CSREA Welcomes New Cohort of Fellows


The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University is proud to welcome another extraordinary cohort of Fellows, Visitors, and Postdocs for the Fall 2022 semester. Each participant brings with them a wealth of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm that infuses the Center with new ideas. During the season, this cohort will meet in weekly seminars to workshop their ongoing research projects through shared dialogue and critical review, in addition to their varied roles on campus.

The group includes a number of returning Brown alumni and previous faculty members. Brown alumna Prudence Carter ‘91 joins the Center as a Faculty Fellow in her second year as the Sarah and Joseph Jr. Dowling Professor of Sociology. As a frequent collaborator, Prudence noted that CSREA was a contributing factor in her return to Brown, saying that “the atmosphere is ripe for communication and collaboration.”

Visiting Faculty Fellow Patricia Powell graduated from Brown with an MFA in 1991. She joins the Center from Mills College, where she is the W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing. In addition to her academic work, Powell is the author of the award-winning novels, Me Dying Trial, A Small Gathering of Bones, The Pagoda, and The Fullness of Everything.

Postdoctoral Research Associate D’Ondre Swails received his Ph.D. from the Department of Africana Studies at Brown this past May. His research interests include 20th-century African American freedom and cultural movements as well as Black Folklore. This semester, he will teach a course entitled The Black Radical Imagination, leading students in a deep exploration of the concept of freedom and political creativity.

Faculty Fellow Madina Agénor '05 joins CSREA’s ranks from Brown’s Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences and School of Public Health, where she is an Assistant Professor. Agénor’s research uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to investigate how structural and social factors shape both preventative and therapeutic interventions for minoritized populations.

CSREA is also thrilled to host two Interdisciplinary Opportunity Fellows this year. This highly selective fellowship, jointly administered with Brown’s Graduate School, offers advanced graduate students new professional development opportunities and support as they complete their dissertations.

Interdisciplinary Opportunity Fellow Jonathon Acosta BA’11 MA‘16 is completing his third degree at Brown as a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology. Alongside his academic work, Acosta is Rhode Island District 16 State Senator representing Central Falls and Pawtucket. 

Interdisciplinary Opportunity Fellow Mariajosé Rodriguez-Pliego is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. Her dissertation project traces the idea of the “nation” through Indigenous and Latinx storytelling traditions that express alternative forms of land ownership. This work has been awarded the 2021-2022 Presidential Master's Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) and is forthcoming in the journal Comparative Literature.

In addition to Brown-affiliated scholars, the Center is pleased to introduce visitors from peer institutions across the world. Postdoctoral Research Associate Ella Friday comes to the Center from Binghamton University, where she received her Ph.D. in Sociology this past May. Her dissertation research centered the narratives of incarcerated women in a local jail and how they understood, interacted with, and resisted the time of incarceration, toward a more complete understanding of Black feminist notions of time.

Visiting Faculty Fellow DaMaris Hill joins us from the University of Kentucky, where she is the Associate Professor of Creative Writing, English and African American Studies. Her unique approach makes use of 21st-century digital archives to study and uplift the legacy of Black women creative scholars, culminating in award-winning works that expand publishing boundaries.

Visiting Faculty Fellow Michael Merry is a Professor within the University of Amsterdam’s College of Social and Behavioural Sciences. His broad research interests include interdisciplinary studies of educational inequality, policy, and segregation, as well as explorations of religious and alternative schooling forms. 

CSREA looks forward to sharing in the development of these scholars’ academic pursuits during the coming semester and throughout their careers.

For more information about the Center’s fellowships, please visit this page.