Faculty, Staff & Students

Tenure-Track Faculty

Headshot of Felicia  Denaud

Felicia Denaud

Asst Professor, A&S Africana Studies

French Hall


Headshot of Cassandra L Jones

Cassandra L Jones

Assistant Professor, A&S Africana Studies

3623 French Hall


Headshot of Holly Y McGee

Holly Y McGee

Associate Professor, A&S 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.
Headshot of Nicholas McLeod

Nicholas McLeod

Asst Professor, A&S Africana Studies

French Hall


Headshot of Joseph Takougang

Joseph Takougang

Professor, Department Head, A&S 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.
Headshot of Edward V Wallace

Edward V Wallace

Associate Professor , A&S Africana Studies

3609 French Hall


Dr. Edward V. Wallace, author of Disparities in Urban Health: The Wounds of Policies and Legal Doctrines (John Hopkins Press, 2024),  co-editor of
Ohio under COVID: Lessons from America’s Heartland in Crisis (University of Michegan Press, 2023),  and Black Sociology (Routledge Press, 2015) and is the founder and director of the Minority Health certificate program at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Wallace specializes in racial and ethnic health disparities, health equity, and minority health in the Department of Africana Studies and an affiliate faculty within the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Wallace has extensive research experience working with vulnerable populations and has been involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of several minority health initiatives.  Dr. Wallace has received the Urban Health Research Award, Spirit of Excellence Award, Faculty Excellence Award and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters while at the University of Cincinnati. 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, A&S 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 currently serves as the Africana Studies Undergraduate Studies director, the Social Justice program director in addition to 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

Headshot of Karen Jean Cudjoe

Karen Jean Cudjoe

Africana Studies

Headshot of Lotsmart N Fonjong

Lotsmart N Fonjong

Professor - Adj Ann, Africana Studies

French Hall


Affiliate Faculty

Headshot of Anima Adjepong

Anima Adjepong

Assoc Professor, Africana Studies

3302 French Hall


Headshot of Omotayo O Banjo

Omotayo O Banjo

Professor, Africana Studies

Van Wormer Hall


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.
Headshot of Littisha Bates

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
Headshot of RJ Boutelle

RJ Boutelle

Asst Professor, Africana Studies



RJ Boutelle is assistant professor of English, affiliate faculty in Africana Studies, affiliate faculty in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the author of The Race for America: Black Internationalism in the Age of Manifest Destiny (UNC Press, 2023). He teaches courses on African American literature and 19th-century US literature.
Headshot of Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown

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. 

Headshot of Lauren Forbes

Lauren Forbes

Asst Professor, Africana Studies



Dr. Lauren Forbes is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Cincinnati.  She is a community development policy scholar studying local food systems, equitable urban development, and collective action among low-income racialized populations.
Headshot of Theresa Leininger-Miller

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 Dean's Award for Outstanding Research thrice (2023, 2001, and 1994), the Outstanding Academic Advising Award in 2006, the Marian Spencer Diversity Ambassador Award in 2009, and the President's Quality Service Award in 2005. 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; Reading Southern Art (forthcoming); 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; Picture Cincinnati in Song, Panorama, Source:  Notes in the History of Art; and multiple book and exhibition reviews in 19th-Century Art Worldwide, Journal of American History, caa.reviews, and elsewhere.  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 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, the NEH, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, Kress, Luce, and Smithsonian Institution.  She was Chair of the national professional organization, the Association of Historians of American Art.  She leads Honors seminars and a class with a study abroad component to London and Paris, "The Black Body in European Art," among other courses.  Currently she is co-editing anthology on illustrated sheet music for Bloomsbury Press.
Headshot of Sharrell D Luckett

Sharrell D Luckett

Professor, Africana Studies



Sharrell D. Luckett, PhD, is a Charles P. Taft Distinguished Professor of Drama and Performance Studies and the Director of the Helen Weinberger Center for Drama & Playwriting. You can learn more about her dynamic career at www.sdluckett.com and www.BlackActingMethods.com.
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

Assoc Professor, Africana Studies



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 Nicole Kaffenberger

Nicole Kaffenberger

Program Manager, Arts and Sciences - Africana Studies, Judaic Studies, Women's Studies, and Sociology