Janaka Bowman Lewis, B.A. 2003

UNC Charlotte, Associate Professor of English, Africana Studies affiliate, Director, Center for the Study of the New South – Charlotte, NC

2003 Major: African & African American Studies and English

How has being an African & African American Studies graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"In addition to literally shaping what I chose to research and teach (Black women writers and Black girlhood studies), African American studies and African Diasporic studies have helped drive the questions I ask about society, media, and community and engagement. Where are the women (background and foreground) pushing narratives forward and creating their own stories? What do we need to know about their networks and means of support and how do they inform our current moment?"

What advice would you give students in Duke's African & African American Studies programs? 

"Do what you are passionate about and the curricular content will only strengthen that passion. Don't try to make yourself fit into a predetermined life. Ask and answer questions that matter about you, your families, your people and this world."

Janaka Bowman Lewis