ATLANTA—The Center for Studies on Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD) at Georgia State University has received a grant of more than $500,000 to establish an intersectional studies collective with a focus on the American South.
The $524,300 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support a three and a half-year project that will include symposia, workshops, guest lectures, roundtable discussions and the creation of a podcast focused on intersectionality in the American South.
Intersectional studies examine how social categories such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation and religion can interconnect to amplify discrimination or privilege.
“The South is a dynamic place and idea,” said Elizabeth J. West, professor of English, principal investigator on the grant and co-director of academic programs for CSAD.
“The Intersectional Studies Collective at Georgia State will engage studies of intersectionality in the American South as a means to explore the multiplicity of identities that are redefining and shaping a new American South.”
As an award recipient, Georgia State is among six members of the larger Mellon multi-university collective focusing on intersectionality in and beyond the academy. In addition to the multi-university collective that includes the University of Virginia, The University of Utah, New York University, the University of Southern California and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Intersectionality Collective at Georgia State will also co-create programming with College of Charleston and Johannes Gütenberg University in Germany.
At Georgia State, the collaborative will include researchers from disciplines including Africana studies, English, law, sociology, public health, religious studies, history and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. Along with West, co-principal investigator Lakeyta Bonnette-Bailey, associate professor of Africana studies; co-coordinator Tanya Washington-Hicks, professor in the College of Law; podcast creator Katie Acosta, associate professor of sociology; and student workshop coordinator Desmond Goss, lecturer in sociology, will represent the Georgia State Collective in June 2022 for a multiuniversity institute hosted by The University of Utah.
West said Georgia State is a natural home for the interdisciplinary work at the heart of the grant.
“With its historical location in the city of Atlanta, a hub of the civil rights movement and a key space for reimagining the American South, and with its diverse and transforming student body, Georgia State University is a fitting institution to explore and advance studies in intersectionality and the South,” she said.
“And Georgia State’s CSAD, with its emphasis on challenging academics to connect their scholarship and teaching to the concerns and challenges faced by our neighboring and more distant communities — especially African descended populations — is an especially fitting home for the Mellon intersectionality grant.”