Rashida K. Braggs

Rashida K. Braggs

Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Comparative Literature

Hollander Hall Rm 312
At Williams since 2011


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

Areas of Expertise

Performance Studies, Jazz Studies, African Diaspora Studies, Mass Communications (Advertising), Popular Culture Studies and Sport Studies


AFR 216 / AMST 212 / COMP 212 / DANC 217 SEM

Moving While Black (not offered 2024/25)

AFR 314 / AMST 314 / ENGL 314 / COMP 321 LEC

Groovin' the Written Word: The Role of Music in African American Literature (not offered 2024/25)

Scholarship/Creative Work

Select Publications

Select Performances

  • Producer and Master of Ceremonies, Jazz Workshops and Concert for Dartmouth College Afro/Black Paris Program. Duc des Lombards. Paris, France. July 6, 2023.
  • Playwright & Performer, Work-in-progress presentation of Amber in the City of Light. Presentations of the Cultural Diaspora Program. The Camargo Foundation. June 2, 2022.
  • “Few meet Paris, but Bobby blew it up 1969 onward.” Jazz and Culture 5.1 (2022): 90-94.
  • Interdisciplinary Performer, Director, and Producer, Runnin’ to Grace. United Solo. Hosted on the Virtual Series of the Solo Theater Festival. July 2021- June 2023.
  • Dancer and Choreographer, “Moving with MFA Kera.” On the Other Side Summer Group Show. Tapir Gallery. Berlin, Germany, June 21, 2019.
  • Dancer and Choreographer, “Explorations in Embodying Diaspora.” Dance/Performance in Interdisciplinary Perspective Symposium. Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts, March 9, 2018.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

  • Fulbright Global Scholar Award (Canada and France), 2023-2024
  • The Class of 1945 World Fellowship. Awarded by Williams College, 2023-2024, 2022-2023, 2018-2019, 2014-2015.
  • National Endowment of the Humanities Digital Humanities Advancement Grant. Co-investigator for “Preserving BIPOC Expatriates’ Memories During Wartime and Beyond: Building a Volumetric Archiving Platform for Immersive Storytelling and Historical Preservation,” 2022-2023.
  • Best Poetry Screen Show. Awarded by the United Solo Theatre Festival, 2022-2023.
  • The Cultural Diaspora Residency. Awarded by The Camargo Foundation, 2021-2022
  • The Nelson Bushnell ’20 Prize for excellence in teaching and writing. Awarded by Williams College, 2019-2020.
  • American Theatre & Drama Society Faculty Research Award. Awarded by the American Theatre & Drama Society, 2015-2016.
  • Hellman Fellows Grant, The Hellman Family Foundation, 2015-2016, 2013-2014


Rashida K. Braggs is Professor of Africana Studies and a faculty affiliate in Comparative Literature at Williams College. Her book Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music and Migration in Post-World War II Paris investigates the migratory experiences of African American jazz musicians in 1946-1963 Paris. In her current manuscript and accompanying performance project “Paris Jazz Grooves as Black Women Move,” she explores the experiences of multiple black jazz women performers of African descent as they migrated to and settled in Paris, France from 1968 to present day. Her work has been published widely in such journals as The Journal of Popular Music, Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, Jazz and Culture, The Black Scholar and The James Baldwin Review. She was awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar Award and co-awarded a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship to support her research. Dr. Braggs is also a scholar-performer who acts, dances, sings, composes music and performs spoken word. Jacob’s Pillow, the United Solo Theatre Festival, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Tapir Gallery in Germany, and the Camargo Foundation in France have all featured her performances. Dr. Braggs consistently interweaves her scholarly explorations with her pedagogical practices. Her courses at Williams College such as Groovin’ the Written Word: The Role of Music in African American Literature, Moving While Black, Comic Lives: Graphic Novels & Dangerous Histories of the African Diaspora and Performing Blackness all teach students to explore ways that performance, though seemingly just entertainment, conveys much about a society’s values, patterns and negotiations of power.