New Leadership for the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore has announced new leadership for its Center for Africana Studies. Katrina Bell McDonald, an associate professor of sociology and Lester Spence, an associate professor of political science, have been named co-directors.

Dr. McDonald joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1994. She is a graduate of Mills College in Oakland, California. She holds a master’s degree in applied communication research from Stanford University and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Davis. She served as associate dean of multicultural affairs at Johns Hopkins from 2008 to 2010. Dr. McDonald is the co-author of the forthcoming book Marriage in Black: The Pursuit of Married Life Among American-Born and Immigrant Blacks (Routledge, 2018).

Dr. Spence taught at Washington University in St. Louis before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In 2013, Dr. Spence received the W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award for his book, Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2011). His second book is Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics (Punctum Books, 2015).

In addition, Nadia Nurhussein, associate professor of English, has been named associate director and director of undergraduate studies at the Center. Prior to arriving at Johns Hopkins in 2017, she taught in the English departments at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Dr. Nurhussein  is the author of Rhetorics of Literacy: The Cultivation of American Dialect Poetry (Ohio State University Press, 2013). She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.


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