Message from the Chair
Despite the world’s uncertainties, these are exciting times for AAAD. Our faculty continues to produce first-rate scholarship and publications, our students and alumni continue to make positive impacts on society, and the department continues to thrive and advance its core mission.
In regard to our faculty, three new professors joined us recently, which bolsters our intellectual and programmatic strength in both African and African American Studies. Dr. Shakirah Hudani joined the department in January 2021. She specializes in African urbanism and post-conflict urban change. Her current research focuses on post-genocide Rwanda. Additionally, Dr. Brandi Brimmer joined the department in Fall 2021 as the Morehead-Cain Alumni Associate Professor. She specializes in African American social and political history and is a leading scholar regarding the study of enslavement and emancipation in the American South. Additionally, Dr. LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant, a specialist in Black feminist studies and African American religions, became the newest member of the AAAD faculty in Spring 2023. A writer, artist, and filmmaker, she also serves as the fourth director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.
In relation to our students, the department continues to serve as a vital nexus of education, professional training, and civic engagement. Over the past several years, we have established development opportunities that include our annual Undergraduate Research Conference, annual student-faculty Working Groups, our African Languages Fair and Night, and a “Career Development Day.” The spring 2022 semester saw the publication of the sixth volume of AAAD’s undergraduate research journal, the Global Africana Review, which consists entirely of high-quality undergraduate scholarship. Furthermore, with a considerable amount of pride and gratitude, the department was recently fortunate enough to be the recipient of its first endowment. Named in honor of an esteemed colleague, the Dr. Eunice N. Sahle Excellence Fund will facilitate research projects and other creative activities of both faculty members and students.
As the foregoing attests, AAAD is on the move! Thanks to our world-class faculty, our brilliant and diverse student body, and our dedicated staff, the department continues to project strength regarding its mission to educate and better inform the people of North Carolina and the larger world about the histories, cultures, and experiences of people of African descent. We appreciate your visit to our website and invite you to contact us to learn more about the department and its activities.
Claude Clegg, Chair