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Authors Meet Critics

Authors Meet Critics sessions are designed to bring authors of recent, cutting-edge books, deemed to be important contributions to the field of women’s studies, together in robust conversation with discussants that both celebrate and critically engage the publication.

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color
Author: Andrea Ritchie, Barnard Center for Research on Women
Friday, November 17, 9:30 to 10:45am
Hilton Baltimore, Key Ballroom 4 (LCD)

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color is the first full-length publication to examine racial profiling and police violence through the lens of women's experiences. Highlighting the historical and archetypal narratives informing police interactions with Black women, Indigenous women and women of color, the book explores women's experiences of immigration enforcement, drug war, broken windows policing and the war on terror, as well as policing gender, sex, disability, motherhood, and responses to violence. It also tracks efforts to challenge and resist policing and police violence against women of color, and calls for a radical reimagination of our visions for safety
Andrea Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant whose writing, litigation, and advocacy has focused on policing of women and LGBT people of color for the past two decades. She is currently Researcher in Residence on Race, Gender Sexuality and Criminal Justice at the Barnard Center for Research on Women’s Social Justice Institute, and was a 2014 Senior Soros Justice Fellow. Ritchie is author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, and co-author of Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women and Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States.
and justice, and the means we devote to achieving them.
Mary Hooks, SONG (Southerners on New Ground)
Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago
Beth Richie, University of Illinois, Chicago
Robyn Maynard, Activist & Educator

Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence and Performance in Brazil
Author: Christen A. Smith, The University of Texas, Austin
Friday, November 17,2:45 to 4:00pm
Hilton Baltimore, Key Ballroom 4 (LCD)

Tourists exult in Bahia, Brazil, as a tropical paradise infused with the black population's one-of-a-kind vitality. But the alluring images of smiling, dancing Black bodies masks an ugly reality of gendered/sexualized, anti-Black authoritarian violence—a global dimension of the fight for Black lives. Afro-Paradise argues that the dialectic of glorified representations of Black bodies and subsequent state repression reinforces Brazil's gendered, racially hierarchy. Through performance, the book chronicles the gendered impact of state violence—specifically police violence— on Black Brazilians and their collective struggles against it. Although police violence disproportionately affects Black men immediately, Black women are its lingering victims.
Christen A. Smith, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Anthropology and African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and Director of Student Programs at the Lozano-Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS). Her research examines gendered anti-Blackness and Black resistance struggles in Brazil and the Americas. Her book, Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence and Performance in Brazil (2016, University of Illinois Press), explores economies of violence and the Black body in pain as an ironic transfer point for the production of Brazil’s racial state. Smith's newest research examines the lingering, deadly impact of police violence on black women.
Dana-Ain Davis, City University of New York, Queens College
Zenzele Isoke, University of Minnesota
Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Brown University
Erica Lorraine Williams, Spelman College
Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi
Author: Tiyi M. Morris, Ohio State University
Friday, November 17,  5:45 to 7:00pm
Baltimore Convention Center, Room 343 + 344

Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi provides the first comprehensive examination of the Mississippi–based organization Womanpower Unlimited. Founded in 1961, by Clarie Collins Harvey, Womanpower undertook the mainstays of civil rights activism including voter registration and school desegregation as well as peace activism and anti-poverty initiatives. Through its civil rights activism, Womanpower spearheaded a movement for revitalizing Black women’s social and political activism in the state. This book centers Black women as key leaders whose civic engagement was a visionary philosophy grounded in a legacy of Black women’s activism, yet unique to the social movement during which it existed.
Tiyi M. Morris is Associate Professor of African-American and African Studies and affiliated faculty in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University. She received her B.A. in African & African American Studies and Liberal Studies from Emory University, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue. Her work has appeared in Southern Black Women in the Civil Rights Era (1954-1974): A State By State Study, Comrades: A Local History of the Black Panther Party, and Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Struggles in America. Dr. Morris is also a board member of Women Have Options, Ohio’s statewide abortion fund.
Emilye Crosby, SUNY Geneseo
Wesley Hogan, Duke University
Cherisse Jones-Branch, Arkansas State University 
Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women
Author: Brittney Cooper, Rutgers University
Saturday, November 18, 11:00 to 12:15pm
Hilton Baltimore, Holiday 6

BEYOND RESPECTABILITY charts the development of African American women as public intellectuals and the evolution of their thought from the late 1800s through the 1970s. Eschewing the Great Race Man paradigm, Cooper examines the intellectual achievements of female thinkers and activists like Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, Pauli Murray, and Toni Cade Bambara. Cooper identifies the processes that transformed these women and their contemporaries into race leaders, offering long-overdue analysis of their theoretical output. As Cooper shows, their work transformed race and gender discourse. It also confronted entrenched ideas of how—and who—produced racial knowledge.
Brittney Cooper is Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University, a widely sought-after public speaker, and an in-demand commentator for radio, podcasts, and television. Her work has appeared at MSNBC, BET, NPR, PBS, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, TV Guide, New York Magazine,, The, and Al Jazeera America, among others. She is a regular contributor at and co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective. Cooper is also author of the forthcoming ELOQUENT RAGE (St. Martin’s Press) and editor of the recently released THE CRUNK FEMINIST COLLECTIVE COLLECTION (The Feminist Press).
Kristie Dotson, Michigan State University
Martha Jones, Johns Hopkins University
Koritha Mitchell, Ohio State University
Scandalize My Name: Black Feminist Practice and the Making of Black Social Life
Author: Terrion Williamson, University of Minnesota
Saturday, November 18, 1:45 to 3:00pm
Hilton Baltimore, Holiday 5

From Sapphire and Mammy to the angry black woman and nappy-headed ho, black female iconography has had a long and tortured history in public culture and the telling of this history has long occupied the work of black feminist thinkers. Scandalize My Name builds upon the rich tradition of this work while approaching the study of black female representation as an opening onto a critical contemplation of the vagaries of black social life, ultimately making a case for a radical black subject-position that revels in the underside of the stereotype and destabilizes the very notion of “civil society.”
Terrion Williamson is an assistant professor of African American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota, where she is also jointly appointed in American Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Her research and teaching engage with feminist theory, racialized gender violence, African American literature, and black cultural studies, and her work appears in Social Text, CR: The New Centennial Review, the Michigan Journal of Race and Law, and various edited volumes. Her current project is a study of the serialized murders of more than 500 black women that have been committed throughout the U.S. since the 1970s.

Kai M. Green, Williams College
Candice Jenkins, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
C. Riley Snorton, Cornell University
Rebecca Wanzo, Washington University in St. Louis
Zenzele Isoke, University of Minnesota
Cuban Underground Hip Hop: Black Thoughts, Black Revolution, Black Modernity
Author: Tanya L Saunders, University of Florida
Sunday, November 19, 9:30 to 10:45am
Hilton Baltimore, Key Ballroom 4 (LCD)   

Drawing on over a decade of interviews and research, this fascinating book examines a group of self-described antiracist, revolutionary Cuban youth who used hip hop to launch a social movement that spurred international debate and cleared the path for social change and decolonization. Shedding light on identity politics, race, sexuality, and gender in Cuba and the Americas, Cuban Underground Hip Hopis a valuable case study of a social movement that is a part of Cuba’s longer historical process of decolonization.
Dr. Tanya L. Saunders is an Associate Professor in the Center of Latin American Studies and the Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies Research at the University of Florida. She is interested in how the African Diaspora, throughout the Americas use art as a tool for social change.As a 2011-2012 Fulbright scholar to Brazil she began work on her current project which analyzes urban arts-based social movements in Brazil. Dr. Saunders holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of International Development Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Natalie Bennett, Women's Leadership and Resource Center
Sarah Ohmer, CUNY Lehman College
Elaine Richardson, Ohio State University