Psyche Williams-Forson is professor and chair of the Department of American Studies. She is an affiliate faculty member of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Departments of Anthropology, African American Studies and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. She is a material culturalist who examines the lives of African Americans living in the U.S. from the late 19th century to the present. Her research explores the ways in which Black people (broadly define) engage their material worlds, especially with food and food cultures as well as historical legacies of race and gender (mis)representation. She has conducted extensive research throughout the United States in this area using intersectionality, cultural studies, popular culture, and more to inform our understanding of these phenomena.
Williams-Forson’s work on material culture and food has been published in her books “Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World” and the award-winning “Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, & Power,” as well as in many journals and book chapters. Her expertise has been featured in many media outlets, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, Al Jazeera America, NPR, MSNBC and the Associated Press.