Convocation

Keynote Address

“Finding Joy in the Journey: Memory Laws and The Battle to Remember"

Noliwe Rooks, Chair and Professor of Africana Studies

Noliwe Rooks

An interdisciplinary scholar, Noliwe Rooks’ is the chair and a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University where she is also the founding director of the Segrenomics Lab. Her work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by popular culture, social history and political life in the United States. She works on the cultural and racial implications of beauty, fashion and adornment; race, capitalism and education, and the urban politics of food and cannabis production.

The author of four books and numerous articles, essays and op ed’s, Rooks has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson School among others. She lectures frequently at colleges and universities around the country and is a regular contributor to popular outlets such as The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Chronicle of Higher Education, Time Magazine and NPR.

Rooks’ current book, in which she coined the term “segrenomics,” is Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education which won an award for non-fiction from the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Her current research, for which she has received a Kaplan Fellowship and a fellowship from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, will explore relationships between capitalism, land, urban food politics and cannabis legalization in the United States.