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“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey
African American Studies
Meet Your Professors
Dr. Saundra Ardrey, Program Director--Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science (Ph. D., Ohio State University)
Dr. Ardrey specializes in voting and electoral behavior. Dr. Ardrey conducts research on the political participation of women and minorities and has made contributions to the extant literature through several publications on the political beliefs and behavior of African Americans. Her areas of expertise also include media and politics, campaign management, political opinion, and African American Studies. A graduate of Winston-Salem State University and The Ohio State University, she is recognized as a media analyst for both local and state media outlets. In addition to University teaching and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Ardrey is active in local politics and community activities. She has been a campaign manager, Democratic party executive committee member, president of the Bowling Green/Warren County NOW, and currently serves as the political action committee chair for the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Dr. Ardrey has received numerous awards and honors, including Outstanding People of the 20th Century.
Dr. Andrew Rosa - Assistant Professor, African American Studies (Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amhrest)
Dr. Andrew Rosa’s teaching and research interests in African American intellectual and social movement history is grounded in the interdisciplinary fields African American Studies, Diaspora Studies, and American Studies. His related interests include racial foundations of academic thought, Black radicalism, comparative slavery, Black Atlantic history, and Pan Africanism.
He is a graduate of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of African American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards for his research, including an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship from the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago and a NEH fellowship from the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 2015, he was awarded the University College Faculty Award for Research and Creativity at WKU. His work has appeared in the Journal of Black Studies, Race and Class, American Studies, and History of Education Quarterly, and he’s currently preparing a manuscript for the University of Georgia Press on the African American Scholar Activist, St. Clair Drake. Most recently, he edited Many Rivers to Cross: Selected Readings in the African American Experience (Kendall Hunt Publications, 2015) to support undergraduate courses in African American Studies. In addition, he thoroughly enjoys leading the Study Abroad opportunity to Trinidad and Tobago and being a part of a growing interdisciplinary and globally conscious department and program at WKU.
Dr. Cheryl Hopson - Assistant Professor, African American Studies (Ph.D. University of Kentucky)
Dr. Cheryl R. Hopson is an assistant professor of African American Studies in the Department of Diversity and Community Studies. She received her PhD in English from the University of Kentucky in 2008, and specializes in 20th century African-American and American literature and culture, Third Wave feminism, and generational Black feminisms. Her teaching and scholarship are interdisciplinary in scope. Both highlight the interconnections between literature, culture and society, and draw on the disciplines of literary studies, sociology, history, anthropology, and race and gender studies.
Dr. Hopson’s scholarship examines dramatizations of Black mother/daughter relationships, Black women’s mothering experiences, and Black women’s experiences as daughters in the creative and critical productions of African-American women, specifically autobiography and memoir. She is currently engaged in a long-term writing project that juxtaposes the life and writings of Pulitzer prize-winning novelist, Alice Walker, with those of her daughter, Third Wave feminist writer and intellectual, Rebecca (nee Leventhal) Walker.
Dr. Hopson has published essays on Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker (“Zora Neale Hurston as Womanist” included in Critical Insights: Zora Neale Hurston), and on U.S. Black feminist sisterhood (“The U.S. Women’s Liberation Movement and Black Feminist ‘Sisterhood’” included in Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought.). She is a regular presenter at regional, national and international academic conferences on literature, race, gender, and popular culture, such as the Popular Culture Association, the College Language Association; the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, and the National Women’s Studies Association.
A poet as well, Dr. Hopson’s chapbook Black Notes was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. Her poems can also be found in the Toronto Quarterly and Border Crossings, and her recent poetry reviews at TheThePoetry.Com and Horseless Press.
Affiliated Faculty include:
Dr. John Hardin—Professor, History (Ph. D., University of Michigan)
Dr. Bella Mukonyora—Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies (Ph. D., Oxford University)
Dr. Selena Ronshaye Sanderfer--Visiting Assistant Professor, History (Ph. D., Vanderbilt University)
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