Keisha-Khan Y. Perry is the Presidential Penn Compact Associate Professor in Africana Studies. As an anthropologist of Black social movements in the Americas, she has degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin; she was an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow and has had professional appointments at Brown and Princeton.
But despite this establishment pedigree, Perry is, at her core, a radical and a truth-teller. “I get paid in integrity, academic integrity,” she says. “That’s my cachet.”
Established as a department at Penn in July 2012 after 40 years of Black studies, Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary and cross-regional approach to the history, sociology, anthropology, and literature of Black lives across the diaspora.
Perry adds another component to this department. Her work is comparative and transnational, adding to an existing strength in Africana studies of scholars who focus on Black women’s scholarship, says Michael G. Hanchard, the Gustave C. Kuemmerle Professor of Africana Studies.