The Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American Studies welcomed its first Fellow to Case Western Reserve University in 2008-09. The first humanities and social sciences fellowship of its kind at CWRU, the Postdoctoral Fellowship promotes intellectual, curricular, and faculty diversity at CWRU, as well as seeks to help junior scholars advance through the academy. It does so by supporting junior scholars engaged in cutting-edge research and scholarship in African American Studies. The yearlong appointment provides Fellows with an opportunity to focus on their own research and publication agenda while building networks with faculty on and off-campus. Fellows also teach a course in their areas of expertise in the field of African American Studies in the Spring semester.

The Fellowship was initiated and is directed by Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams, whose faculty appointment is in the History Department. Dr. Williams secured a three-year seed grant from the Office of the Provost to launch the Fellowship. Since 2011-12, the College of Arts & Sciences has provided sustaining support for the program.

The program features annually:

  • a work-in-progress brown bag lunch to discuss the Fellow’s research
  • a course taught by the Fellow in the Spring semester (cross-listed with Ethnic Studies)
  • a culminating presentation by the Fellow in the Spring semester
  • a guest lecture by an advanced scholar in the field of African American Studies in the Spring semester


The brown-bag talk and lectures are free and open to the university community and general public. For more information on the Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American Studies, contact Dr. Kenneth Ledford at and stay tuned to the website for updates!

Interested in applying? See the Call for Applications for the 2017-18 academic year here.

You can also learn about our past Fellows and current Fellow.