Introduction "Frontiers and Frameworks in African Diaspora Teaching and Scholarship"

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Pushpa Naidu Parekh


I am honored to represent the intellectual contributions of Spelman College’s faculty in this special issue. This publication is the first formal collection of scholarly and pedagogical articles on African Diaspora and the World (ADW) courses at Spelman College. We recently celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of our ADW Program, so the issue marks both a trajectory in a specific historically Black college as well as the intentional move towards internationalizing the educational enterprise in the United States. The contributors are faculty and program directors (past and present), writing on teaching and scholarship in ADW. I believe this issue is a timely intervention, especially when we read headlines like: “Americans Need to Learn More about World Outside America” (Gibbons) and “Why Many Americans Are Simply Clueless About Global Events” (Nelson). Eschewing neoliberal trends, the ADW story is a deliberative journey that dismantles false narratives of frontiers by embracing critical and analytical pedagogical frameworks and scholarship.


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Author Biography

Pushpa Naidu Parekh, Spelman College

Pushpa Naidu Parekh, PhD, is professor of English and director of the African Diaspora and the World program at Spelman College. Her areas of specialization are nineteenth-and twentieth-century British and comparative postcolonial literature, focusing on immigrant and diaspora (South Asian and African) literatures and studies. She has published three scholarly books: Intersecting Gender and Disability Perspectives in Rethinking Postcolonial Identities (Editor, 2008); Postcolonial African Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (Coeditor, 1998); and Response to Failure: Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Francis Thompson, Lionel Johnson, and Dylan Thomas (Author, 1998). Dr. Parekh has received the Spelman College Presidential Award for Scholarship (1997), Distinguished Service (2013), and Excellence in Teaching (2016). She is an award-winning poet and the recipient of the 2019 Gerard Manley Hopkins Literary award, an annual recognition by the International Hopkins Society, Ireland. Her poem, “Peace,” received the West Coast Tagore Festival prize at the International contest held by Vancouver Tagore Society, in summer 2016. Dr. Parekh has contributed critical and creative writing in various journals and collections published in the United States, India, Canada, and Ireland. Dr. Parekh has taught various courses, including African Diaspora and the World, Postcolonial Theory and Women’s Literature, New US Immigrant Women’s Literature, Contemporary African Literature, Images of Women in Non-Western Literature, Victorian and Modern British Literature, Images of Women in Literature, Introduction to Literary Studies, and First Year Composition.