Black Women and Political Leadership in the US


In this online event Professor Nadia E. Brown and Dr Anastasia Curwood joined Dr Imaobong Umoren in conversation about Shirley Chisholm and body politics in the US.



Nadia E. Brown (@BrownPhDGirl) is a Professor of Government, chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and affiliate in the African American Studies program at Georgetown University. She specializes in Black women’s politics and holds a graduate certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. Brown's research interests lie broadly in identity politics, legislative studies, and Black women's studies. While trained as a political scientist, her scholarship on intersectionality seeks to push beyond disciplinary constraints to think more holistically about the politics of identity. She is the author or editor of several award winning books – including Sisters in the Statehouse: Black Women and Legislative Decision Making (Oxford University Press); Sister Style: The Politics of Appearance for Black Women Political Elites (with Danielle Lemi); Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics (with Sarah Allen Gershon, Routledge Press); The Politics of Protest: Readings on the Black Lives Matter Movement (with Ray Block, Jr. and Christopher Stout, Routledge Press); Approaching Democracy: American Government in Times of Challenge (with Larry Berman, Bruce Allen Murphy and Sarah Allen Gershon, Routledge Press). Brown is the lead editor of Politics, Groups and Identities. She is part of the #MeTooPoliSci Collective where she spearheads efforts to stop sexual harassment in the discipline. Along with co-PIs Rebecca Gill (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) Stella Rouse (University of Maryland, College Park), Elizabeth Sharrow (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), she is the recipient of a million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation for their project titled "#MeTooPoliSci Leveraging A Professional Association to Address Sexual Harassment in Political Science." Lastly, Brown is an editor with The Monkey Cage, a political science blog in the Washington Post.


Anastasia Curwood-cropped

Anastasia Curwood (@CurwoodA) is Associate Professor of History and Director of African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. She earned an AB from Bryn Mawr College and an MA and PhD, both in History, from Princeton University. Using an interdisciplinary lens across history, African-American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, she writes about twentieth-century African-American women, gender, and sexuality, and African-American intellectuals, politics and culture. Her first book, Stormy Weather: Middle-Class African American Marriages Between the Two World Wars (North Carolina, 2010) centered on the cultural and social contests over African-Americans' marriages in the early twentieth century. Curwood is currently completing Aim High: Shirley Chisholm and Black Feminist Power Politics. The work combines political science and social movement history to explain the origins and significance of Chisholm’s historic firsts in the United States Congress and in the 1972 race for the United States Presidency. The work rewrites the histories of both the black freedom struggle and late twentieth-century feminism by blending the study of protest with a focus on electoral politics. Curwood is the recipient of several grants and honors, including a Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, a Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a Research Fellowship at the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University.



Imaobong Umoren (@ImaobongUmoren3) is Associate Professor in the Department of International History at LSE. Her research interests, publications, and teaching focus on histories of race, gender, activism and political thought in the Caribbean, Britain and the US focusing on the modern and contemporary period. Umoren's first book Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles (University of California Press) won the 2019 Women’s History Network Book Prize. 


The event was held on 26 October 2021 as part of the Race, Gender and Politics in the US seminar series, co-hosted with the Department of International History 

Header image: "Shirley Chisholm for President" by Adam Fagen is licensed under CC BY NC SA 2.0


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