that armed black men could provide. During the 2012-13 academic year he taught HIST 130: Introduction to the Civil War Era, 1848-1877. For the 2013-14 year he will be on fellowship.

For more information about the Fellows Programs or the Africana Research Center contact Tracy Beckett, managing director and fellows coordinator at 814-865-6482 or

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Last Updated August 28, 2013