The Department of Afro-American Studies welcomes 2 new faculty members.

Brittney Michelle Edmonds is an interdisciplinary scholar of 20th and 21st Century African American literature and culture. She researches and specializes in the study of black critical humor after 1968. Her scholarship and her courses highlight how otherwise modes of being, feeling, speaking, and writing defamiliarize and destabilize hegemonic productions of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Through an approach that centers the theoretical interventions of black feminisms, Edmonds emphasizes the ways in which black cultural producers remap and restage dominant understandings of “blackness.” Her current book manuscript, “Look Who’s Laughing Now: Black Critical Humor and the Political Labor of the Abstract,” investigates the use of humor and abstraction as a form of political critique, discourse, and engagement.

In addition, Edmonds has a broad interest in black sexuality studies, especially theories of black masculinity. With historian Jennifer D. Jones, she co-founded the Black Queer Sexuality Studies Collective at Princeton University. The Collective hosted national and international graduate students in themed forums designed to provide junior scholars with critically engaged and attentive audiences. The conferences exclusively showcased graduate student panelists and featured plenary addresses from leading scholars in Black Studies including Kara Keeling, Shane Vogel, Salamishah Tillet, and Saidiya Hartman.