The Schomburg Center Announces 2022-2023 Fellows for its Scholars-in-Residence Program

JUNE 27, 2022 – The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is pleased to announce its 39th class of Fellows: 13 exceptionally talented academics, creative writers, and independent scholars. 

“Despite the challenges of the past two years, the Schomburg has persevered in maintaining its support for its flagship residential research program,” said Brent Hayes Edwards, the Director of the Scholars-in-Residence Program and the Peng Family Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. “We are proud to be able to offer the intellectual sanctuary and archival resources of the Center to yet another class of Fellows.” 

During the 2022-23 term, which runs from September to July, the cohort of Scholars-in-Residence Fellows will have access to the renowned research collections and resources of the Schomburg, the pre-eminent repository for materials related to the history and cultures of peoples of African descent, with the expert assistance of its curatorial and reference staff. Scholars-in-Residence Fellows receive a stipend and the use of a private office in the Scholars Center, located at the heart of the Schomburg Center. 

The 2022-23 Scholars-in-Residence Program will include seven long-term fellows who will be in residence at the Schomburg for either one semester or the full year. The new group will be undertaking a strikingly broad array of research topics, from a study of the role of Islam in African diasporic political movements in the twentieth century, to a history of African visual art in the era of decolonization to a biography of the famous child prodigy and musician Philippa Schuyler, to a novel about Black cowboys. 

  • Maria Beliaeva Solomon (Assistant Professor of French, University of Maryland), “Recovering the Revue des colonies (1834-1842)”
  • Joshua Cohen (Assistant Professor of Art History, City College of New York), “Art of the Opaque: African Modernisms, Decolonization, and the Cold War”
  • Alaina Morgan (Assistant Professor of History, University of Southern California), “Atlantic Crescent: Building Geographies of Black and Muslim Liberation”
  • Rachel Afi Quinn (Associate Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston), “Good Women Die: Re-Envisioning the Life of Philippa Duke Schuyler (1931-1967)” 
  • Carina Ray (Associate Professor of African and African American Studies, Brandeis University), “Black on White: Writing Race Across Ghana’s Long Twentieth Century”
  • Erica Richardson(Assistant Professor of English, Baruch College, City University of New York), “Empirical Desires: Data and the Aesthetics of the Negro Problem”
  • A. J. Verdelle (Assistant Professor of English, Morgan State University), “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch”

In addition to its long-term Scholars-in-Residence Program, the Schomburg Scholars Center now hosts fellows through multiple residencies. In 2017, the Scholars-in-Residence Program inaugurated a short-term fellowship, which provides periods in residence between one and three months. The 2022-23 short-term fellows include an independent scholar writing a cultural history of playground basketball in Harlem as well as creative writers and scholars of art history and religion:

  • Mikael Awake (independent scholar), “Playground Moves: A Cultural History of Rucker Park”
  • Yannis Mahil (independent scholar), “The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X”
  • David Mills (independent writer), “Tales of the Red Tails: Poems about the Tuskegee Airmen”
  • Erika Schneider (Professor of Art History, Framingham State University), “From Horrors to Domesticity: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller’s Quest for Place”
  • Cam Terwilliger(Adjunct Assistant Professor of Writing, Liberal Studies, New York University), “Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart: A Novel”
  • Judith Weisenfeld (Professor of Religion, Princeton University), “Spiritual Madness: American Psychiatry, Race, and Black Religions”

Through a collaboration with the CUNY Graduate Center, the Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Program also sponsors Dissertation Fellows who are completing a dissertation in a department there: 

  • Jadele McPherson (Ph.D. candidate, Cultural Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center), “Overcoming the Difficulty: The Racial Politics of Sacred Sound and Performance in Tampa and New York City”
  • Francine Almash, (Ph.D. candidate, Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center), “Out of the Shadows: Recovering the History of the New York City ‘600’ Schools” [Non-Resident Fellow]

Finally, the Scholars-in-Residence Program also hosts the postdoctoral fellows funded by the Schomburg Center’s Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery.  These fellows’ work reflects on topics of slavery across the Atlantic world.

“We are living in a time that requires intentional historical interrogations of the ways that colonialism, capitalism, and early racial theories impacted the expansion of slavery, affected global Black life, and continue to reverberate in our contemporary moment,” said Dr. Michelle D. Commander, Deputy Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives. 

This year’s cohort of Fellows for the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery includes:

  • Edward Ball (Independent Scholar and Historian) “The Slave Trail” [Long-Term Lapidus Fellow]
  • Arielle X. Alterwaite(Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History, University of Pennsylvania) “Empire of Debt: Haiti and France in the Nineteenth-Century World”  [Short-Term Lapidus Fellow]
  • Dr. David Luis-Brown (Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and English, Claremont Graduate University) “Blazing at Midnight: Slave Rebellion and Social Identity in Cuban and U.S. Culture” [Short-Term Lapidus Fellow]

Since its establishment in 1983, the Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Program has supported more than 248 scholars and writers, cementing its reputation as the premier residential research fellowship in the country for the fields of African American,  African Diaspora, and African studies. 

To see more about the Scholars-in-Residence cohort of 2022 - read all abstracts here.

For more information about the Scholars-in-Residence Program, visit

Media Contact:  Leah Drayton,

About the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery 

The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery, founded in 2014 with a generous $2.5 million gift from Ruth and Sid Lapidus, generates and disseminates scholarly knowledge and works on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery pertaining to the Atlantic World. The Center supports the work of researchers with long-term and short-term fellowships. Given the centrality of Atlantic slavery to the making of the modern world, Lapidus fellowships ensure that slavery studies are a cornerstone of the Schomburg Center’s broader research community. The Center engages the public with a variety of programs, an annual nonfiction book prize, exhibitions, conferences, and partnerships with local, national, and international institutions. Dr. Commander is the author of Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic, Avidly Reads Passages, and editor of Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition. 

About the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the preservation, research, interpretation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diasporan, and African experiences. As a research division of The New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center features diverse programming and collections totaling over 11 million items that illuminate the richness of global black history, arts, and culture. Learn more at

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