2021 Symposium People


Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor headshot


Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes and speaks on Black politics, social movements, and racial inequality in the United States.

She is author Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). Race for Profit was a semi-finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2020.

Her earlier book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Haymarket Books, 2016) won the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book in 2016. She is also editor of How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective (Haymarket Books, 2012) which won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBQT nonfiction in 2018.

Taylor is a contributing writer at The New Yorker. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Boston Review, Paris Review, Guardian, The Nation, Jacobin, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, among others. She is a former Contributing Opinion Writer for The New York Times.

In 2016, she was named one of the hundred most influential African Americans in the United States by The Root. In 2018 Essence Magazine named her among the top one hundred “change makers” in the county. She has been appointed as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians by the Organization of American Historians.

When asked by The Nation about the limits of electoral politics, Taylor responded: “We know people died for the right to vote. But people also died for democracy and justice and inclusion, and voting does not necessarily secure that. When people say that, they ignore the most important factor in creating progress in the United States: social movements, and the power of ordinary people to come together collectively, to force the political establishment to adhere to their demands.”

Taylor is Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.


Beth Bouloukous headshot


“From Proposal to Bookshelf (or the Cloud)”

(In advance of the workshop, attendees might consider browsing AUPresses’ newly launched website page with commonly asked questions, Ask UP.)

This workshop will address the many aspects of the scholarly publishing process, focusing on monograph-length scholarship. In this general overview workshop, we will cover the nuts and bolts of going from proposal to bookshelf (or the cloud). We will address the three main areas of book publishing that are of interest to scholars: acquisitions, production, and marketing, although there will be an emphasis on the acquisitions process. Attendees will learn how to know what you can and can’t use from a dissertation in a book manuscript, write an effective proposal, know when it’s time to make contact with a publisher, find the right publisher for them, distinguish the roles of the acquisitions editor and editorial assistant, understand the peer review and board processes, handle rejection, negotiate a contract, prepare their projects for production, approach ideas for a cover, make suggestions for marketing, research open access possibilities, and promote their books. There will be ample time for questions at the end of the workshop.

Beth Bouloukos is the director of the Amherst College Press and Lever Press. Before beginning at Amherst and Lever, she acquired books in education, Latin American/Latinx studies, and gender and sexuality studies at SUNY Press. She received her doctorate from Cornell University where she researched Latin American literature, film, and culture through a feminist lens.

E. Patrick Johnson headshot


“The BIPOC Journey on the Tenure Track: Some Practical Advice”

This workshop will discuss some of the unique challenges of BIPOC faculty on the tenure-track and provide strategies for navigating that journey. Participants are asked to bring specific questions for discussion.

E. Patrick Johnson is Dean of the School of Communication and Annenberg University Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. He is a 2020 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Johnson is a prolific performer/scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African American studies, Performance Studies, Gender and Sexuality studies.

He is the author of Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity (2003); Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History (2008); Black. Queer. Southern. Women.—An Oral History (2018); and Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women (2019), in addition to several edited and co-edited collections, essays, and plays.

Johnson’s written and performance work dovetail intimately. His staged reading, “Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales,” has toured to over 100 college campuses since 2006. The full-length stage play, Sweet Tea—The Play, premiered in Chicago, toured across 8 other cities, and to the National Black Theater Festival.

Johnson is also among the subjects and co-executive producer of the film, Making Sweet Tea, which has received several awards, including Best LGBTQ Film at the San Diego Film Festival, Best Documentary Audience at the Out on Film Festival, and the Silver Image Award from the Association of American Retired Persons (AARP) for Positive Representation of LGBTQ People over Fifty at the Chicago Reeling LGBTQ Film Festival.

P. Gabrielle Foreman headshot


“Know Your Value/s: Strategies for Our Academic Success, Survival, and for Sustaining Ourselves”

Participants in this workshop will distill their own values into mission statements that can guide them in how to reclaim their most precious resource, their time. As members of groups often asked to take on extra institutional labor, attendees also reflect on the kinds of institution building and diversity pipeline work gives them energy and to identify what depletes them too. Articulating this in advance allows participants to define what to say yes or no to in areas where they feel called or obligated to contribute. Participants come away with a well-defined decision-making rubric that allows them to reclaim both time and emotional energy. One participant in a CLIR post-doc workshop summed up a common response when he exclaimed “I would have saved two years of work I didn’t really want to do if I had attended this workshop earlier!”

Dr. P. Gabrielle Foreman builds on decades of student and faculty community building, professional development innovation, and facilitation of connections between institutions of higher learning, cultural institutions, and community organizations. She has served as a consultant for universities focused on recruiting and retaining scholars of color from Texas to Vermont and as an advisor for hundreds of PhDs across discipline and rank at career crossroads. Her own career is notable for creating diverse communities of care and productivity. Dr. Foreman is the founding faculty director of the internationally renowned Colored Conventions Project, an award-winning online archive that brings seven decades of Black political organizing to digital life. It has been featured in the New York Times and is the only digital project chosen by the NEH as an Essential Project. Dr. Foreman’s work is known not only for its scholarly interventions but for the career pipelines she centers and for her attention to creating and supporting leaders that further diversify the professoriate, libraries, and cultural institutions. She is a professor of English, African American Studies and History at Penn State University where she holds an endowed chair in Liberal Arts and is a founding co-director of the Center for Black Digital Research.

Eng-Beng Lim headshot


“Queer Reconstellations: Building Worlds of Pleasure in and Beyond the University”

How might we constellate worlds of possibility in the academy so as to thrive not only as scholars and teachers but also humans and lovers? What can people of color do to lessen the harm in all we do, including our own scholarship, and not be alienated from our labor? These questions are about how we know what we think we know emotionally, intellectually and institutionally as faculty in areas of under-representation, and be cognizant of the stakes and scales of our involvement. Considering the US academy’s long collusion with empire and nation building, it is no wonder that the university is particularly extractive when it comes to the labor of faculty of color. How might we queerly reassemble the relational structures and resources of our work in order to reconstellate other kinds of worlds in and beyond the university? This workshop builds on the notion of “queer reconstellations” Dr. Lim and Dr. Tavia Nyong’o outlined in a recent issue of Social Text to extend intersectional and decolonial methods beyond their immense utility as critique of the university. It seeks to re-vision and re-spatialize arrangements of labor, love and power, and redirect our work in pursuit of pleasure.

Eng-Beng Lim is Founding Director of the Consortium of Studies in Race, Migration, and Sexuality, and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. He is a scholar of performance and cultural studies, queer and Asia/America studies, and race and sexuality studies. He is working on two projects, one is titled Ethnocuties: The Onpoetics of Queer Friendship, and the other is Megastructures of Feeling: Singapore, Race, and Impossible Form in Asia/America.

Noliwe Rooks headshot


“Surviving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Initiatives When, as Audre Lorde reminds, ‘We were never meant to survive.’”

An interdisciplinary scholar, Noliwe Rooks is the W.E.B Du Bois Professor at Cornell University. Her work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by popular culture, social history and political life in the United States. She works on the cultural and racial implications of beauty, fashion and adornment; race, capitalism and education, and the urban politics of food and cannabis production.

The author of four books and numerous articles, essays and op ed’s, Rooks has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson School among others. She lectures frequently at colleges and universities around the country and is a regular contributor to popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Time Magazine, and NPR.

Rooks’ current book, in which she coined the term “segrenomics,” is Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education which won an award for non-fiction from the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Her current research, for which she has received a Kaplan Fellowship and a fellowship from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, will explore relationships between capitalism, land, urban food politics and cannabis legalization in the United States.

She is a professor in Africana Studies, the director of American Studies, an affiliated faculty member in the Center for Inequality Studies, a Faculty Fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and a member of the core faculty in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Nicole N. Aljoe headshot


“Re-Mixing DH for Research, Teaching, and Social Justice”

Nicole N. Aljoe’s research focuses on 18th and early 19th Century Black Atlantic and Caribbean literatures with a specialization on the slave narrative and early novels. In addition to teaching in these areas, she has published essays and book chapters on these topics in American Literary History, The Journal of Early American Literature, African American Review, Anthurium, The Oxford Companion to African American Slave Narratives, and Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literature. In her monograph Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives from the British West Indies, 1709-1836 (Palgrave 2012) and in the co-edited collections Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (UVA Press, 11/2014) and, most recently, A Literary History of the Early Anglophone Caribbean: Islands in the Stream (Palgrave/Springer, April 2018), she extensively explores the myriad ways in which the voices of subalterns have appeared in the archives. Currently, she is at work on two new projects that extend this research in productive ways: in the first, she examines representations of Caribbean Women of Color produced in Europe and England between 1780 and 1840. And in the second, she explores relationships between narratives of Black lives and the rise of the novel in Europe and the Americas in the 18th century.

Nicole N. Aljoe is Director of Africana Studies Program and Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at Northeastern University. She received her PhD in English Literature from Tufts University, her MA English Literature from the University Vermont, and her BA Art History from Vassar College. She is co-Director of The Early Caribbean Digital Archive and Director the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac, both associated with Northeastern’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks and the Digital Scholarship Group.

Kyla Wazana Tompkins headshot


“Imagine Otherwise, Workshop for Our Collective Thriving”

Kyla Wazana Tompkins is a former food writer and restaurant critic. Today, as a scholar of 19th-century U.S. literature with a continuing interest in the relationship between food and culture, she writes about the connections between literature and a wide range of topics: food, eating, sexuality, race, culture, film and dance. Her 2012 book, Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century, received the 2012 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize from the American Studies Association and tied for the Best Book in Food Studies Award, presented by the Association for the Study of Food and Society.


Priya Nelson headshot


Priya Nelson is Senior Editor at Princeton University Press, where she publishes scholarly monographs and general interest books in history. Her area of acquisition reflects her academic training at the University of Chicago and the University of Texas at Austin.

Brian Halley headshot


Areas of Expertise
Brian Halley has long been interested in interdisciplinary work that stretches across multiple humanities fields, and possibly beyond. At the Press, Brian manages the series American Popular Music; Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book; Environmental History of the Northeast; Page and Screen; Native Americans of the Northeast; and Becoming Modern: Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. In addition, Brian co-edits the African-American Intellectual History series and acquires in the fields of gender and sexuality studies, environmental studies, and studies in race and ethnicity. A longtime Boston resident, he is also interested in urban studies and books about the Boston region.

Brian Halley is Senior Editor at the University of Massachusetts Press, based at UMass Boston. Before coming to UMass, Halley was an Editor at Beacon Press. He has an BA in American Studies and English from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in Comparative Literature from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Ana-Maria Jiminez-Moreno headshot


Areas of Expertise
I am in the acquisitions department but because I am at a small press, I can speak to the other areas of publishing as well. I cannot speak to trade publishing in depth.

Ana-Maria Jiminez-Moreno earned her B.A. at Rutgers and Ph.D. from Notre Dame where she studied English Literature. She participated in a post-doctoral fellowship through Notre Dame where she also worked for the university’s press. She was then selected for the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship Program through the University of Georgia Press. She is now the cultural and literary studies editor at The Ohio State University Press.

Elizabeth Ault headshot


Areas of Expertise
Dissertation to book; developing a second book project; interdisciplinary scholarship (including but not limited to critical ethnic studies; feminist, queer, and trans studies; disability studies; and Theory from the South); open access publishing

Elizabeth Ault is an Editor at Duke University Press, acquiring broadly across the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Prior to joining Duke Press in 2012, Elizabeth received an A.B. (with honors) in American Studies from Brown University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. In addition to her editorial work, Elizabeth is a member of the North Carolina Women’s Prison Books Collective.

Gianna Mosser headshot


Areas of expertise
Monograph publishing (subject specialties: critical ethnic studies, Black studies, theater and performance, sociology, literary studies); Drafting proposals; Developing scholarly series; Trade publishing.

Gianna Mosser is the director of Vanderbilt University Press. Prior to joining VUP in 2019, she was the editor in chief of Northwestern University Press, where she acquired in critical ethnic studies, theater and performance studies, comparative literature, and regional trade books. Gianna currently serves on the Equity, Justice, and Inclusion committee of the Association of University Presses.

Mike Baccam headshot


Areas of expertise
Dissertation to book; proposal best practices; peer review; nitty gritty of preparing a manuscript and the production process; illustrations and permissions; careers in academic publishing; and subject areas of Asian American studies, critical ethnic studies, American cultural studies, and US history.

Mike Baccam is an acquisitions editor at the University of Washington Press, where he primarily works in the fields of Asian American studies, critical ethnic studies, and western US history. He has been an acquiring editor at UW Press for three years and has more than ten years of prior work experience in editing and publishing as well as an MFA in creative writing and a BA in English. His background as a second-generation immigrant whose family was uprooted due to the American war in Vietnam informs his specific interests in migration and diaspora studies, ethnic studies, American cultural studies, and transnational U.S. history, as well as his dedication to publishing work by underrepresented authors and elevating the perspectives and illuminating the histories and experiences of marginalized communities.

Symposium Committee

Touba Ghadessi headshot


Touba Ghadessi is Associate Provost for Academic Administration and Faculty Affairs and Professor of the History of Art at Wheaton College. She is also the co-founder the Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities, the past chair of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, a member of the inaugural executive committee for the New England Humanities Consortium’s Faculty of Color board, a board member of the Providence Athenaeum, and the past joint president of the oldest Renaissance society in America, the New England Renaissance Conference.

Her last book, Portraits of Human Monsters in the Renaissance, focuses on how human difference has been historically represented, categorized, and interpreted in various Italian and French courts of the Renaissance. Her new research addresses theoretical constructs of monstrosity, as well as gender fluidity in images of French Valois rulers. From alchemy, to wilderness, and to hermaphroditic bodies, this project traces how different bodies led to alternate ruling epistemologies and framed the dialogue between a monarch’s political intentions and the public’s perception of authority.

She has been invited to discuss her work at numerous venues (Mahindra Center at Harvard University, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University…) and her work has been published in books and journals, such as the Harvard University I Tatti Studies and the Oxford University Journal of the History of Collections.

The courses Ghadessi teaches highlight intellectual concepts and material that often fall outside of the common canon of art history. It is through these discourses that she encourages students to become critical thinkers, inside and outside of the classroom.

To pursue her scholarly interests, Ghadessi has been awarded grants to study at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris), to conduct archival research in Paris, Florence, and Rome, and to participate in the Centre national de la recherche scientifique’s sponsored seminars in Paris.

A passionate advocate for the true and concrete value of the humanities, particularly in a professional, civic, and political context, Ghadessi believes that knowledge, in all its forms, is what constructs a just and innovative society.

Of Persian descent, Touba Ghadessi was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, where she grew up in an international environment that emphasized the importance of diplomacy, cultural curiosity, and dialogue. She obtained a Maturité fédérale scientifique before moving to the United States and receiving her PhD from Northwestern University.

Darryl Harper headshot


Darryl Harper is Associate Professor of Music and director of the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College. Before coming to Amherst, he served as chair of the Department of Music in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Harper is a jazz musician interested in how race, culture, and political economy intersect with music. His performance credits as a clarinetist include dates with Orrin Evans, Tim Warfield, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roscoe Mitchell, Dave Holland, Uri Caine, Claudia Acuña, and Regina Carter. He recently toured with The Harlem Hellfighters: James Reese Europe and the Absence of Ruin, pianist Jason Moran’s multimedia meditation in tribute to the iconic World War I veteran who helped to disseminate African American music in Europe. As a composer, Harper has published and recorded over two dozen works, including a film score he co-wrote for the award-winning documentary film Herskovits: At the Heart of Blackness. He has recorded seven albums as a leader, including Y’All Got It: The Music from The Wiz by Charlie Smalls (Hipnotic 2004), Stories in Real Time (Hipnotic 2009), The Edenfred Files (Hipnotic 2013), and The Need’s Got to Be So Deep (Hipnotic 2014).

Ted Landsmark headshot


As Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s first appointment to the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s Board of Directors, Ted Landsmark has brought to the board a wealth of expertise in architecture, urban design, civic leadership, architectural and construction law, and community advocacy. During his seventeen-year tenure as president and CEO of the Boston Architectural College, Dr. Landsmark led the growth of the school from a center into an internationally recognized, multi-disciplinary institution. In August 2014, he was named president emeritus of the college. Landsmark has served as academic vice president of the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, South Carolina, and as a faculty member and administrator at the Massachusetts College of Art, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and UMass Boston. He has also served as a trustee or board member for many non-profit organizations, including: the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, American Architectural Foundation, the Design Futures Council, The Boston Society of Architects, Historic New England, and Historic Boston. He was also president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, and the Association of the Collegiate School of Architects. His research and practice interests include diversity in design, environmental design, design education, higher education administration, community-based economic development, historic preservation, and African American art and artisanry.

Kareem Khubchandani headshot


Kareem Khubchandani is the Mellon Bridge assistant professor in theater, dance, and performance studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2020), co-editor of Queer Nightlife (forthcoming, University of Michigan Press), recipient of the 2019 CLAGS Fellowship, and curator of www.criticalauntystudies.com. He has published in Scholar and Feminist Online, Transgender Studies Quarterly, SAMAJ, South Asia, Journal of Asian American Studies, and the Velvet Light Trap. Kareem is currently working on two new book projects: Decolonize Drag and Auntologies: Queer Aesthetics and South Asian Aunties.

Symposium Coordinator

Justin Zullo headshot


Justin Zullo is an educator, audio producer, musician, and youth arts facilitator. Whether teaching, facilitating workshops, or producing audio documentaries, his work seeks to spotlight a variety of performance practices, from street protests and prison arts to gang culture and queer aesthetics in rap music. He has designed sound for theater productions and art installations nationally, in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His music has been featured by Third Coast International Audio Festival, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and Chicago’s Navy Pier. Justin is currently an audio producer for The Poetry Foundation’s podcast, Role Call: A Black Poetry Miniseries.