Alicia Fontnette, assistant professor at the University of Delaware, has been named executive director of the National Council for Black Studies. As part of her appointment, the department of Africana studies at the University of Delaware will serve as the organization’s new headquarters.
The National Council for Black Studies promotes academic excellence and programming in the discipline of Black studies. The organization hosts an annual conference attended by hundreds of academic professionals from across the country. Valerie Grim, president of the National Council for Black Studies, commended Delaware’s department of Africana studies as “a first-rate department whose commitment to the study of African descended peoples is invigorating and engaging.”
In partnership with Fontnette and her colleagues at the University of Delaware, the National Council for Black Studies plans to expand its online platform, increase programming, and build interdisciplinary partnerships between the two organizations. Fontnette is leading the effort to organize chapters for the National Council for Black Studies Honor Society, starting with establishing a chapter at the University of Delaware.
Professor Fontnette says her new collaboration with the National Council for Black Studies will put the University of Delaware “at the center of Africana scholarship,” and that “it benefits the National Council for Black Studies to be in partnership with an R1 research university.”
Dr. Fontnette received her bachelor’s degree from Dillard University in New Orleans, where she studied European history and British Literature. She received her master’s degree in African and African-American studies, as well as her Ph.D. in humanities, Africana women’s studies, and English from Clark Atlanta University. Prior to her current role with the University of Delaware, she taught at Spelman College in Atlanta. Dr. Fontnette’s research interests include Black feminist theory, Black American literature, and the African novel.