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.
Lindsay Vella is the Departmental Administrator for African American Studies, American Studies, Classics, the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs, Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies, the Magid Center for Writing, and Religious Studies. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa.
Adjunct Associate Professor
Steven Berry taught for 25 years at Howard University in television and film before retiring and returning back to Iowa. He earned his MFA from UCLA in Film Studies.
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.
Director of Graduate Studies
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.
TJ Dedeaux-Norris fka Tameka Jenean Norris was born in Guam and received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles before graduating with an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. She is the 2017 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a tenure track Assistant Professor at University of Iowa.
Ashley Frazier is a marriage and family therapist, specializing in multicultural assistance which includes everyone no matter the race, color, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. She is finishing a Ph.D. in Couples and Family Therapy at Iowa.
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 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.
Administrative Services Coordinator
Laura Kerr is the Administrative Service Coordinator for African American Studies, American Studies, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies. Serving as a public facing liaison, she supports students, faculty, staff, and the public, assists with course scheduling, purchases, department websites, and creating promotional materials.
Mandy McAllister is the University Shared Services staff member for African American Studies, American Studies, Classics, English, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy, Rhetoric, Social Work, and the Writers' Workshop.
Kevin McGlynn is the Senior Accountant for the School of Art and Art History, African American Studies, American Studies, Classics, and Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies.
Associate Professor, Music & African American Studies
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 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.
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.
Ali Romano-McClain is an HR Generalist for African American Studies, American Studies, Classics, Creative Writing (Writers' Workshop), History, Religious Studies, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, Division of Interdisciplinary Programs, and Magid Center for Writing.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Louise Seamster is an Assistant Professor in Sociology and Criminology and African American Studies at the University of Iowa (with a courtesy appointment in the College of Law), and a Nonresident Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Seamster studies how financial and symbolic narratives reproduce racial inequality.
Associate Professor Emerita
Janette Y. Taylor is an associate professor emerita in African American Studies 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
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).
Daniel Bermudez is the IT Support Consultant for African American Studies, American Studies, Classics, English, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy, and Rhetoric.