Department Committees, 2023-2024

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee is tasked with the oversight of issues, concerns, policies and procedures relating to the major and/or certificate in African American Studies. In addition, the committee reviews requests from faculty to teach new courses, reviews and signs off on hiring visiting faculty and lecturers, assigns courses to incoming fellows, and reviews semester to semester coverage of required courses for the major and certificate. Finally, this committee is responsible for allocating funding requests for course support, senior thesis and dissertation funding, and conference travel for undergraduate and graduate students. Committee appointments are for a two-year period.


  • Wendy Belcher
  • Ruha Benjamin
  • Kinohi Nishikawa (Chair)
  • Lorgia García Peña

Priorities Committee

The Priorities Committee is the executive committee for AAS. It is tasked with reviewing the yearly budgets proposed by the chair, and with crafting the policies, procedures and guidelines governing faculty roles, expectations and responsibilities. Policies, issues and concerns relating to the process governing tenure and promotion originate with this committee, as well as decisions representing significant changes in the organization, direction, or functioning of the Department. The Priorities Committee is also responsible for selecting postdoctoral and distinguished visiting fellows each year, and for proposing names of faculty to deliver the Toni Morrison and James Baldwin lectures.


  • Ruha Benjamin
  • Tera W. Hunter (Chair)
  • Kinohi Nishikawa
  • Autumn Womack
  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Programming Committee

The Programming Committee responds to requests and allocates funds for co-sponsorship funding from student groups, faculty, and other academic departments. They are also responsible for proposing to the Chair yearly programming that would support the vision, mission, and growth of AAS.


  • Anna Arabindan-Kesson
  • Reena Goldthree
  • Joshua B. Guild (Chair)
  • Wallace D. Best