2017 Presenter Bios

Keynote Speaker:
Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry. His first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is an associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta.


Sierra J. Austin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, with a focus on Race, Sexualities and Social Justice. She also has a graduate interdisciplinary specialization in Latino/a Studies.

By conceptualizing Black girls’ discourse practices as an analytic category, Sierra’s research examines the intersection of Black and hip-hop feminisms, feminist discourse perspectives, and Black girlhood studies to interrogate pedagogical practices that best promote solidarity and critical discourse in the era of Black Lives Matter. Her most recent publications, “Review of Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion by Betty Collier-Thomas” and “Anita Hill: A Roundtable” appear in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, respectively. Sierra is the recipient of several grants awarded by The Ohio State University’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, The Council of Graduate Students, The Office of Diversity & Inclusion and The College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the National Women’s Studies Association. She is also an Office of Student Life Outstanding Faculty Award Nominee.


Caroline N. Bennett, is a first-year first-generation graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University. She is a McNair Alumna of the University of Oklahoma where she conducted research on Black women’s sexuality and representation in Hip-Hop music videos. As a Graduate Enrichment Fellow, her current work centers the lived experiences of Black girls and their truths. She embodies a Hip-Hop Black Feminist/Womanist perspective and studies Black Girlhood and Black Girl Literacies through the triple lens. She is interested in how Black Girl Literacies place Black girls in a position to survive, ‘come alive’, and thrive in educational spaces, ‘da streets’, and other spaces that try to “steal, kill, and destroy” our identities. Caroline believes, “although White girls are privileged, there is unspeakable joy in a bein’ a Black girl. I’m blessed… and because I’m a Black woman that’s my privilege that they don’t have.”


Brandon R. Byrd is an Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and an intellectual historian of 19th and 20th century United States, African American, and African Diasporic History. The recipient of a PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Byrd is currently working on a book, The Black Republic: African Americans, Haiti, & the Rise of Black Internationalism (forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press), that recovers the place of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution in postemancipation African American thought. Beyond that project, Byrd has published articles on African American and Haitian intellectual history in Slavery & Abolition, Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, the Journal of Haitian Studies, and other outlets. His research has received support from several institutions including the American Philosophical Society, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and Marquette University’s Arnold L. Mitchem Fellowship Program.


Keara K. Goin is a Visiting Lecturer for the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, where she teaches Latina/o Media Studies, Celebrity Studies, and Intersectionality and the Media. Currently working on her first book project, Dominican Identity in Flux: U.S. Media Consumption, Negotiation, and Afro-Caribbean Subjectivity, her most recent publications can be found in Latino Studies and Celebrity Studies. She earned her PhD from the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin and received her MA in Anthropology from the University of South Carolina. A media studies scholar, she has conducted fieldwork in the Dominican Republic and New York City as part of a continuing ethnographic study on Dominican identity and her research interests focus on the role of media in identity negotiation among Afro-Latina/os, media-based racialization of Afro-Latina/os, and the performativity and intersections of race and gender.


Leroy Myers Jr. is a PhD student at University of Oklahoma. His interests include African American migration and African-Native American relations in the Trans-Mississippi West and Southeast. His current research project focuses on black Texan migration throughout the American West and early settlement of free blacks in Indian Territory and Oklahoma.


Ana Maria Perez earned her PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at Minnesota State University. Her teaching and research interests lie at the junctions of the fields of Gender and Women’s Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Critical Ethnic Studies. Her areas of focus are theories of mestizaje, women of color feminisms, and Latina beauty cultures. Her manuscript, “Güeras, Morenas, y Prietas: Mexicana Color Lines and Ethnoracial Sameness-Difference,” examines the intersections of racial identity, color consciousness, and gender among Mexican American women in Central Florida. Her current research project explores Mexican and Mexican American beauty cultures through an examination of popular Latin American social media celebrities.


Alice Ragland is a Black ecosocialist feminist and a PhD student in the Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education program at The Ohio State University. She is interested in researching Black liberation movements, the criminalization of Black youth, and the detrimental effects of neoliberalism in public education. Her work focuses on the ways in which the U.S. educational system has been used as tool for oppressing poor students of color and how racist neoliberal policies have contributed to a prison-like environment in many public schools. Alice is also a former teacher and a long-time community activist and organizer. She has recently organized around issues of racial and economic justice. Alice enjoys facilitating educational workshops for teens, educators, and the general public about racism, sexism, capitalism, imperialism, and critical media literacy. In addition to her academic and activist work, Alice performs poetry and writes for Against The Current: A Socialist Journal.


Nicole Ramsey is a doctoral student in the department of African American & African Diaspora Studies. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she holds an MA in African American Studies from UCLA and a BA in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz. Her primary research interests entail transnationalism, migration, cultural production and identity formations in the Caribbean, Central America and Diasporic Caribbean landscapes in the U.S. Currently her research looks at questions of citizenship, belonging and identity in Afro-Central America.


Dr. Elaine Richardson aka Dr. E is Professor of Literacy Studies, in the Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology. She is the founding director of the Hiphop Literacies Conference, Co-Chair of the National Council of Teachers of English/Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Black Caucus, as well as Co-Chair of the organization’s Language Policy Committee. Her research interests include the liberation and critical literacy education of people of the Black African Diaspora. She is currently working on her 4th monograph, tentatively titled, “Our Hiphop Feminist Literacies Matter: Reading the World with Black Girls.”


Dr. Adrienne R. Washington is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her doctorate in Linguistics with a concentration in Sociolinguistics along with the Doctoral Level Certificate in African Studies and the Advanced Study Certificate for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her research explores the sociocultural aspects of language use, primarily among Africana speech communities in the Americas, through the broad themes of language contact and change, language policy and planning, language ideology, and social identity. Her current work investigates the learning and redevelopment of the Yoruba language in Northeastern Brazil, where Blackness, African heritage, nationhood and related spiritual/religious identities are mediated through the study and use of Yoruba linguistic practices. Washington received her MA from the University of Pittsburgh and her BA from Hampton University.