Malaklou Appointed Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies


M. Shadee Malaklou

Dr. M. Shadee Malaklou, Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies

Dr. M. Shadee Malaklou, a critical race, gender and sexuality studies scholar, joined Berea College as chair and assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and director of the Women’s and Gender Non-Conforming Center in fall 2019. Malaklou earned her doctoral degree in Culture and Theory and graduate certificates in Critical Theory and Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Irvine in June 2016. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Women’s Studies from Duke University in May 2007.

Before obtaining the position at Berea College Dr. M Shadee Malaklou served as assistant professor (2016-2019) and acting chair (2018-2019) of Critical Identity Studies at Beloit College (Wis.), where she was also a Mellon Faculty fellow for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (2016-2018) and faculty curator of the Wright Museum of Art (2018). Before joining the academic community, Malaklou worked in the non-profit sector in Washington, D.C., providing services for women and children from Iraq and North Africa as a communications director and journalist.

In addition to her position at Berea College, Malaklou is a visiting faculty member at the Centre for Expanded Poetics in the Department of English at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She assists Concordia in presenting guest lectures every other year pertaining to her research.

Malaklou has expertise in Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952). Her research examines how gender and sexuality are produced through anti-black racism, specifically through the exclusion of black people from humanist constructions of time. In addition to writing for an academic audience in peer-reviewed journals like Theory and Event, National Political Science Review, Rhizomes, and Black Camera, she regularly engages the non-academic public in think pieces published most recently in The Feminist Wire, CounterPunch, and her own blog, JFCB. In these non-academic venues, she writes about diverse topics like Stephen Miller’s rise to the White House, Jay-Z’s black radical politics, the potential solidarity between black lives matter and Dakota Access Pipeline activists, and the sports-media complex’s anti-black racism. Malaklou studies the details of blackness and focuses on how race is portrayed through non-blackness.

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Tags: faculty, Women's and Gender Non-Conforming Center, Women's and Gender Studies Department

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.