Biography

Robin Brooks, PhD is a cultural and literary analyst who explores matters concerning Black communities in the United States and the wider African Diaspora. She is an associate professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and her current research focuses particularly on African American and English-speaking Caribbean populations with special attention to inequality and social justice.

Dr. Brooks is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, and her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has been featured in several national and local news media outlets, including NPR, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, Ms. Magazine, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Her impressive record of scholarship and teaching covers topics in contemporary cultural and literary studies as well as working-class studies, Black feminist theory, postcolonial studies, digital humanities, higher education management, and education policy. She frequently delivers presentations on her work at national and international conferences in addition to organizing and chairing several conference panels.

Collectively, her interdisciplinary work appeals to various audiences and is solution-oriented in order to contribute to dismantling racial and related hierarchies. Challenging conventional boundaries, her scholarship uncovers overlooked and underexamined ways in which African Diasporic cultural representations participate in antiracist and anti-discriminatory struggles.

She is the author of Class Interruptions: Inequality and Division in African Diasporic Women’s Fiction (University of North Carolina Press, 2022)

which is a book that examines how contemporary writers use literary portrayals of class to critique inequalities and divisions in the U.S. and Caribbean. She has traveled and conducted research throughout the Caribbean, including spending a fellowship year abroad in Jamaica performing research for the book.

Additionally, Dr. Brooks has publications on writers and literature of the African Diaspora appearing in a number of academic journals, including, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, the Journal of Africana Religions, the Journal of West Indian Literature, and the Journal of Pan African Studies. Her second book will examine Black contemporary life writing and Black death.

Professor Brooks holds a PhD in English from the University of Florida and an MA in Afro American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon graduating from Wisconsin in 2005, she taught full-time for a few years before returning to graduate school in 2009 for her PhD. While at the University of Florida, she held the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, a five-year graduate fellowship.
Dr. Brooks is a proud native of Miami, Florida. After receiving the International Baccalaureate Diploma from North Miami Senior High School, she attended Florida State University on a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa a year early with a BA in English in 2003. Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, she was a Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of San Diego and a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of South Florida. For the 2019-2020 academic year, she was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in residence at Emory University. For the 2019-2020 academic year, she was hosted as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University.