2019 Du Bois Center Fellows

Freeden Blume Oeur is associate professor of sociology and education at Tufts University, and senior co-chair for the Boston Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality. His research examines the interplay of gender and masculinity, feminist theory, and Black politics. As a Du Bois Center postdoctoral fellow, Blume Oeur will undertake research for a new book project: a comparative intellectual history of Du Bois and C. Wright Mills in the early cold war period that brings together historical ethnography and speculative fiction, and psychoanalysis and Black Marxism, in order to re-imagine the radical possibilities of the sociological imagination.

Jay Cephas is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Northeastern University. Prior to Northeastern, Jay was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan after earning a Ph.D. in Architecture and Urbanism from Harvard University and serving as the 2011 Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Jay currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Architectural Education and is the founding director of Studio Plat, a geospatial research and development practice that examines the past, present, and future of cities. As a 2019 W. E. B. Du Bois Fellow, Jay theorizes Du Bois’ maps and diagrams of black urban life as analytical objects of an academic racial resistance that Du Bois deployed to shift scholarly inquiry away from the physical bodies of black people and towards the social body of black neighborhoods.

Adam Dahl is an assistant professor of political science at UMass Amherst.  His research and teaching interests are in American political thought, democratic theory, the politics of race and indigeneity, and political theories of empire and colonialism.  His first book, Empire of the People: Settler Colonialism and the Foundations of Modern Democratic Thought (University Press of Kansas, 2018), examines the constitutive role of settler colonialism in shaping modern norms of democratic legitimacy.  He is currently at work on a book-length project, tentatively titled Transnational Democracy in the Americas, which explores the interconnected dynamics of internationalism, anti-imperialism, and transnational citizenship in the American democratic tradition.

Victoria I. Rizo Lenshyn received her PhD in German Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she also holds graduate certificates in Film Studies and in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. With a focus on East German (GDR) cinema and culture, her interdisciplinary research and publications locate German society and cinema within its global contexts. Her publications address the local and international aspects of socialist star culture, questions currently being raised about the scholarly uses and heritage of the national archive, and on transnational dimensions of East German-Vietnamese relations around the 1988 co-production Dschungelzeit (Time in the Jungle) by GDR filmmaker Jörg Foth. Her postdoctoral research at the Du Bois Center focused on the Jörg Foth collection in Special Collections and University Archives, situating Foth’s work in important movements of the late 1980s and 1990s, such as exercising personal freedoms under an authoritative state, the youth movement, environmental activism, and international socialist solidarity.

Alexandria Russell received her doctorate degree in History from the University of South Carolina in December 2018.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the College of Charleston in 2009.  Her dissertation, “Sites Seen and Unseen: Mapping African American Women’s Public Memorialization,” is national study that examines the evolution of African American women’s public commemorations in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present.  She is excited to begin as the 2019-2020 Scarlet & Black Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at Rutgers University.

Phillip Luke Sinitiere teaches history and humanities at the College of Biblical Studies, and predominately black school in Houston’s culturally rich Mahatma Gandhi District. A scholar of American religious history and African American studies, his recent books include: Protest and Propaganda: W. E. B. Du Bois, The Crisis, and American History (University of Missouri Press, 2014); Salvation with a Smile: Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, and American Christianity (NYU Press, 2015); and Citizen of the World: The Late Career and Legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois (Northwestern University Press, 2019). In addition to being a fellow of the Du Bois Center, in 2019 Phillip became our first Scholar in Residence, working to forge connections with other institutions and produce new scholarship for publication.

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.

Jingjing Zhang was a visiting scholar in W.E.B Department of Afro-American Studies from August 2018 to August 2019. While at UMass, she took part in the Du Bois Center fellowship. She is currently a lecturer in Zhejiang International Studies University, Hangzhou, China. She completed her PhD in Foreign Languages and Literatures specializing in the tension between art and propaganda in Du Bois’s novels at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. She is now working on her provincial project which is set for completion in June, 2021.The project will present the trajectory of Du Bois’s literary thoughts and his practice of them and it will also include the translation of some important pieces of Du Bois’s works.