2017 Northwestern University

2017 Northwestern University

Current Research 

Queering Emancipation

Mimi is a Mellon Mays Fellow, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship is a national research fellowship for scholarship in humanities and social sciences established to address the underrepresentation of minorities in the professoriate and support fellows in the process of entering the academy.

She is currently conducting a historical exploration into the function of slave marriage in the production of familial ties within the lives of black women at the moment of “freedom”.  Primarily, she utilizes queer theory to define the contours of black sexuality and non-normative kinship structures. Overall, the project explores the creative ways black females produced their own sexuality in an attempt to thrive within a violent society.  She is working under the mentorship of Dr. Iver Bernstein.

Past Research 

Northwestern University Summer Research Opportunity Program

The Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) is an eight-week competitive research experience at Northwestern University for sophomores and juniors from colleges and universities across the United States.  Mimi worked with Dr. Jennifer Nash within the African American Studies Department to produce a research paper entitled "The Possibility of Desire: Sexual Choice within US Colored Troops Widow’s Pensions."  The paper utilized denied Widow’s Pensions as a method for historcizing freed black women’s decision making processes and sexual choices. 

Fulbright Commission-University of Bristol Summer Institute

Mimi spent a month in 2016 studying at the University of Bristol participating in an International Summer School through the Fulbright US-UK Commission in the Institute of Slavery and the Atlantic Heritage.  As part of the institute she produced a final research project entitled, Obscuring the "Jason": Subverting the Archive through Poetry in which she used the Jason Gally Account which records an entire slaving voyage in the 1740’s from Bristol to Angola, to write an erasure poem in an attempt to transform a harrowing document into an arena of generational healing and growth.  The final project was presented to a group of faculty including Dr. Cassie Newland.

Documenting Ferguson, Research aSSISTANT  

Documenting Ferguson is a freely available resource that seeks to preserve and make accessible the digital media captured and created by community members following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014.  The project has the ultimate goal of providing diverse perspectives on the events in Ferguson and the resulting social dialogue.  Mimi conducted and transcribed interviews of local activists and community members.  She worked under the guidance of Dr. Clarissa Rile Hayward and Dr. Jeffrey Q. McCune.