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Elsa Barkley Brown

Photo of Elsa Barkley Brown

Associate Professor, The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Associate Professor and Associate Chair, History
Affiliate Associate Professor, American Studies

(301) 405-3447

2101 Woods Hall
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Research Expertise

African American/African Diaspora
Black Feminist Thought
Black Studies
Critical Race Theory
Cultural Studies
United States
Visual Culture

My primary interests are in African-American political culture, with an emphasis on gender.  This takes me in exciting and varied directions from a focus on citizenship and rights to literal and conceptual maps of the daily lives and worldviews of African Americans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries  to explorations of contemporary African American women visual artists' and filmmakers’ engagements with history.  Always I am conceptually most interested in unraveling the oft unseen work inherent in our daily lives – the work of friendship, the work of day-to-day political organizing, the work of creativity, and most importantly, the work of collectivity.  A driving passion of all my explorations is a firm belief that community is an ongoing process located/rooted in the work that people do to continuously create it and possible only when gumbo ya ya (everybody talks at once) rather than conventional consensus is given full rein.  Central to this is a concern for the work of narrative –from the stories black mothers have traditionally told their daughters to the retellings of histories that often undergird political rhetoric and, especially, the cherished stories students bring into the classroom and hold to so intently. For more information, please visit the following link