Jervette Ward appointed CCNY Black Studies program director after national search

Jervette Ward is the new director of the Black Studies Program in the Division of the Humanities and the Arts at the City College of New York.

The City College of New York is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jervette R. Ward as director of the Black Studies Program in the Division of Humanities and the Arts. After a national search, Dean Renata Kobetts Miller said, “As President of CLA (College Language Association), Professor Ward comes to City College as a leader in the profession. We’re thrilled to have her directing City College’s historic Black Studies Program, and we’re looking forward to some exciting developments in the months and years ahead.”

Ward writes, teaches, and speaks on the power of language and popular culture as avenues for social change. Since 2018, Ward has been a tenured associate professor of English at Mississippi State University (MSU). Prior to that she was an associate professor of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) where she earned tenure in 2018. Her academic career started at Pine Manor College, in Chestnut Hill, Mass., as an assistant professor of English, multicultural literature, in 2011 and at The University of Memphis as an adjunct instructor, teaching & research assistant from 2007-2011.

She attended The University of Memphis where she earned her B.A. (2004) in journalism, cum laude, her M.A. (2009) in English, American Literature, a Graduate Certificate in African American Literature (2009), and her Ph.D. (2011) in English–Literary & Cultural Studies.

Ward’s forthcoming book, “Black Women vs. Everybody: An Intellectual Tradition of Great Debates” (The Ohio State University Press), argues that Black women have boldly and courageously sought to affirm their own humanity while simultaneously arguing for the humanity of others.

Her dedication to CLA, the oldest and largest organization for Black scholars of languages and literature in the country, is apparent in her previous appointments as vice president for two years and, prior to that, as director of public relations. One of her many responsibilities as president is overseeing the management of CLAJ, the peer-reviewed academic journal.

Ward is a member of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Nominating Committee and is a former Chair of the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures African American Forum. Her most recent presentation was at the MLA Convention in Washington, D.C. in 2022 as a panelist at the “Black Archives and the Future” Roundtable.

Ward began her post at CCNY on August 25, 2023.

Media Contact: Thea