Wooster welcomes new chair of Africana Studies

Courtney L. Thompson, chair and associate professor of Africana Studies

This fall The College of Wooster welcomed Courtney L. Thompson as chair and associate professor of Africana Studies. Thompson’s interdisciplinary training and research draw together the fields of Black (women’s) studies, American studies, women’s and gender studies, and literary studies, and make her an asset to this critical interdisciplinary department at Wooster.

Originally from the Midwest, Thompson was drawn to Wooster by its “reputation as an institution committed to autonomous thinking, mentorship, and collaboration,” as well as the conversations she had with students and faculty when she visited campus. “I knew then that this would be a community where I could contribute and thrive, not just intellectually but in other ways,” she said.

Prior to Wooster, Thompson was an associate professor of American studies and women’s and gender studies at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Her experience in Africana studies also includes positions as a visiting assistant professor at Hamilton College and Dickinson College, and as a visiting scholar and assistant professor at the University of Houston. Her research incorporates African American literary tradition, American political discourse, progressive movements, and Black feminist theory, and her writing has appeared in Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International; Women, Gender, and Families of Color; Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies; Feminist Media Studies; and the International Journal of Africana Studies. She completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Purdue University and her bachelor’s degree in English at Hampton University in Virginia. She is a proud UNCF/Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and alumnae of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers.

Thompson’s teaching interests reflect her concern with literature, popular culture, progressive politics, social constructions of identity, and cultural representations of race and gender. In the coming year, she looks forward to expanding the department, bringing on additional tenure-track faculty that will be a part of the re-imagining of Africana Studies at the College. “I am eager to work closely with colleagues, staff, and students who have an interest in Africana Studies and wish to see the field well-represented and thriving in this community,” said Thompson.

Posted in News on September 2, 2022.