Tracy D. Sharpley-Whiting was named to the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the author of Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women (New York University Press, 2007), Black Venus: Sexualized Savages, Primal Fears, and Primitive Narratives in French (Duke University Press, 2009), and Negritude Women (University of Minnesota Press, 2002). She is also the co-editor of The Black Feminist Reader(Wiley-Blackwell, 2000).
Professor Sharpley-Whiting holds a Ph.D. from Brown University.
Nikky Finney was named the inaugural holder of the Guy Davenport Endowed English Professorship at the University of Kentucky. She joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky in 1993 and has held visiting professor posts at Berea College and Smith College. She is the author of four books of poetry including Head Off & Split, which won the 2011 National Book Award.
Finney, a native of South Carolina, is a graduate of Talladega College in Alabama.
Tananarive Due is the 2012-2013 holder of the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professorship at Spelman College in Atlanta. She is teaching screenwriting and journalism courses. Professor Due is the author of 12 novels including My Soul to Keep and My Soul to Take as well as the memoir Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights.
Professor Due earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Leeds in England.
Anastasia Boles has joined the faculty at the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She was a faculty fellow at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.
Professor Boles is a graduate of Stanford University, where she doubled majored in political science and sociology. She earned her law degree at Columbia University.