Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Anna Julia Cooper Center is the home of a postdoctoral fellowship program for outstanding scholars at the ABD or early post-doctoral stage engaged in research on intersectional questions of gender and race.

Latest Research & Writing

Meet our previous postdoctoral fellows:

Dr. Jaira J. Harrington (2015-2017)

Dr. Jaira J. Harrington earned a doctorate of Political Science from the University of Chicago. Jaira is a first-generation college graduate, West Side Chicago native and Spelman College alumna. Jaira’s research has been funded by the Ford Foundation, NSEP Boren Fellowship, and the Tinker Grant Foundation. Some of her proudest accomplishments at UChicago include the 2011 Jane Morton and Henry C. Murphy Award, in recognition of her campus service in her department, at OMSA, and the broader Chicago community, and the 2015 Wayne C. Booth Prize for Teaching Excellence, the highest teaching honor given to a graduate student lecturer at the University.


Dr. Sherri Williams (2015-2017)

Dr. Sherri Williams studies social media, social television and how people of color use and are represented on social media and how people of color and marginalized people are represented in the media. She appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live show to discuss social media images of Rachel Jeantel after Jeantel testified in the George Zimmerman trial. She was also interviewed by USA Today for her social media expertise. Williams’ dissertation focuses on images of women of color on reality television and Twitter. Williams presented her knowledge on black social television twice at SXSW Interactive. She taught journalism writing, media diversity and women/gender studies classes at Syracuse University and she incorporated social media into her courses. Before entering academia Williams was a print journalist for a decade including at The Associated Press. She covered several beats including education, courts, social services and immigrant/minority/marginalized communities and traveled to South Africa and Cuba on journalism fellowships. Her work has appeared in Essence, Ebony, Upscale, Heart & Soul, The Source and The Quill magazines

Dr. Trimiko Melancon (2012-2013)

Dr. Trimiko Melancon is an associate professor of English, African American Studies, and Women’s Studies, as well as co-director of the Women’s Studies Program, at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She earned her B.A. in English from Xavier University of Louisiana and her M.A. and Ph.D. in African American Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

An inaugural visiting scholar and fellow at the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South at Tulane University* (2012-13) and the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University (2008-10), she has held other distinguished positions as the J. William Fulbright Scholar of American Literature and American Studies in Berlin, Germany, a Mellon Mays University Fellow, a Frederick Douglass Teaching Scholar, and a Woodrow Wilson National Foundation Career Enhancement Fellow. She has received other prestigious awards, grants, and fellowships that have facilitated the continued support of her interdisciplinary research and teaching: from the Andrew W. Mellon, Nellie Mae, Ford, and Ruth Landes/Reed Foundations, as well as the Social Science Research Council and Fulbright Commission, among others.

She is the author of Unbought and Unbossed: Transgressive Black Women, Sexuality, and Representation (Temple, 2014) and editor of Black Female Sexualities (Rutgers, 2015) with Joanne M. Braxton. Her publications appear in leading journals in her interdisciplinary fields of expertise: African American Review, Callaloo, and the Journal of Popular Culture, as well as Reconstruction, among other venues. She has taught nationally and internationally in English, American Studies, African American Studies, and Women’s Studies at institutions, including St. Lawrence University, Freie Universität (Free University) Berlin, Auburn University, and Emory University.

Time at Anna Julia Cooper Center: During her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Melancon worked on completing two book projects. Both of those books were published following her fellowship: Unbought and Unbossed: Transgressive Black Women, Sexuality, and Representation and Black Female Sexualities.