Insurgent Intersections

About The Project

Project Directors: Dr. Kim D. Butler, Dr. Akissi Britton, Dr. Shantee Rosado

Insurgent Intersections: Combating Global Anti-Blackness is a multi-year project of the Department of Africana Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick exploring how the discipline informs global, intersectional struggles against anti-Blackness. We are also examining how the interventions of Africana Studies intersect with approaches to anti-Blackness from other academic disciplines. Each semester of the project is devoted to a theme in which we bring together scholars, students, artists and activists to exchange their unique insights and perspectives. The theme for Spring 2022 is “The Roots of Global Anti-Blackness,” and will feature a works-in-progress series to support emerging scholarship, as well as a multidisciplinary webinar event at the end of the semester. At the end of the project, we will close with a deep reflection of the ways Black people have created paths towards healing.

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Insurgent Intersections is supported by a faculty grant from the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice.

2021-22 Events:

The Roots of Global Anti-Blackness: Creating Knowledge at the Intersections of Art, Activism, and Scholarship

April 27th, 5:30 - 7 PM EST

Join us in celebrating the first year of Insurgent Intersections: Combating Global Anti-Blackness, including a conversation on how art, activism and scholarship can help us understand the long history of global anti-Blackness and imagine new possibilities for the future. Register for this event today at To view the event flyer, click here.

This virtual event will feature highlights from our first year, which included:

  • an inaugural keynote by Dr. Leslie Alexander, with an introduction by Michelle Alexander
  • a spring works-in-progress series on "The Roots of Global Anti-Blackness, featuring Milton Achelpohl, Henry Snow, and Dr. Sebastian León
  • and a workshop with Dr. Pablo José López Oro co-hosted with the Black Latinx Americas xLab at Rutgers.

We are also thrilled to welcome a panel of scholar-activists and -artists for a roundtable discussion about how multiple forms of knowledge can help us better understand global anti-Blackness and envision solutions. This roundtable will feature Drs. Sarah Bruno, Priscilla Ferreira, Prisca Gayles, and Alessandra Williams. 


Headshot of Dr. Sarah BrunoSarah Bruno is the ACLS Emerging Voices Race and Digital Technologies postdoctoral fellow at the Franklin Humanities Institute and in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. Her research and art lie at the intersections of performance, diaspora, and digitality. She is currently creating a digital exhibition of the Fernando Pico papers and is a member of LifeXCode: Digital Humanities Against Enclosure and Taller Electric Marronage. The Pico Papers informs her first manuscript, Re-Sounding Resistencia, where she uses the Afro-Puerto Rican genre of bomba as a site and method in constructing a cartography of Black Puerto Rican femme feeling throughout history. She charges herself to continue to write with care about the never-ending process of enduring, imagining, thriving, and healing in Puerto Rico and its diaspora. Dr. Bruno was recently a Mellon ACLS Dissertation Fellow and the 2020 awardee of the Association of Black Anthropologists Vera Green Prize for Public Anthropology.


Priscilla Ferreira photo for webpagePriscilla Ferreira is Assistant Professor in Geography and Latinx and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She recently served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Black and Latinx Studies in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies and the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas in Austin (2019-2021). Her research interests lie in the intersection of class, race, and gender in Latin American societies, particularly in Brazil, and their resulting geographical patterns of racialized uneven economic geographies. She has been organizing with communities of color inside and outside of academia, over the past twenty years and collaborated in a number of popular education projects. Her current book project centers women-led community economies around struggles for housing and childcare in the favela City of God, Rio de Janeiro.


PriscaPrisca Gayles is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Gender, Race, and Identity Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. She earned a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies, with Doctoral Portfolios in African and African Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Before joining the University of Nevada, she was the Gaius Charles Bolin Dissertation Fellow in Africana Studies at Williams College from 2018-2020. She is a former U.S. Fulbright and Tinker Foundation Fellow. Dr. Gayles is an interdisciplinary scholar who investigates how emotions matter in understanding transnational black social movements. Her current research includes a twenty-two-month ethnography of how emotions permeate the macro- and micro-politics of Argentina’s Black social movement.



alessandra williamsAlessandra Lebea Williams is an assistant professor of dance at Rutgers University-New Brunswick who researches dance, transnational feminism and queer performance, and African American and Asian American culture. Her fellowships include the Inclusive Excellence Fellowship (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 2018–19), Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship (University of California, Los Angeles 2010–14), and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (Macalester College 2005–07). She has performed with the Ananya Dance Theatre company and is coeditor with Ananya Chatterjea and Hui Niu Wilcox of the anthology Dancing Transnational Feminisms: Ananya Dance Theatre and the Art of Social Justice (University of Washington Press 2022). Her current book project explores queer sexuality, gender, and race through dances and films by David Roussève/REALITY dance company.


Call for Papers: Spring 2022 Works in Progress Series “The Roots of Global Anti-Blackness”
Deadline for submissions: November 1, 2021

"How We Got Here: Slavery and the Making of the Modern Police State" by Dr. Leslie Alexander (with an introduction by Michelle Alexander)

On October 26th, 2021, Dr. Leslie Alexander presented "How We Got Here: Slavery and the Making of the Modern Police State" for the inaugural event of Insurgent Intersections: Combating Global Anti-Blackness. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, delivered introductory remarks for the event.

Dr. Leslie Alexander is an associate professor of History and African American Studies at Arizona State University. She is the author of African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861, and Fear of a Black Republic: African Americans, Haiti, and the Birth of Black Internationalism, which will be published in 2022. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship.

The event recording is available here. For more information, view the event flyer here.

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