As a fellow in the program, I not only further developed and promoted my research, but also gained an invaluable network of supportive colleagues who are dedicated to supporting the humanities.

Janira Teague

HBCU Scholar Fellows

Current Fellows

Current fellow information will be coming soon.

Past Fellows

Latorial Faison is a veteran military spouse, mother, poet, author, and professor born and raised in rural Southampton County, VA. She is Assistant Professor of English at Virginia State University where she teaches Writing, African American Literature, and Poetry. Faison completed a BA in English at the University of Virginia, a Master’s in English at Virginia Tech, and a doctoral degree in Education at Virginia State University. Faison has published over 15 books of poetry, including Mother to Son, the trilogy collection, 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History, and historical research study on Black segregated education in Virginia, The Missed Education of the Negro. Her research focuses on the history and culture of African Americans, the implications of race, identity, gender, and culture, and the intersections of them all. As a VA Humanities Research Fellow, Faison collected oral history and written submissions, presented, and prepared a manuscript of oral and written reflections of the Virginia Black segregated education experience. Faison’s research resulted in the creation of original poetry on the 70th Anniversary of the legendary Brown vs. The Board of Education Supreme Court Case and decision as well as a forthcoming presentation at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

Brenton Boyd is a scholar of Caribbean and African American literary, expressive, and religious cultures in the afterlife of slavery. He obtained a BA with highest honors at Hampton University and recently finished his doctoral studies in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. As an HBCU Scholar-Fellow, Brenton completed his dissertation project: World-Wrecking: Afro-Eschatology and the Spirit of Performance. This work retheorizes the end of the world through the magico-religious cultures of the Greater Caribbean. Brenton will continue his research journey as an Assistant Professor of Black Studies at the University of Tampa, starting Fall 2024, and is currently turning his dissertation into a book manuscript.

Scott Challener is Assistant Professor and Chair of English & Foreign Languages at Hampton University, where he serves as the Campus Coordinator of the UNCF/Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the Managing Editor of the Hampton Renaissance. Scott received his Ph.D. in Literatures in English from Rutgers University, his M.F.A. in Poetry from Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers, and his M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College. As a 2023-2204 Virginia Humanities HBCU Scholarship Fellow, he worked toward the completion and revision of his manuscript-in-progress, Translation Is Remediation: The Poetry of the Americas from the Mimeograph to the Platform, on the creative power of translation in the postwar poetry of the Americas. During the Fellowship, he completed two projects: an essay, drawn from the final chapter of his manuscript, which will appear in Expressive Networks: Poetry and Platform Cultures, edited by Matthew Kilbane (Amherst College Press); and a folio of E. Ethelbert Miller’s work, which will appear in Poetry magazine.

Bianca Jackson is Associate Professor of Music and Voice Area Coordinator at Alcorn State University. Previous appointments include Associate Professor of Music at Norfolk State University. Jackson is a coloratura soprano with over twenty years of experience in African American, classical, sacred, and contemporary music genres and has performed across the U.S. and in Italy. She has earned advanced degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Tougaloo College. Jackson has a lifelong investment to express Black creativity, performing and researching folk, operatic, classical, and contemporary vocal music. Jackson’s Virginia Humanities HBCU Scholars research project, Black Cultural Trauma in Selected Vocal Works of Composers—Price, Still, Smith Moore, and Bonds surveys selected vocal music with focus on themes expressing culturally traumatic experiences of being Black. Jackson’s research considers how the selected Black classical composers challenged the status quo by asserting Blackness and transcending trauma. Also included is the underacknowledged role of HBCUs. With the HBCU Scholars Fellowship, Jackson has presented her research at conferences such as Bethune-Cookman University’s 2024 Zora Neale Hurston Conference, the National Association of Teachers of Singers (NATS) Mississippi Conference at The University of Mississippi, and artist-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Ima Hicks is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities at Virginia Union University where she teaches French and World Literature. She has degrees from Oberlin College (B.A.) and Georgetown University (M.A.) and her primary areas of interest are Postcolonial Francophone Literature and Francophone Women’s Narratives.  She has authored numerous articles, including the forthcoming “Traces Between the Rewriting of History and the Writing of Memory: Slavery and Feminine Resistance in Évelyne Trouillot’s The Infamous Rosalie” (Journal of Black Studies) — the result of her research for a Virginia Humanities Fellowship for HBCUs. Ms. Hicks’s research on enslaved women’s agency and subjectivity in a world of racial oppression and gender violence in pre-revolutionary Haiti contrasts with the exclusion of women from official histories of the Haitian Revolution.  As such, her work also touches upon the paradox that still plagues Haiti–the exclusion of women from the wholly masculine realms of state politics and citizenship–and explores the intersection of traditional humanities disciplines with public humanities issues such as equity concerns and social disparity.

Derrick Lanois is Assistant Professor of African American History and Studies at Norfolk State University. He considers himself a southern griot after learning the art of storytelling from his mother that was supported by his graduate majors in Journalism, Documentary Expressions, and African American History. Derrick received his second master’s in journalism with a concentration in multimedia journalism at the University of Memphis. Derrick received a Ph.D. at Georgia State University in History focused on African Americans since enslavement and their institutions and culture. He was an inaugural fellow for the Virginia Humanities HBCU Fellowship where he researched and expanded his scholarship on Prince Hall Affiliated Freemasonry in the South and was able to complete his book proposal. In May 2024, he is the founder and Executive Director of the Southern Griot, a nonprofit with the mission to collect, archive, and disseminate Black stories of the South. His research interests include nineteenth and twentieth century African American history, African American institutions – especially fraternalism, the Black intellectual tradition, social movements, the Black Southern Aesthetic and more.

Dr. Janira Teague is a teacher – scholar of African American history with a global context. She is Assistant Professor of history at Morehouse College, where she has created courses on women and gender and developed a study abroad program based on her Fulbright-Hayes experience in Durban, South Africa. Previous appointments include Assistant Professor of African American history at Norfolk State University. In 2022, she joined the inaugural cohort of Virginia HBCU Scholars, completing a book proposal under review by a leading academic press and advancing her research on America’s Great Migration and Black interethnic politics in early 20th century New York City. Her work is published in the Journal of African American History and the Database of Black Women’s Suffrages. Professor Teague earned her M.A. in African American Studies and her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.

More Information

For more information or questions contact Yahusef Medina, director of community initiatives, at ymedina@virginia.edu.