Creating Space for Black Women in Academia

Generations of scholars have fought to uncover the nuances of black women’s lives. In their attempts to make black women legible within their respective disciplines, researchers steadily carved out space to interrogate black women’s experiences despite institutional forces and social pressures that sought to delegitimate their work. The field of black women’s studies has emerged because of scholars who insisted that black women’s lives matter and merit intellectual inquiry. Building on the scholar-activism of those who came before us, today, the Black Women’s Studies Association emerges out of a desire to continue to create space for black women in academia—as knowledge producers, as culture creators, and more. 

BWSA is unique in its orientation. It is the only professional association specifically designed to bring scholars from a variety of fields into conversation about research on black women. This is grown out of recognition that scholarship on black women takes place in multiple disciplines that are infrequently brought into conversation with each other. By offering a centralized forum for intellectual exchange, we aim to build a community of scholars who are able to network with each other and mentor each other as we pursue innovative research agendas. It is our hope that the dialogues that occur within BWSA will further unite academics working in the field of black women’s studies.

BWSA accepts guest blog posts of 500-750 words on a rolling basis. To propose a blog post, submit a brief pitch to explaining what you would like to write about and why in fewer than 100 words. To join BWSA and learn more about membership benefits, click here. In addition to voting on BWSA business, members are eligible to be featured on our weekly Saturday Scholar Spotlights and their books are eligible to be featured in a lineup in our monthly newsletter.

Our goal as an organization is to facilitate crossdisciplinary engagement among those who research black women and to empower scholars to continue working at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class. We invite you to join us as we use scholarship in service of black women’s liberation.

- Nneka Dennie and Jacinta Saffold, BWSA Co-Founders