Presidential Visiting Fellows for 2021-22


Yale welcomes these distinguished scholars and practitioners to campus in 2021-22 as Presidential Visiting Fellows

Presidential Visiting Fellows are appointed as part of the Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative.  Scholars and practitioners who contribute to inclusive excellence will be appointed for a semester or a year during  each year during the initiative.

Roslyn Burns
Linguistics Department

Roslyn is a historical phonologist and sociolinguist. Her focus is on language change in situations characterized by language contact and delineating which phenomena can be attributed to contact vs language internal processes. Some of her research involves gathering data through fieldwork while other research is focused on formal modeling of linguistic innovations. She currently works on West Germanic and West Slavic. In the past she has worked on Bantu.

Joshua Chambers-Letson's picture

Joshua Chambers-Letson
Theater and Performance Studies

Joshua Chambers-Letson is a writer and performance theorist who researches and teaches courses in performance studies, critical race theory, political theory, and queer of color critique. His books and essays place performance studies in conversation with a diverse set of fields including Black studies, Asian American studies, Latinx studies, art history, legal studies, and Marxist theory to ask two central questions: How do black, brown, Asian, queer, and trans people (alongside other minoritarian subjects) use performance both to survive the destruction and devaluation of their (our) lives and lifeworlds? And how does performance become a means for rehearsing and enacting new worlds and new ways of being in the world together? Artists that he considers in his scholarship include Nao Bustamante, Danh Võ, Nina Simone, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Eiko, Keijaun Thomas, Teching Hsieh, Moriyuki Shimada, and Alexandria Eregbu.

He is the author of After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life (NYU Press, 2018) and A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America (NYU Press, 2013—winner of ATHE’s Outstanding Book Award in 2014). Academic writing has appeared in edited volumes and journals including Social Text, Political Theory, Criticism, Cultural Studies, MELUS, and women & performance. Art writing has appeared (or will appear) in catalogues for My Barbarian’s 2021 survey at the Whiteny Museum of Art, the 2022 Whitney Biennial, Teching Hsieh’s exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale and the Chrysler Museum/Grey Art Gallery’s Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera, as well as Dirty LooksThe Brooklyn Rail, ASAP/J, and the Walker Reader. With Ann Pellegrini and Tavia Nyong’o he is a series co-editor of the Sexual Cultures series at NYU Press. He received his PhD from New York University in 2009 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Humanities from 2009-2010.

Anjanette Chan Tack

Anjanette Chan Tack is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago and the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies. Anjanette’s research interests include race/ethnicity, gender, immigration, urban sociology, health, and spatial analytics. 

A first-generation immigrant, Anjanette was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She migrated to the United States as a teenager. Anjanette earned a BA magna cum laude in Biochemical Science from Harvard University, a BA with first-class honors in Social and Political Science from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an MA with honors in Sociology from the University of Chicago. 

Anjanette studies both how racial categories are constructed and transformed, and how race produces inequalities, particularly in urban environments. Intellectually, Anjanette’s research unites sociology’s tradition of rigorous empirics and mid-range theorizing with epistemological standpoints emerging from Africana Studies and from post-colonial, intersectional, and transnational/Global South scholarship.

Anjanette’s dissertation research, which uses immigrant incorporation to shed light on America’s changing racial dynamics, has won awards from the ASA Ethnic and Racial Minorities section, the ASA Gender, Race, and Class section, and the SSSP Ethnic and Racial Minorities section. Her work has also been recognized twice by the SSSP Section on Community Research and Development, and by fellowships from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and Harvard University.

Anjanette’s research on health, spatial methods, spatial inequalities in urban neighborhoods, and urban violence has been published in venues like Sociological Science, among others.

Prior to graduate school, Anjanette held positions in public health and international development, executing projects in India, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, and Latin America. While working with HIV/AIDS Alliance International, Anjanette produced the first study highlighting the challenges faced by India’s HIV/AIDS-affected orphans. Click here to learn more about Anjanette’s work. 

Gail Lewis

Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

She is Reader Emerita in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Gender Studies, LSE. She will be Visiting Professor at Yale University in the academic year 2021-22. She trained, first, as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and then as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic. She was schooled by activism in matters of experience, subjectivity, inequality and freedom. Her political subjectivity was formed in the intensities of black feminist and anti-racist struggle and through a socialist, anti-imperialist lens. She was a member of the Brixton Black Women’s Group and one of the founder members of the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent, (both now defunct) Britain’s first national organisation for black and other women of colour. She is currently writing a book on black feminism in Britain and has written on feminism, intersectionality, the welfare state, and racialised-gendered experience. Her publications include ‘Race, Gender and Social Welfare: encounters in a postcolonial society’ (2000), Polity Press; ‘Citizenship: personal lives and social policy’ (2004), ed. Polity Press; ‘Birthing Racial Difference: conversations with my mother and others’ (2009) Studies in the Maternal; ‘Unsafe Travel: experiencing intersectionality and feminist displacements’ (2013) Signs: journal of women in culture and society; ‘Where Might I Find You’: Popular Music and the Internal Space of the Father’, (2012) Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society; ‘Questions of Presence’, (2017) Feminist Review, Issue 117; ‘Where Might We Go If We Dare: moving beyond the “thick, suffocating fog of whiteness’ in feminism’, (2019) Feminist Theory; ‘Black Feminism and the Challenge of Object Use’ (2020) Feminist Review 126 (1).

She works alongside artists and other creative practitioners to explore, disrupt and offer alternatives to the violent and violating representations of black and queer lives. She and Foluke Taylor were in conversation, discussing ‘Black Feminisms in the Consulting Room’ as part of the psychotherapeutic organisation, Confer’s module: ‘Women on the Couch’ (2020). She, along with Barby Asante, Foluke Taylor and others, did a recorded reading of M. NourbeSe Philip’s essay ‘Caribana: African Roots and Continuities’ for the podcast Dipsaus and first available to coincide with the on-line version of London’s annual Nottinghill Carnival in 2020. She also participated in NourbeSe Philips Zong! Global 2020. She believes that intergenerational conversations, as part of process of ancestral connection and guidance, are among the most urgent in these times. She is an Arsenal FC (soccer) fan.

Sondra Perry


Sondra Perry’s designation as a Presidential Visiting Fellow at the School of Art reflects the School’s endeavor to broaden its established commitment to image making with respect to evolving technologies, social media, and race. As an artist, Perry’s commitment to net neutrality and ideas of collective production and action involves using open-source software to edit work and leasing it digitally for use in galleries and classrooms, while also making videos available for free online. Perry’s approach has an ethical dimension in that it adheres to the principle of open access, and in doing so, Perry aims to privilege Black life, to democratize access to art and culture, and to offer a critical platform that differentiates itself from the portrayal of Blackness in the media.

Perry’s artist practice has been noted with excellence both nationally and internationally – particularly for the perspective it provides the convergence of Black Studies, Art, and Technology. Perry has been awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize, and the Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship. She is the recipient of the first MOCA Cleveland’s Toby’s Prize, and the 2018 Nam June Paik Award from the Kunststiftung NRW Arts Foundation. Perry has also participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-bow, and the Experimental Television Center.

Sondra Perry received an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from Alfred University. Perry has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio (2019); Serpentine Gallery, London (2018); Seattle Art Museum, Seattle (2017–18); and the Kitchen, New York (2016). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions at venues including the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2017); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2017); The New Museum, New York (2017); Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York (2016); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2015); and MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York (2015). Spanning the last five years, Perry has screened her videos and presented talks at institutions including the Vera List Center at The New School, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and The Artists’s Institute, New York, among others. Perry’s work was exhibited in the 10th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, and the Biennial of Contemporary Art, Rennes, France (both 2018).School of Art

Ms. Thomas received her B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 2000 and her M.F.A. in painting from Yale University in 2002. In 2002-2003, she participated in the Artist-in-Residence program at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Recent awards include the Rema Hort Mann Grant in 2007 and the Pratt Institute Alumni Achievement Award in 2009. Residencies include the Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program at Giverny, France through the Art Production Fund in 2010. She is represented by Lehmann Maupin in New York, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago and Susanne Vielmetter Projects in Los Angeles. She was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art to create a new work for the façade of The Modern on 53rd Street for 2010. Her work is in many public collections including the Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Brooklyn Museum; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Ms. Thomas is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute and was appointed critic in painting/printmaking at Yale in 2009.

Brandon Terry
Political Science

Brandon M. Terry is Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale University and Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and of Social Studies at Harvard University. Terry earned a PhD with distinction in Political Science and African American Studies from Yale University, an MSc in Political Theory Research as a Michael von Clemm Fellow at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford, and an AB, magna cum laude, in Government and African and African American Studies from Harvard College.

A scholar of African American political thought, Brandon is the editor, with Tommie Shelby, of To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Harvard University Press, 2018) and the editor of Fifty Years Since MLK (Boston Review/MIT 2018). He has published work in Modern Intellectual History, Political Theory, The New York Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, Dissent, The Point, and New Labor Forum. For his work, Brandon has received fellowships, awards, and recognition from the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics, the Center for History and Economics, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon-Mays Foundation, the American Political Science Association, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, and Best American Essays. His forthcoming book, tentatively titled, The Tragic Vision of the Civil Rights Movement: Political Theory and the Historical Imagination (under contract with Harvard University Press) interrogates the normative and political significance of different narratives of African American history in liberalism, radicalism, and Afro-pessimism through an original synthesis of methods drawn from philosophy of history, literary theory, and political philosophy.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, Terry will also be working on two follow-up monographs on the political and ethical thought of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. respectively.

Royce K. Young Wolf

History of Art

Royce K. Young Wolf, is a Hiraacá (Hidatsa), Nu’eta (Mandan), and Sosore (Eastern Shoshone) mother, artist, scholar, photographer, curator, spoken word poet, and language activist. She is a member of the Ih-dhi-shu-gah (Wide Ridge) Clan and is a child of the Ah-puh-gah-whi-gah (Low Cap) Clan. She is receiving her Ph.D. in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, with a specialization in Native American and Indigenous language and culture revitalization, survivance, and relationship (re)making. Her work prioritizes the pursuit of understanding Native American and Indigenous traditional and contemporary artforms and their representations of meaningful connections and storywork to culture, language, place, history, and people.