Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 6, Issue 2
spring 2016
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

Faculty Profile: Hazel Carby

 
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I joined Yale as the only black female full professor on its faculty in 1989, having taught for seven years at Wesleyan University where I was chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.  After completing my undergraduate degree I obtained a post-graduate certificate in education from London University and went to teach in a high school in East London in the decade of the seventies.  I lived and worked in a working class area that had become statistically defined by its poverty and immigration but the wealth of its cultural diversity and the extraordinary resilience of its residents exceed such measurements.  I became an anti-racist activist and joined the emergent women’s movement, both of these struggles were formative in my intellectual development and life long political commitment to the importance of an anti-racist education and an anti-racist feminism. I incorporated these concerns into my scholarship when I returned to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. at the Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.  In 1982 I published an essay entitled, “White Woman Listen: Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood,” which grew out of my anger at the reluctance of white women, who regarded themselves as feminists, to address issues of racism that women of color confronted on a daily level.  It saddens me to say that there is much in this critique that is still relevant today.

I have a joint appointment in the department of African American Studies and the program in American Studies and I direct the Initiative in Race, Gender and Globalization.  My teaching and research has focused on revealing the intricate and interdependent web of relations that exist between processes of racialization, gendering, sexuality and class, in social, cultural and political formations. I teach courses at the graduate and undergraduate level on a variety of topics across the Black diaspora, on the representation of the black female body in art and literature, and on artistic imaginings of Black futurity.  Being involved with WGSS is exciting and challenging because it is the locus of essential knowledge about and critique of our transnational, globalized world, knowledge too often ignored or pushed aside by traditional disciplines.
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