Navigation Menu+

Scholarship (2000-2009)

African Diaspora Scholarship in Motion (2000-2009)

Law professor Beverly Moran and philosopher Lucius T. Outlaw (Jr.) alternated leadership of AASP between 2000-2004. Tracy D. Sharpley-Whiting, longtime chair, and Gilman W. Whiting arrived in 2004. Divinity faculty Victor Anderson also joined. They worked to cohere the program, bringing in faculty members Houston A. Baker, Tiffany Ruby Patterson, and Alice Randall. Reflecting emerging academic fields like Black Europe, the name African American and Diaspora Studies (AADS) was adopted in 2005.

Gayle Rogers. “A Double Homecoming.” Cornerstone, Winter 2002. College of Arts and Sciences, Vanderbilt University. Reproduction. Vanderbilt University Special Collections.                                  

Profile of Professor Lucious T. Outlaw (Jr.), Director of the African American Studies Program from 2000-2003 and Department of Philosophy faculty. Prof. Outlaw graduated from Fisk University and served on its faculty in the 1970s. He shares his view on African American Studies as an academic discipline in the twenty-first century university.

Tiffany Ruby Patterson. Zora Neale Hurston and a History of Southern Life. Temple University Press, 2005. Southern Civilization Collection. Vanderbilt University Special Collections.

Professor Patterson arrived at Vanderbilt in 2007. Two years prior her book Zora Neale Hurston and a History of Southern Life was published. This work uses ethnography, gender, history, and literature, methods employed by Zora Neale Hurston, to study African American communities in the South in the early twentieth century. Patterson chaired AADS from 2011-2012, and again starting in 2022.

T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting. Black Venus: Sexualized Savages, Primal Fears, and Primitive Narrative in French. Duke University Press, 1999. Baudelaire Collection. Vanderbilt University Special Collections. 

Professor Sharpley-Whiting began at Vanderbilt in 2004, serving as AADS chair most years until 2022. She is also faculty in the Department of French. A major focus of her research is Blacks in Europe, especially France. Black Venus is a study of the representation of Black women in nineteenth and twentieth century French culture, literature, and scientific imagination. In 2022 she was appointed Vice Provost for Arts and Libraries.

[Black Europe Documentary Film Debut]. African American and Diaspora Studies Program, 2009. Reproduction. Loan by Department of African American & Diaspora Studies.       

Announcement of the debut of Black Europe. This documentary covers a seminar, by the same name, from the 2007-2008 academic year. It was led by AADS faculty Tracy D. Sharpley-Whiting and Lucius T. Outlaw (Jr.). Hosted by the Robert Penn Warren Center for Humanities, the seminar included eight faculty members across multiple disciplines. AADS faculty expertise contributed to the growing field of Black Europe in academia.

Patterson, Jim. “African American Studies Marks Past Year’s Success.”  Vanderbilt Register, July 11-24, 2005. Vanderbilt University Special Collections.

Activities of the program in academic year 2004-2005, under the leadership of Tracy D. Sharpley-Whiting, are discussed. This included the name change to African American and Diaspora Studies reflecting curriculum and research reaching beyond the United States, and recruitment of two assistant professors.