Image of TracySharpley-Whiting

Tracy Sharpley-Whiting

Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies

Expert in comparative Black cultural movements and African American literature and culture.


Tracy Sharpley-Whiting is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University where she also chairs African American and Diaspora Studies and directs the Callie House Center for the Study of Global Black Cultures and Politics. She is the author/editor or co-editor of fifteen books. She is currently researching a biographical study of four African diasporic figures across French historical movements. She is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, editor of the journal Palimpsest, one of the series editors of "Blacks in the Diaspora" (Indiana University Press, 2007-2015), and co-series editor of "Philosophy and Race" (SUNY Press). She served on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association (2014-2018).

Media Appearances

  • How Does Obama's 2008 Speech On Race Hold Up Today?

    Depending on who you ask, there would be no President Obama without "A More Perfect Union." But when I hear that speech now, I wonder if it would still work today. Since that speech, the Black Lives Matter movement happened. Charlottesville happened. That is a long way away from just forgiving your white grandmother's racist comments. So I called up someone who literally wrote the book on this speech. Well, technically, she was the editor. Tracy Sharpley-Whiting is a humanities professor at Vanderbilt University. That book - it's called "The Speech."

    March 18th, 2020

  • How race played a role in Tennessee's women's suffrage moment

    This week, Tennessean reporter Jessica Bliss joins the podcast to help interview two guests on the racial dynamics going on in the Tennessee suffrage movement. Carole Bucy, Davidson County historian with the Metro Nashville Historical Commission, and Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, a distinguished professor of humanities at Vanderbilt University, both come on this week to talk about that aspect of the suffrage centennial.

    March 3rd, 2020


Ph.D., Brown University

M.A., Miami University

B.A., University of Rochester


VUStar is a broadcast facility that links experts to you 24/7. The studio offers HD and SD transmission and an ISDN line for radio interviews. The studio, staffing and phone lines are free when using Vanderbilt experts.