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Past Fellows

Post Doctoral Fellow 2016-2017

Brittany Sheldon is currently working at Humboldt State University as the Art Department Gallery Director where she runs the Reese Bullen and Goudi'ni Native American Arts Galleries. She also teaches courses in Art History and for the Department's Museum and Gallery Certificate program. She received her master's and doctoral degrees in art history and African studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. She also holds a bachelor's degree in the history of art and visual culture from the University of California in Santa Cruz. Her research highlights women's artistry in the rural communities of northeastern Ghana and southern Burkina Faso. She created an online exhibition entitled "State of an Art: Women's Artistry in Northeastern Ghana and Southern Burkina Faso." Based on filed research conducted between 2012 and 2016, this website will showcase specific examples of plastering and painting, pottery-making, and basket-weaving processes as well as portraits of the women artists involved in them. Dr. Sheldon also wrote an article in which she expands her discussion on specific women artists, exploring their lives, work, expertise in and knowledge about their traditional artistic practices. Her research interests include indigenous architectural traditions, African women's arts, contemporary international African and diasporic art and artists, and the role of artistry in the formation of national identity.

Pre Doctoral Fellow 2016-2017

Paul Fess was a candidate in the English Program at the City University of New York, Graduate Center and the predoctoral fellow at the Frederick Douglass Institute. He specialized in American literature, African-American literature, and sound studies. His dissertation, Resonant Texts: The Politics and Practices of 19th-century African American Musical Cultures of Print examines how music structured the politics and literature of race, enslavement, and citizenship from the U.S. abolitionist movement of the 1850s to the end of the nineteenth century.

Post-doctoral Fellow 2015-2016

Samira Abdur-Rahman currently works as faculty at the English Department of the University of San Francisco. She earned her BA in English and Africana studies and a PhD in English literature from Rutgers University. She holds a MA in humanities and social thought from New York University. Her current book project, Sites of Instruction: Black Childhood and the Geography of Education, explores the construction and performance of black childhood from the post-bellum per