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Tracy Sharpley-Whiting - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Tracy Sharpley-Whiting

Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies | Vanderbilt University


Expert in comparative Black cultural movements and African American literature and culture.







2022 Faculty Reflection on the Importance of Juneteenth



Tracy Sharpley-Whiting is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University where she also chairs African American and Diaspora Studies and directs the Callie House Center for the Study of Global Black Cultures and Politics. She is the author/editor or co-editor of fifteen books. She is currently researching a biographical study of four African diasporic figures across French historical movements. She is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, editor of the journal Palimpsest, one of the series editors of "Blacks in the Diaspora" (Indiana University Press, 2007-2015), and co-series editor of "Philosophy and Race" (SUNY Press). She served on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association (2014-2018).

Areas of Expertise (4)

African American Literature

African American History

Black Culture

African American Diaspora

Education (3)

Brown University: Ph.D., French Studies

Miami University: M.A., French Literature

University of Rochester: B.A., French Literature

Selected Media Appearances (2)

How Does Obama's 2008 Speech On Race Hold Up Today?

NPR  radio


Depending on who you ask, there would be no President Obama without "A More Perfect Union." But when I hear that speech now, I wonder if it would still work today. Since that speech, the Black Lives Matter movement happened. Charlottesville happened. That is a long way away from just forgiving your white grandmother's racist comments. So I called up someone who literally wrote the book on this speech. Well, technically, she was the editor. Tracy Sharpley-Whiting is a humanities professor at Vanderbilt University. That book - it's called "The Speech."

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How race played a role in Tennessee's women's suffrage moment

Tennessean  online


This week, Tennessean reporter Jessica Bliss joins the podcast to help interview two guests on the racial dynamics going on in the Tennessee suffrage movement. Carole Bucy, Davidson County historian with the Metro Nashville Historical Commission, and Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, a distinguished professor of humanities at Vanderbilt University, both come on this week to talk about that aspect of the suffrage centennial.

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