Aesthetics and Creative Production

Featured Curriculum - The department has two Featured Curricula: Diaspora, Social Health, and Worldview & Aesthetics and Creative Production

Aesthetics, Creative Production, Comparative Black Literature, and Performance

(See our other Featured Curriculum on Diaspora, Social Health, and Worldview)


Africana World Literature
African American Folk Culture
Francophone African Literature
African American Women’s Writing
Introduction to African American Poetry
Introduction to African Literature
Man/Woman Literature
Contemporary African American Writing
Introduction to African American Theatre
African Literature and Society
West African Dance
African American Dance
Afro-Caribbean Dance
Power and Performance in Africa: From Hip-Life to Soukouss
Music in Africa
African American Music in the United States
History of Jazz
African Cinema/Screen Griots

FACULTY and RESEARCH in this saturated/immersion area:

Dr. Christel N. Temple  --  Expertise in global literature of Africa and the Diaspora and a leader in Africana Studies disciplinary orientations to Comparative Literature, Cultural Memory, Aesthetics, and the intersections of History and Literature:


  • Literary Pan-Africanism:  History, Contexts, and Criticism (2005)
  • Literary Spaces:  Introduction to Comparative Black Literature (2007)
  • An Atmosphere of Freedom:  Transcendence and the Africana Literary Enterprise (expected fall 2017)


  • "Africana Literature as Social Science:  Applying the Demographic Literary Standard (DLS) to Works of August Wilson and Suzan-Lori Parks.” Africana Studies 7 (2016): 1-30.
  • ​(2016) “Islam in the Africana Literary Tradition,” Africana Islamic Studies. Ed James L. Conyers, Jr. and Abul Pitra. Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books.
  • (2102) “Charles Hamilton Houston and Post New Negro Movement Authority: The Socio-Literary History of a Legal Warrior.” Charles Hamilton Houston: An Interdisciplinary Study of Civil Rights Leadership. Ed. James L. Conyers, Jr. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.  171-193.
  • “Ancient Kemet in African American Literature and Criticism, 1853 to the Present.” Journal of Pan African Studies 5.4 (2012): 129-148.
  • “Communicating Race and Culture in the 21st Century:  Discourse and the Post-Racial/Post-Cultural Challenge.” Journal of Multicultural Discourses 5.1 (2010):  45-63. 
  • (2008) “Literary Malcolm X: The Creation of an African American Ancestor.” Malcolm X: An Historical Reader. Eds. James L. Conyers, Jr. and Andrew P. Smallwood. Durham, NC:  Carolina Academic Press. 167-186.
  • (2008) “Using Sankofa as a Literary Paradigm:  Radical Reconstructions of the Return.” Afro-Europeans: Cultures and Identities. Ed. Marta Sofia Lopez Rodriguez.  London:  Cambridge Scholars Press. 108-125.
  • “Rescuing the Literary in Black Studies.” Journal of Black Studies 36.5 (2006): 764-785.
  • “Strategies for Cultural Renewal in an American-based Version of African Globalism,” Journal of Black Studies 36.3 (2006):  301-317.
  • “Malcolm X and Black Cultural Mythology.” International Journal of Africana Studies 12.2 (2006):  213-221.
  • “Broadway’s Aida:  Deconstructing the Spectacle of an Aggressive Popular Eurocentrism.” Africalogical Perspectives 2.2 (2005): 44-58.
  • “Revolutionary Necessity: Poetry of Melvin Tolson, Jacques Roumain and Nancy Moréjon.” The International Journal of Africana Studies 5 (1999): 68-94.


Dr. Robin Brooks – Research and teaching areas include 20th and 21st century African American and Caribbean literatures as well as feminist theories and postcolonial studies:


  • Class Interruptions:  Inequality and Division in African Diasporic Women’s Fiction (in progress)


  • “Manifestations of Ogun Symbolism in Paule Marshall’s Praisesong for the Widow.” Journal of Africana Religions 2.2 (2014):  161-183.
  • “Uptown and Downtown:  A Conversation on Class Stratification with Diana McCauley.” Jamaica Journal 35. 1-2 (2014): 94-99.
  • “New Dance Steps to a Jamaican Beat: A Conversation with Olive Senior.” Caribbean Women: Riding the Waves of Resistance. Special issue of ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics & Consciousness 8 (2013): 61-68.


Dr. Yolanda Covington-Ward – Research blends history and ethnography in analyses of everyday cultural performance and interpersonal encounters:


  • Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in the Congo (2016)


  • Yolanda Covington-Ward. 2013. “Transforming Communities, Recreating Selves: Interconnected Diasporas, Performance, and the Shaping of Liberian Immigrant Identity.”  Africa Today. 60:1.
  • Yolanda Covington-Ward.  2012. “Vive l’ABAKO! Vive l’Independance!  Joseph Kasa-Vubu, ABAKO, and Performances of Kongo Nationalism in the Congolese Independence Movement,” Journal of Black Studies Vol. 41, No. 1: 71-93.
  • Yolanda Covington-Ward. 2007. “Threatening Gestures, Immoral Bodies: The Intersection of Church, State, and Kongo Performance in the Belgian Congo,” In Missions, States, and European Expansion in Africa. Chima Korieh and Raphael Njoku, eds. New York: Routledge Press. Pg 73-100.
  • Yolanda Covington-Ward. 2006. “South Bronx Performances: The Reciprocal Relationship between Hip-Hop and Black Girls’ Play.” Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory Volume 16, No. 1: 117-132.


Professor Oronde Sharif – A performer and instructor of West African Dance, Afro-Caribbean Dance, Dunham Technique, African-American Dance


  • Nativity: A Christmas Gift, Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble Pittsburgh, PA, 2007
  • Black Nativity, Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2006
  • Sarafina, Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2007
  • Koniaya—The Wedding, KanKouran West African Dance Co. Washington, DC, 2005
  • Circle of Praise—The Lincoln Center, KanKouran West African Dance Co. New York, 2005