People

Venise Berry

Venise Berry, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Department Chair
Professor
Phone
Venise Berry received a B.A. (1977) in journalism and an M.A. (1979) in communication studies from The University of Iowa. Her Ph.D. was awarded in 1989 in radio, TV, and film at the University of Texas in Austin. Her professional media career began in radio news but has expanded into teaching, media research, and criticism, as well as fiction, script, and nonfiction writing.
Lindsay Vella

Lindsay Vella, M.F.A.

Title/Position
Departmental Administrator
Phone
Lindsay Vella is the Departmental Administrator for African American Studies. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa.
Steven Berry

Steven Berry, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Adjunct Associate Professor
Phone
 

Tara Bynum

Title/Position
Assistant Professor
Phone
Tara Bynum is an Assistant Professor of English & African American Studies and a scholar of early African American literary histories before 1800. She received her PhD in English from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Political Science from Barnard College.
Nicholas Creary

Nicholas Creary, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Assistant Director, Center for Diversity & Enrichment
Phone
Tim Havens

Tim Havens, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Professor
Phone
Timothy Havens is professor of Communication Studies, African American Studies, and International Studies at the University of Iowa. He is a former Senior Fulbright Scholar to Hungary, and his published research has appeared in numerous scholarly journals devoted to television studies, popular culture studies, race and media, and media globalization.
Ashley Howard

Ashley Howard, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Assistant Professor
Phone
Ashley Howard received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois. She joined the University of Iowa faculty in fall 2019 coming from Loyola University, New Orleans. Her research interests include African Americans in the Midwest; the intersection between race, class, and gender; and the global history of racial violence.
 

David W. Jackson III, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Dr. David W. Jackson III is visiting scholar at the University of Iowa in African American Studies. As a teaching scholar, he has taught: Black Perspectives on Bible History; Introduction to Africana Studies; Survey of African History; Introduction to African Studies: Up to the 16th Century; Introduction to African Studies: Since the 16th Century; The Black Community; African American History; Introduction to African American Culture; Diversity in America, and Online courses, too.
Alfred Martin

Alfred Martin, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Assistant Professor
Phone
Alfred L. Martin Jr.'s current book project, The Queer Politics of Black-Cast Sitcoms (Indiana University Press, forthcoming) argues that the black-cast sitcom is an explicit genre, and therefore its engagement with black gayness does not resemble any other contemporary genre. By examining audience reception, industrial production practices, and authorship, the project argues that representations of black gay characters are trapped into particular narrative tropes.
Damani Phillips

Damani Phillips, D.Mus.A.

Title/Position
Associate Professor, Music & African American Studies
Phone
Dr. Damani Philips is a native of Pontiac, MI, where he began playing at the age of 10.  He currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Professor of African-American Studies at the University of Iowa, where he teaches applied jazz saxophone, directs jazz combos and teaches courses in African-American music, African-American culture, jazz education and improvisation.
 

Horace Porter, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Emeritus Professor of English and American Studies
Horace Porter was the F. Wendell Miller Professor of English & American Studies.  He served as chair of Iowa’s Department of American Studies as well as the chair of the African American Studies Program from January 2012 - July 31, 2017, when he retired from the University. 
Victor Ray

Victor Ray, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Director of Graduate Studies
F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor
Victor Ray’s research applies critical race theory to classic sociological questions. In addition to this research, Victor is also an active public scholar, publishing commentary in outlets such as The Washington Post, Newsweek, and Boston Review. Victor’s work has been funded by the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, among others.
Louise Seamster

Louise Seamster, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Assistant Professor
Phone
Louise Seamster studies race and economic inequality, particularly in cities. She writes about racial politics and urban development, emergency financial management, debt, and the myth of racial progress. Her research centers on the interactive financial and symbolic factors reproducing racial inequality across multiple domains.
Janette Taylor

Janette Taylor, Ph.D., RN, WHCNP-BC, FAAN

Title/Position
Associate Professor
Janette Y. Taylor is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. She is a certified women’s health care nurse practitioner with specialization in obstetrics, gynecological, and neonatal nursing.
 

Richard B. Turner, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Professor
Phone
Richard Brent Turner is professor of African-American religious history, with joint appointments in the Department of Religious Studies, the African American Studies Program, and International Programs at The University of Iowa. His education includes: Ph.D. and M.A., Religion (Princeton University); Summer Language Study (Harvard University); M.A., Afro-American Studies and B.A., Religion (Boston University); and High School Diploma (Boston Latin School).
Deborah Whaley

Deborah Whaley, Ph.D.

Title/Position
Professor
Phone
Deborah Elizabeth Whaley is an artist, curator, and writer. She is currently Senior Scholar for Digital Arts and Humanities Research for the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio (DSPS) and Professor of American and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. Her research and teaching fields include the institutional history, theories, and methods of American and Transnational American Studies, 19th Century to the Present Cultural History, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Black Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, the Visual Arts, Digital Humanities and Critical Theory.