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Meina Yates-RichardAssistant Professor of African American Studies and English


Meina Yates-Richard is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English at Emory University. She earned her B.A. from the University of Houston. and her M.A. and PhD at Rice University. She also earned a Doctoral Certificate from the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Rice University.

Professor Yates-Richard teaches courses about African American, American, and African diasporic literatures and cultures, focusing upon literary and social constructions of race and gender, as well as cultural memories of transatlantic slavery across these fields. Her research is situated at the intersections of sound, race, slavery, maternity and liberation ideologies in African American and African Diasporic literatures and cultural production.

Professor Yates-Richard has recently been awarded a Ford Postdoctoral fellowship, and was named a First Book Institute Fellow at Penn State’s Center for American Literary Studies as well as a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement at Duke University in 2017. Her essay “‘WHAT IS YOUR MOTHER’S NAME?’: Maternal Disavowal and the Reverberating Aesthetic of Black Women’s Pain in Black Nationalist Literature” was awarded the Norman Foerster Prize for best essay published in American Literature Journal in 2016.

Professor Yates-Richard is currently completing her monograph project tentatively titled Echoes of the Future-Past: Sounding Traumatic Testimony and Imagining Freedom in African American and Diasporic Literature and Culture. The monograph develops an analytical framework that places sound and its literary representations at the heart of contemporary debates concerning cultural trauma, black feminism, auditory culture, and black liberation by studying the complex relationships between sonic production and reception, race, gender, slavery, and “freedom dreams” to theorize about the ways in which sound in general, and “black maternal sonority” in particular, comprise undertheorized aspects of the production of black liberation ideologies in the African diaspora.