Women and Gender Studies Department {College of Liberal & Creative Arts}

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Chinosole (Emerita)

In Memory of Chinosole

We note with sadness the recent death of our colleague, Associate Professor Emeritus, Chinosole.
Chinosole was a groundbreaking scholar-activist of the African Diaspora with an emphasis on Black feminist theory and literature and autobiography, and the prison industrial complex.
In her long career, she taught in a wide range of locations, always with an emphasis of literature of the African diaspora, feminist pedagogies, social justice, and narratives of liberation. She taught Black literature at the end of the segregation era in the US South, worked in Zambia to assist that newly independent nation to assume control of the teaching of English in its high schools, and taught Women Studies and Black studies at a range of US universities. Chinosole was always at the forefront of institutional changes for social justice. A supporter of the SF State strike of 1968, shortly thereaftershe became one of the first Black Studies professors at SFSU and in 1970 she served as the first acting director of what is now the College of Ethnic Studies. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon in 1986, having joined the SFSU Women Studies faculty in 1985, where she taught a range of courses and was a beloved teacher and advisor. From 1990- 1992, she served as Chair of Women Studies and continued to teach in WOMS until her retirement in 2003. In 2011-12, she was a visiting research fellow at the University of Victoria, where – after studying autobiography for much of her career – she was at work on her own autobiography.
Chinosole is the author of African Diaspora and Autobiographics: Skeins of Self and Skin (2001 Peter Lang Publishers) and the editor of Schooling the Generations in the Politics of Prison (1996, Afrikan/Black Prison Education Fund). She wrote about and collaborated with scholars and activists such asAudre Lorde, Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Sharon Elise, and Evelyn Williams.



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