Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her work centers on intercultural and intergenerational relations, particularly as they surface in the literary texts, oral narratives, and popular music of Afro-descendants in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. Her publications include Black Cosmopolitanism; Bilingualism, Blackness, and Belonging,”; Race and Representation in the Digital Humanities;” Rhythms of the Afro-Atlantic World (co-edited with Mamadou Diouf); and African Routes, Caribbean Roots, Latino Lives. She is former Director of the Program in American Studies andhas just completed her first three-year term as Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships.


Dr. Nwankwo’s innovative interdisciplinary projects use community-engaged research methodologies alongside literary critical ones to analyze and advance intercultural and intergenerational relations. These projects include Voices from Our AmericaTM, an international public scholarship and digital humanities project that uses interviews, autobiography and art production, along with archival research to uncover new aspects of communities’ histories then draws on those new sources to develop digital and print publications as well as workshops and other educational programs for K-12 teachers, older adults, and youth. Dr. Nwankwo’s projects also include The Wisdom of the Elders, an initiative focused on revealing and recognizing older adults’ life- and soul- sustaining wisdoms and productively incorporating them into K-12, undergraduate, graduate and health professional education.




B.A. in English and Spanish (with Honors), Rutgers U-New Brunswick

Ph.D. in English with Certificates in African American and African Studies and in Latin American Studies, Duke University


Recent publications include:


“Wisdom of the Elders: Narratives Enhancing Trainees’ Attitudes Towards Aging,” with Powers JS, Birdsong DO, Bonnet KR, Kapoor NR, Southward JJ, Schlundt DG. OBM Geriatrics Volume 3, Issue 3, 2019

“The International Engagements of Working-Class Jamaican Women: Listening to Louise  Bennett and her Routes Women” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, Volume 15, Number 2, 2017, pp. 412-434
 “Living the West Indian Dream: Archipelagic Cosmopolitanism and Triangulated Economies        of Desire in Jamaican Popular Culture” (invited contribution to Archipelagic American           Studies edited by Michelle Stephens and Brian Roberts, Duke University Press, 2017)

“Bilingualism, Blackness, and Belonging: The Racial and Generational Politics of Linguistic           Transnationalism in Panama” (invited contribution to Black Writing and the State in  Latin America, edited by Jerome Branche, Vanderbilt University Press, 2015)


“Travelin’ Women: Black Feminist Migrations, Diasporas, and Cosmopolitanisms,” a special       section of the journal Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism (co-edited with Jennifer D. Williams, 2017)


Globally Engaged Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Creative Practice, A special issue of Public: A       Journal of Imagining America co-edited with Jan Cohen Cruz and Jeff Hou (2016)



Blog Posts



    American Association of Colleges and Universities

    American Conference of Academic Deans

    Imagining America

    Modern Language Association

    College Language Association

    Latin American Studies Association

    Gerontological Society of America


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