Skip navigation

Black Studies

Affiliate Faculty

Page Content

The Center for Black Studies promotes academic excellence and civic engagement with the support of a core group of faculty and staff affiliates. The Center facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations to create an intellectual community that serves the needs of our campus and of the broader public.

Faculty affiliates have numerous publications in civil rights history, race in media, southern cultural studies, Black musical traditions, educational inequality, Jim Crow politics, gender studies, and African American literary studies. They also develop popular courses based on their interdisciplinary research that attract students to the Black Studies minor.

Full-time employees of the university can become affiliates by supporting the Center’s mission. The Center for Black Studies and its affiliates are vital components of the university’s initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Black Studies

Photo of Sherita Johnson

Sherita L. Johnson, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Black Studies 〡 Associate Professor

Discipline: English
Research Interests: African American Literature and Southern Literature

Photo of Thomas V. O'Brien

Thomas V. O’Brien, Ph.D.


Discipline: Educational Research and Administration
Research Interests: Education; History of American Education; Social Foundations of Education; Education Policy and Politics; Race, Class, and Education; School Law; Higher Education

Valencia Walls

Valencia Walls

Interim Associate Director, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Area of Expertise

Green Dot certified instructor, Cornell Diversity and Inclusion certificate

Photo of Rebecca Tuuri

Rebecca Tuuri, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Discipline:  History
Research Interests: African American, Women's and Gender, Modern U.S. history 

Photo of Dr. Kimberley Davis, Ph.D.

Kimberley M. Davis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Discipline: Music
Research Interests: Voice


Andrew Gutkowski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Studies
Research Interests: Environmental Justice, African American History, U.S. South

Photo of Marek Steedman

Marek D. Steedman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Discipline: Political Science and Legal Studies
Research Interests: Political Theory

Dr. Jessica Valles

Jessica Valles, Ph.D.

Assistant Teaching Professor

Discipline: Anthropology and Sociology
Research Interests: Aging, mental health, gender, family

Interested in Becoming a Faculty/Staff Affiliate?

Southern Miss faculty/staff members who are interested in becoming affiliates or have a course added to the Black Studies minor curriculum should submit the application form for affiliate faculty/staff.


Contact Us

Center for Black Studies

118 College Dr. Box #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406


Campus Map