New Africana Studies Fellowship Created at Georgia State University

The department of Africana studies at Georgia State University has announced the establishment of the Jacqueline Rouse-Doris Derby Africana Studies Fellowship program. The fellowship will support students seeking a master’s degree in Africana studies. The first fellows will be named in the spring of 2024.

Dr. Rouse earned a bachelor’s degree in Afro-American history from Howard University, a master’s degree in African American history from Atlanta University, and a Ph.D. in American studies from the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Emory University. She became most well known for her scholarship on the women leaders of the Black freedom struggle. Dr. Rouse joined the faculty in the history department at Georgia State in 1991 and was instrumental in establishing the Africana studies department. She retired in 2017 and died in 2020.

Dr. Derby earned a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She held a master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology with a specialization in African and African American studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She worked as an educator, photographer, and anthropologist, founded the Free Southern Theater, and was an activist in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She came to Georgia State as an adjunct associate professor of anthropology and was the founding director of Georgia State University’s Office of African American Student Services and Programs in 1990. She retired from Georgia State in 2012 and died in 2022.

“This fellowship is a testament to the invaluable contributions that Dr. Rouse and Dr. Derby have made to the field of Africana studies, Georgia State University, and beyond,” said department chair Jonathan Gayles. “Their legacies will continue to inspire generations of scholars, activists, and community members for years to come.”

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