Three Black Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to Endowed Professorships

Baron Kelly was appointed the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the university’s faculty in 2020 after teaching at the University of Louisville. He is the author of An Actor’s Task: Engaging the Senses (Hackett Publishing, 2015).

Dr. Kelly earned a diploma from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and holds a master of fine arts degree in acting from California State Univerity, Long Beach. He earned a Ph.D. in theatre research from the University of Wisconsin.

Roxane Gay was appointed to the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in media, culture, and feminist studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She has been a visiting professor at Yale Univerity and earlier served on the faculty at Eastern Illinois University and Purdue University. She is the author or editor of several books including Bad Feminist (Harper, 2014).

Dr. Gay is a graduate of Norwich University in Vermont. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and technical communication from Michigan Technological University.

Cherene Sherrard-Johnson was appointed the E. Wilson Lyon Professor of the Humanities at Pomona College in Claremont, California. For 20 years, she taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Sally Mead Hands-Bascom Professor of English. Her research is primarily focused on Black female representation in mid-19th to early 20th American literature and visual culture. She is the author of Portraits of the New Negro Woman: Visual and Literary Culture in the Harlem Renaissance (Rutgers University Press, 2007).

Professor Sherrard-Johnson is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at Cornell Univerity in Ithaca, New York.


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