Post-Doctoral FellowsFelix Jean-Louis
Rebecka Rutledge Fisher
Sarah Holm Tanzi
Sarah Holm Tanzi received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she studied economic and political theory. Her dissertation, “Free Market Authoritarianism and the Election of Donald Trump,” examines how scapegoating narratives are used to blame economic crisis on immigrant and minority populations, and how the right-wing media establishment works to make these narratives salient and influential to voters. Using a framework of intersectionality and using interdisciplinary methods, including discourse analysis, she researches what type of media narratives are most effective in mobilizing voters and shifting opinions. As a postdoctoral fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, she conducts archival research to investigate how Du Bois conceived of his role as both an academic and propogandist, and how empirical research can be coupled with popular media outlets to impact political mobilization and social change.
Carlyn Ferrari is an Assistant Professor of English at Seattle University where she teaches courses on African American literature and culture and Black Feminism. She received her Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies from the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she was awarded the Esther Terry Award for the Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation in Afro-American Studies (2018). She also earned graduate certificates in Advanced Feminist Studies and African Diaspora Studies. Her research explores the intersection between Black feminist thought and literary ecocriticism. Her scholarship has been supported by William A. Elwood Fellowship in Civil Rights and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia and the Joyce Avrech Berkman Endowed Fund for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently working on two book projects about poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer, who was a longtime friend of W. E. B. Du Bois.
Graduate FellowsMtalika Banda
Chanel Prince is a second year graduate student in sociology. She will review Du Bois’ 20th century engagement with racial capitalism and racial liberation within the Pan-African Black Liberation movement to better understand their coexistence within the 21st century movement. The Philadelphia Odunde Festival and the international Afropunk Festival will be used to explore this phenomenon.
Benjamin Scherrer is a PhD student studying International Education Policy at UMass Amherst. His research project revisits Du Bois’s work in order to better understand race and climate change. Within the Du Bois archives, he is analyzing themes related to settler-colonial land use, development, and displacement. His field study in Louisiana examines forms of resistance within a community undergoing collective relocation due to patterns of flooding. His archival analysis will also serve to examine precursors to neoliberal policies and the global development complex, manifest as northern white philanthropy, through education and development programs such as those developed by Booker T. Washington and Sears Corporation’s Julius Rosenwald.