Rashida K. Braggs

Rashida K. Braggs
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Hollander Hall Rm 312


B.A. Yale University (1998)
M.S. Boston University (2000)
Ph.D. Northwestern University (2006)


Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

AFR 156 / AMST 156 / COMP 156 / ENGL 223

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Jazz

AFR 200(S)

Introduction to Africana Studies

SOC 217 / ENGL 215 / AFR 217 / AMST 217

Race(ing) Sports: Issues, Themes and Representations of Black Athletes

AFR 314 / AMST 314 / ENGL 314 / COMP 321(F)

Groovin' the Written Word: The Role of Music in African American Literature

AFR 317 / AMST 317 / DANC 317 / ENGL 317 / THEA 317 / COMP 319

Black Migrations: African American Performance at Home and Abroad

ENGL 356 / ARTH 223 / COMP 322 / AFR 323 / AMST 323(F)

Comic Lives: Graphic Novels & Dangerous Histories of the African Diaspora

AFR 440(S)

Performing Blackness

Scholarship/Creative Work

Select Publications

Select Presentations & Interviews

  • “Stew Performs Black Consciousness.” Performing Blackness Symposium: Stew, The Negro Problem and Passing Strange. The John L. Warfield Center and The Performance as Public Practice Program. University of Texas, Austin, November 13, 2015.
  • Interview on the life of Sidney Bechet. When African Americans Came to Paris, Part 2. Dir. Joanne Burke. Blue Lion Films, 2014.
  • “Jazz in Korea: Performing Ethnic Community & Tradition.” Performance Studies International Conference in Shanghai, China, July 4-8, 2014.
  • “Kenny Clarke.” L’épopée des musiques noires. Narr. Joe Farmer. Radio France Internationale. January 11, 2014.

Select Performances

  • “Medals.” Black Gold. The 2013 Black Performance Theory Working Session in Austin, Texas, April 12-14, 2013.
  • “Sidney’s Musical Migrations.” AFR 317: Black Migrations: African American Performance at Home and Abroad. Course at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, March 6, 2012.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

  • The Morroe Berger-Benny Carter Jazz Research Fund. Awarded by the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, 2015-2016.
  • Hellman Fellows Grant. Awarded by the Hellman Family Foundation, 2015-2016.
  • The Class of 1945 World Fellowship. Awarded by Williams College, 2014-2015.
  • Ghaemian Junior Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship. Awarded by the Heidelberg Center for American Studies at Universität Heidelberg, 2009-2010.
  • Introduction to Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship. Awarded by Stanford University, 2006-2009, 2010-2011.

Professional Affiliations

American Studies Association
American Comparative Literature Association
Modern Language Association
Association of Theatre in Higher Education
American Society for Theatre Research
Collegium of African American Research
The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas
Black Performance Theory
Japanese Black Studies Association
Performance Studies International


Rashida K. Braggs is Assistant Professor in Africana Studies and affiliate faculty in American Studies and Comparative Literature at Williams College. With her background in Performance Studies, Mass Communications, Theater, and English, she consistently introduces a performative lens to African diasporic cultural expressions, from jazz to sports to mass media.  Her book Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music and Migration in Post-World War II Paris (2016) analyzes music, literature, film, historical documents and ethnographic interviews in order to investigate the illusion of a color-blind Paris that seduced African American musicians, the strategies they used to thrive in Paris, and the transformations in personal identity that paralleled jazz’s own morphing identity from 1946-1963. Her work has also been published in such journals as Nottingham French Studies, The Journal of Popular Music, Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International and The James Baldwin Review.

Dr. Braggs consistently interweaves her scholarly explorations with her pedagogical practices. As a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and visiting professor at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, she has taught classes in introductory theater and performance, race & gender in literature, and American literature & art history. Her courses at Williams College such as 13 Ways of Looking at JazzGroovin’ the Written Word: The Role of Music in African American Literature, Race(ing) Sports: Issues, Themes and Representations of Black Athletes, and Comic Lives: Graphic Novels & Dangerous Histories of the African Diaspora all teach students to explore ways that performance, though seemingly just entertainment, conveys much about a society’s values, patterns and negotiations of power. In addition to her scholarship and pedagogy, Dr. Braggs enjoys putting performance to practice by acting, writing, slamming poetry, singing, and playing multiple sports.

Current Committees

  • Africana Studies Program