Carlyn Ferrari, PhD

Carlyn Ferrari, PhD

PhD, African and African American Studies

Assistant Professor

Phone: 206-296-5420

Building/Room: Casey 510-18

Carlyn Ferrari CV (PDF)


I am a San Francisco Bay Area native, and I began my career in higher education working as an academic success counselor mentoring first-generation and underrepresented students. I received my Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where I was awarded the Esther Terry Award for the Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation in Afro-American Studies (2018). I also earned graduate certificates in Advanced Feminist Studies and African Diaspora Studies. The courses I teach reflect my interdisciplinary training in the fields of history and women, gender and sexuality studies. I specialize in twentieth-century African American literature and culture with a particular interest in Black women’s literary studies. In my research, I explore the intersection between Black feminist thought and literary ecocriticism. For me, Black women’s literary studies is more than an academic endeavor or scholarship. Black women writers have saved, affirmed, and sustained me. They have given my life meaning, and they remind me to care for myself daily. In my research, I am interested in how Black women theorize the natural world, so I explore the relationship between Black feminist thought and literary ecocriticism. My book about poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer entitled Do Not Separate Her from Her Garden will be published by the University of Virginia Press in fall 2022. My scholarship has been supported by the Institute for Citizens and Scholars Career Enhancement Fellowship, the William A. Elwood Fellowship in Civil Rights and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia, the Joyce Avrech Berkman Endowed Fund for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Center Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Outside of academia, I live for Janet Jackson and Prince, so you can find me lost in thought meditating on the poetics of Rhythm Nation and Paisley Park.