Faculty, Staff & Students

Tenure-Track Faculty

Headshot of Felicia  Denaud

Felicia Denaud

Asst Professor, Africana Studies

French Hall


Headshot of Cassandra L Jones

Cassandra L Jones

Assistant Professor, Africana Studies

3623 French Hall


Headshot of Holly Y McGee

Holly Y McGee

Associate Professor, Africana Studies



Hailing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Holly Y. McGee specializes in U.S. History and African American History, with an emphasis on black women’s activist and intellectual history, comparative political activism in the United States and South Africa, and popular culture in the twentieth century.  Secondary specialties include local histories of the American South, South African women’s history, and oral histories.  Currently, Dr. McGee teaches undergraduate courses in black history and film, culture and counterculture, and African American history in early and colonial America.

Presently, Dr. McGee is conducting research for her book, a biographical oral history of South African activist Elizabeth Mafeking.  Mafeking was one of four women featured in Dr. McGee's dissertation, “When the Window Closed: Gender, Race, and (Inter)Nationalism, the United States and South Africa, 1920s-1960s,” which put into conversation existent and new scholarship regarding black radical women of the Left in the United States and South Africa during the twentieth century and was primarily concerned with the evolution of women’s protest from localized issues of race-based discrimination to international, anti-colonial protests of the era. 

Dr. McGee’s most recent publication credit, “‘It was the wrong time and they just weren’t ready’: Direct-action protest at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College (AM&N),” appeared as a reprint in Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas, an edited collection on SNCC’s pivotal role in transforming the status of racial discrimination in Arkansas in the 1960s.  Additionally, she has forthcoming articles in the fields of local Arkansas history, and South African women's history.
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Joseph Takougang

Professor, Department Head, Africana Studies

3428C French Hall


Dr. Joseph Takougang is Professor of African history and Department Head in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He is also an affiliate faculty in the Department of History. Dr.Takougang obtained a BA in history from the University of Yaounde, Cameroon, and an MA and PhD in African history from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He researches and writes on colonial and post-colonial Africa, with a focus on Cameroon. A secondary interest focuses on contemporary African migration, particularly to the United States.
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Edward V Wallace

Associate Professor , Africana Studies

3609 French Hall


Edward. V. Wallace, specializes in the area of Community Health where he addresses health disparities in vulnerable populations.  His research area of focus is in three distinct areas: Racial and Ethnic Health Inequality, Health Policy, and Minority Health.  He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies, the director and creator of the Minority Health Certificate, and an Affiliate faculty member with the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Wallace has received the Spirit of Excellence Award and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles while at the University of Cincinnati. Most recently in (2018) he published Passing the Healthcare Bill from Obama to Trump: More Confusion, More Health Disparities. Journal of Race and Policy. 13 (1), 45 – 49. Dr. Wallace received his training from The State University of New York College at Cortland, The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, School of Public Health, and University of Alabama, School of Public Health.  
Headshot of Guy-Lucien Whembolua

Guy-Lucien Whembolua

Associate Professor, Africana Studies

3605 French Hall


Dr. Whembolua is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management in the department of Africana studies and an affiliate faculty in the College of Medicine. As a behavioral scientist, his research explores the socio-cultural determinants of health among African populations (global health) and their diasporas (health disparities). He is the founding director of the Global Health Studies certificate.

Educator Faculty

Headshot of John K. Kalubi

John K. Kalubi

Associate Teaching Professor, A&S Africana Studies

3622 French Hall


K. John Kalubi PhD is Field Service Assistant Professor of African and African Diaspora literatures. He teaches various courses in African and African American intellectual ideas, literature and history. Dr. Kalubi received his MA and PhD from the University of Cincinnati and a Magistere from the University of Paris-Sorbonne in French and Francophone cultures and literatures. He has teaching and research interests in the post-colonial African intellectual ideas and African Diaspora contemporary literary perspectives.

Adjunct Faculty

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Karen Jean Cudjoe

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Africana Studies

440 Langsam Library


Headshot of Lotsmart N Fonjong

Lotsmart N Fonjong

Adjunct Professor, Africana Studies

French Hall


Affiliate Faculty

Headshot of Anima Adjepong

Anima Adjepong

Assistant Professor, Africana Studies

3302 French Hall


Headshot of Omotayo O Banjo

Omotayo O Banjo

Associate Professor, Africana Studies



Omotayo Banjo, PhD (Penn State University, 2009) focuses on representation and audience responses to racial and cultural media. Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals including Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Theory, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Media and Religion, and Race and Social Problems. She has also presented her research at regional, national and international conferences which include the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, Association for Education  in Journalism & Mass Communication, and the Collegium for African-American Research.  Dr. Banjo teaches courses related to media theory, identity, and race. She is also an affiliate faculty of Africana Studies, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and Journalism.
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Littisha Bates

Associate Professor (PhD, Arizona State University), Africana Studies



Sociology of Education; Early Childhood Education; Racial and Ethnic Stratification; Demography; Quantitative Research Methods; Immigration

Littisha Bates CV
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RJ Boutelle

Asst Professor, Africana Studies



RJ Boutelle is assistant professor of English, affiliate faculty in Africana Studies, and a national teaching partner at the Colored Conventions Project. He teaches courses on 19th-century US literature, African American literature, and Caribbean literature. He is the author of The Race for America: Black Internationalism in the Age of Manifest Destiny (UNC Press, 2023).
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Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown

Asst Professor, Africana Studies

Crosley Tower


Black Feminism; Sociology of Sport; Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Food Studies; Critical Race Feminism; Qualitative Methods 
Headshot of Ashley M Currier

Ashley M Currier

Professor, Department Head of , Africana Studies

3428E French Hall


Ashley Currier is a sociologist who studies lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizing in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, and South Africa. 

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Lauren Forbes

Asst Professor, Africana Studies

Crosley Tower


Lauren Forbes is an interdisciplinary urban policy scholar studying local food systems, community resilience, and civic engagement in low-income, racially segregated communities. She earned a Ph.D in public policy from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in 2022, a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Drexel University in 2013, and a B.S in biology from Oregon State University in 2011.
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Theresa Leininger-Miller

Professor, Africana Studies

6489B Aronoff Center


Professor Leininger-Miller (Ph.D., Yale University) teaches 19th-21st-century American and European art history.  Multiple students have nominated her such teaching awards as the Dolly Cohen Award, Professor of the Year, and the Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching.  Four times, UC senior class officers recognized her teaching achievement. Leininger-Miller won the Outstanding Academic Advising Award in 2006 and the Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award in 2009. Publications include New Negro Artists in Paris: African American Painters and Sculptors in the City of Light, 1922-1934 (Rutgers, 2001); essays in Imprinted:  Illustrating Race; Routledge Companion to African American Art HistoryDeborah Grant; Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance; Out of Context:  American Artists Abroad; The Modern Woman Revisited:  Paris Between the WarsBlack Paris; Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris; and Picture Cincinnati in Song; and multiple book and exhibition reviews.  Leininger-Miller has lectured throughout the U.S., France and Germany, and appeared on radio, television, and in documentaries. She has curated exhibitions at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Yale University Art Gallery, Weston Art Gallery, Auburn University, and Langsam, Blegen, and DAAP Libraries at UC. Awards are from the NEH, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, Kress, Luce, and Smithsonian Institution.  At UC, Leininger-Miller also won  the President's Quality Service Award and the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research. She was Chair of the national professional organization, the Association of Historians of American Art.
Headshot of Sharrell D Luckett

Sharrell D Luckett

Professor, Africana Studies



Headshot of Leila Rodriguez

Leila Rodriguez

Associate Professor, Africana Studies

450 Braunstein Hall


Affiliate faculty, Department of Africana Studies
Affiliate faculty, Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures
Affiliate faculty, Department of Sociology
Affiliate faculty, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies
Collaborator, Central American Population Center (University of Costa Rica)

I am a cultural anthropologist and demographer whose research centers on the local integration dynamics of migrants. A second line of research examines the use of culture as judicial evidence – in the form of anthropological expert testimony – in legal conflicts that involve immigrants and refugees. 

Regional interests: Central America, Latin America, U.S.


Headshot of Alexander John Thurston

Alexander John Thurston

Assistant Professor, Africana Studies

1210A Crosley Tower


I study Islam and politics in northwest Africa, with a focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I have conducted field research in Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso.

Emeriti Faculty

Headshot of Kenneth Ghee

Kenneth Ghee

Professor Emeritus, Africana Studies

Dr. Kenneth L. Ghee was born in Harlem, New York in 1956 and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1978 he earned his B.A. degree in Psychology from Boston University. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Health and Social Psychology at the University of Houston in 1983. Dr. Ghee came to the University of Cincinnati in 1985 with joint appointments in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Psychology. He was tenured in Psychology in 1993. After 23 years in the Department of Psychology, he is currently an Associate Professor and Interim Dept. Head, in the Department of Africana Studies. Over the years, Dr. Ghee has received numerous awards: including the 1992, George Barbour Award for outstanding faculty-student relations and the 2006 A.B. Dolly Cohen Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 2008, Dr. Ghee co-founded the PR1ZE program (Putting Retention 1st in the Zest for Excellence) to foster and promote retention and graduation for under-served students.
Headshot of Charles E. Jones

Charles E. Jones

Professor, Africana Studies

Professor, Charles E. Jones, is an architect in the field of African-American studies. At Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va., Jones’s first job, he built a minor program in black studies and headed the Institute for the Study of Minority Issues. Then he went on to Georgia State where he built an undergraduate program and then a master’s program. Dr. Jones is a board member of the National Council of Black Studies (NCBS), the leading professional organization for those in the field of African-American studies. Jones has spent a career grooming the future of Africana studies—from building programs to doing original research to encouraging students in the classroom. Now he is looking forward to completing his “marathon,” as he refers to his career, at UC. He is currently teaching Black Politics and Intro to Africana Studies.


Headshot of Evajean S O'Neal

Evajean S O'Neal

Business Administrator, Africana Studies

1210B Crosley Tower