Faculty & Staff

General contact


Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg
Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg Profile
Broom Professor of Social Demography and Anthropology
Chair of Sociology and Anthropology
Director of African/African American Studies

Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1990. She has been working on reproductive health care issues in Cameroon since 1980, first as a Peace Corps volunteer and later as an anthropological researcher. Her research focuses on connections between reproduction and belonging, especially when these go awry through infertility, miscarriage, unsafe abortion, or ethnic stereotyping of fertility. After projects investigating the historical, religious, and political roots of fear of infertility and rumors surrounding medical interventions, her subsequent work addressed rural-to-urban women migrants’ social networks and decisions about fertility, miscarriage care, and abortion within Cameroon. Pamela’s current project investigates ways West African migrants to Europe incorporate childbearing into their negotiation of national, ethnic, and gender identities in a globalizing context. In addition to introductory anthropology, she teaches courses on gender, Africa, health and illness, and the relationship between human and social reproduction. During the 2010-11 academic year, Pamela was on sabbatical conducting research with Cameroonian transnationals in Berlin, with affiliations at the Free University and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.

Emeriti Faculty

Mary Easter
Mary Easter Profile
Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Dance and the Performing Arts, Emerita
Stephen K. Kelly
Stephen Kelly Profile
Dye Family Professor of Music, Emeritus

Stephen Kelly (Music History, Jazz History) received the B.S. from Spring Hill College, the M.A. from Rutgers University, and the Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and has published editions of the music of Niccolo da Perugia and co-authored a video tape on the Medieval Monastery. He has also done research focused on the area of jazz reception and the music of Wynton Marsalis. Most recently he has presented "Joan Baez at Spring Hill: A Study of Intersecting Histories." Dr. Kelly served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of the College Music Society from 1991 until 1995. In 1997 he was the Associate Dean of the College and served as the Dean for Budget and Planning from 1998 to 2004. He currently serves as Treasurer and Board Member of Laura Baker Services Association. He plays sax and clarinet in Occasional Jazz.

Robert Tisdale
Robert Tisdale Profile
Marjorie Crabb Garbisch Professor of English and the Liberal Arts, Emeritus

In his forty-year career at Carleton, Bob Tisdale has taught many courses related to African American studies. In 1969 he offered Carleton's first course in Black literature; for fifteen years he taught a freshman seminar on multicultural fiction, memoir, and drama and takes pride in having taught four students who subsequently earned a Ph.D. in African American studies.

His interest in the topic dates from his rooming with an African American student at Princeton—one of two Black students enrolled in his class--a young man who later earned a Ph.D. in history. Experience directing a NEH graduate program for African American high school teachers at Dartmouth deepened his interest, and a summer doing research on slavery at the Huntington Library and Black fiction at U. C. Berkeley helped him develop the first version of the course on Black literature that he taught at Carleton.

While he directed the American Studies program he worked with colleagues to develop and teach a course on immigration and forced migration.

He has an M.A.T. from Wesleyan and a Ph.D. from Yale.


Mary Drew
Administrative Assistant, Sociology and Anthropology
Assistant to the Director of the College Writing Program

Other Faculty Involved in African/Afr American Studies

Deborah Appleman
Deborah Appleman Profile
Chair of Educational Studies
Director of American Studies
Hollis L. Caswell Professor of Educational Studies

Deborah Appleman received her doctorate in English Education at the University of Minnesota in 1986. At Carleton she is the Hollis L. Caswell professor of educational studies and director of Carleton's Summer Writing Program, a three-week program for high school juniors and seniors). She also teaches the English section of Carleton's summer workshop for teachers, the Summer Teaching Institute. During 2003-2004 she is serving her second year as mentor for Carleton's second group of Posse students from the Chicago area. Professor Appleman's primary research interests include multicultural literature, adolescent response to literature, teaching literary theory to secondary students, and adolescent response to poetry. She was a high school teacher for nine years. She has written numerous book chapters and articles on adolescent response to literature and she co-edited Braided Lives,a multicultural literature anthology published by the Minnesota Humanities Commission. Her most recent book is, Reading for Themselves: How to Transform Adolescents into Lifelong Readers Through Out-of-Class Book Clubs. She is also the coauthor of Teaching Literature to Adolescents with Richard Beach, Susan Hynds, and Jeffrey Wilhelm. Her book, Critical Encounters in High School English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents was published jointly by Teachers College Press and the National Council of Teachers of English and is widely used in methods classes across the country.

Jenny Wahl
Jenny Bourne Profile
Professor of Economics

Jenny Bourne is Professor of Economics at Carleton College. She received her A.B. summa cum laude from Indiana University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before joining the faculty at Carleton, Jenny taught at St. Olaf College and worked as an international tax economist at the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis. Jenny teaches intermediate price theory, intermediate and advanced labor economics, law and economics, American economic history, economics of the public sector, economics of race, and principles of microeconomics. Her book on the economics of Southern slave law, The Bondsman’s Burden, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1998. http://books.google.com/books?id=wP1cwhocZ5IC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0.  She has published articles in the Journal of Economic History, Social Science History, National Tax Journal, American Journal of Legal History, Social Science Quarterly, and several other economics journals and law reviews. Among her recent publications are: “Give Lincoln Credit: How Paying for the Civil War Transformed the U.S. Financial System” (Albany Government Law Review), “Blacks, Whites, and Brown: Effects on the Earnings of Men and Their Sons” (Journal of African American Studies, with Nathan Grawe), “Edith Wharton as Economist:  An Economic Interpretation of The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence” (The Edith Wharton Review),  “New Wine in an Old Bottle:  How Minnesota’s Receivership Statute Can Promote Both Efficiency and Equity” (Hamline Law Review), “Stay East, Young Man? Economic Effects of the Dred Scott Decision” (Chicago-Kent Law Review). Jenny authored the chapter “The Economics of Slavery” in the recently published Encyclopedia of Law and Economics (Edward Elgar) http://www.e-elgar.com/bookimages/47205658.gif, as well as the chapter “The Economic History of Slavery” in Handbook of Modern Economic History (Routledge). She will have a chapter entitled “We Are Coming, Father Abraham, But How Will You Pay For Us?,” in the forthcoming issue of U.S. Capitol Historical Society Papers (Ohio University Press); she is currently working on a book manuscript entitled  In Essentials, Unity:  An Economic History of the Granger Movement.  She has served as an expert lecturer on race in American history under a Teaching American History grant and as co-director of a workshop series on the law of slavery at the Gilder-Lehrman Center at Yale University.   Her current research includes an investigation of the financial legacies left by the 37th Congress and an inquiry into the connections between income and wealth for American households.

Andrew Flory
Andy Flory Profile
Assistant Professor of Music
Off Campus: Spring 2015
Bereket Haileab
Bereket Haileab Profile
Professor of Geology
Richard A. Keiser
Richard Keiser Profile
Professor of Political Science
Off Campus: Winter 2016

Professor Keiser received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. His research focuses on progressive politics in America's big cities. In 1997 he published Subordination or Empowerment? which analyzed the formation and disintegration of coalitions that advance African-American political empowerment. He coedited Minority Politics at the Millennium, which was published in 2000. His current research examines the relationship between cities and suburbs in the current era. Prof. Keiser teaches the introductory course on liberty and equality in America, as well as courses on urban and suburban political economy, poverty and public policy, and the Presidency.

Cherif Keita
Cherif Keita Profile
Professor of French
Off Campus: Spring 2015

Chérif Keita is Professor of French and Francophone Studies (Ph.D., University of Georgia). He teaches Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean, as well as advanced languages courses. A native of Mali, he has published books and articles on both social and literary problems in contemporary Africa. His special interests include the novel and social evolution in Mali, Oral tradition, and the relationship between music, literature and culture in Africa. He is the author of Massa Makan Diabaté (L'Harmattan, 1995), Salif Keita: L'oiseau sur le fromager (Le figuier, 2001) and Salif Keïta: l’ambassadeur de la musique du Mali (Paris: Grandvaux, 2009). He has completed a documentary film entitled "Oberlin-Inanda: The Life and Times of John L. Dube" [Special Mention at 2005 FESPACO], about the life of the first President of the African National Congress of South Africa and his education in the U.S. at the end of the nineteenth century. “Cemetery Stories: A Rebel Missionary in South Africa”, his second documentary traces the relationship between John Dube and a Northfield missionary family who mentored him and educated him in the United States.  Professor Keïta also leads a Carleton Francophone off-campus studies program to Mali every other year.  Please also see: Uncommon Ties.

Outcast to Ambassador 

Tsegaye Nega
Tsegaye Nega Profile
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
Director of Environmental Studies
William North 2
William North Profile
Associate Professor of History
Off Campus: Spring 2015

AFAM Liaison to European Studies, MARS and MMUF Program

Kofi Owusu
Kofi Owusu Profile
Professor of English

Professor Kofi Owusu teaches and writes on African, African American, British, and Anglophone literatures; he served as the director of the African/African American Studies program for many years. Degrees: University of Ghana, B.A.; University of Edinburgh, M.Litt.; University of Alberta, Ph.D.

Melinda Russell
Melinda Russell Profile
Chair of Music
Director of American Music
Professor of Music
Off Campus: Fall 2015, Spring 2016

Melinda Russell received the B.A. from Simon's Rock Early College, the M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Minnesota, and the Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.  Dr. Russell has a diverse background in ethnomusicology, focusing on a variety of musical traditions in North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. She has published articles on reggae and musical taste, on the Macarena craze of the 1990s, on choral music in an Illinois city, on the folksong repertoire of Americans, on the Star-Spangled Banner in contemporary America, and on including applied  music components in lecture courses.  She coedited the books Community of Music and In the Course of Performance: Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation.  Her current research concerns the folk music revival in Minneapolis during the late 1950s/early 1960s.  Dr. Russell was formerly the Book Review Editor for the journal Ethnomusicology, and served as President of the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Noah Solomon
Noah Salomon Profile
Assistant Professor of Religion

Noah Salomon (Reed College, BA; University of Chicago, MA; University of Chicago, PhD) teaches courses in Islamic Studies and theory and method in the study of religion.  His research explores the intersection of Islamic political formations and religious discourse (praise poetry, conversion narratives, and debates on Islamic knowledge) among Sufi and Salafi Muslims in contemporary Sudan.  He is currently working on a book manuscript which attempts an ethnography of the Islamic state in Sudan from 1989 to the present as well as a new project on secularism and the construction of a new Muslim minority in the nascent state of South Sudan. Bibliography 

Harry Williams
Harry Williams Profile
Laird Bell Professor of History
Off Campus: Winter 2016

Professor Williams has been at Carleton since 1989. (Lincoln University B.A., Missouri M.A., Brown A.M., Ph.D.) African American history with primary teaching interests in 19th c. slavery studies, social and intellectual history, black conservatism, and cultural studies. Secondary teaching interests include the Black Atlantic with emphasis on Ghana (Gold Coast) and the United States, and the Concord intellectuals. Research interest George S. Schuyler (1895-1977). Bibliography. Member of the History Department, 2010-11 serving as the Director of African and African American Studies Program. Created and leads Carleton's Ghana Program: Ghana program



Thabiti Willis
Thabiti Willis Profile
Assistant Professor of History

Since Fall, 2010.  Clark Atlanta University B.A., Cornell University M.A., Emory University M.A. & Ph.D.  African & African Diaspora History.  Nigeria, West Africa; Yoruba history, culture, and religion; masquerade and ritual performance; gender, slavery, ethnicity, religion, and performance in Africa. Bibliography