Jakeya Caruthers

Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies; Chair of African and African American Studies

Contact Information

Draper Building, 300B
CPO 2127
Email: caruthersj@berea.edu
Phone: 859-985-3393

Spring 2021

Virtual Office Hours

Tue/Thur: 10 a.m. – noon

Class Schedule

  • GSTR 210 G (Wed: 10 – 11:59 a.m.)


Jakeya Caruthers is Assistant Professor of African & African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Berea College. An interdisciplinary scholar, her teaching and research attend to black political aesthetics within 20th/21st century literature, film, visual art, performance, and digital media. Her scholarship follows a few major threads: black political humor; cultural coherence and memory within contemporary black aesthetic movements; and issues of race, gender, sexuality, and (resistance to) state discipline.

She is at work on a manuscript that engages what she terms the humor of unusual accommodation. This work queries the small, incisive, and humorous ways that black people manage and trouble racial crisis through the unruly affect of curiosity, socio-spatial anteriority, and a political logic informed by what Toni Morrison calls, “the legitimacy of forces other than good ones.” Her second large project is a set of essays addressing certain iterations of contemporary black popular culture (including digital observational humor) and the ways in which it unsettles the ground of black public memory by replacing black aesthetic traditions of subtext with hyperlinguistic supertext.

Dr. Caruthers is a former member of Survived and Punished California and remains actively involved in the Feminist Decarceral Research Initiative, an ongoing archival and data analysis project focused on criminalized survivors of gender violence sponsored by the University of California Humanities Research Institute. She is also co-editing a special issue of Abolition Journal focused on abolition feminisms. Her analytic musings can be found in The Feminist Wire, the Journal of Popular Music and Culture, Art Practical, and more.

Courses Taught

  • Advanced Seminar in African & African American Studies I
  • Advanced Seminar in African & African American Studies II
  • Endless Conundrum: Black Women Artists and 20th/21st Century Visual Culture
  • Carceral States: Race, Gender, and the Struggle Against the Prison Nation
  • Black Queer Theory
  • Black Feminist Theory
  • Respectability and Rebellion