Donna Aza Weir-Soley, President
Associate Professor, Florida International University

Dr. Donna Aza Weir-Soley (Aza) is the author of Eroticism, Spirituality and Resistance in Black Women's Writings (University Press of Florida 2009, 2017) and two books of poetry: First Rain (Peepal Tree Press, 2006) and The Woman Who Knew (Finishing Line Press, 2016). She also co-authored the groundbreaking anthology Caribbean Erotic (with Opal Palmer Adisa, Peepal Tree Press, 2010). Weir-Soley teaches in the departments of English, African and African Diaspora Studies, Women Studies and Latin American Studies. Her courses include surveys in the literatures of African and New World subjects in the nineteenth century and in the Harlem Renaissance period, women's writing in the Caribbean and in the African Diaspora, and multicultural women's literature in the USA. She also teaches seminars in literatures of enslavement and colonialism, African women's writings, Caribbean poetics, and on Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison. Weir-Soley has been honored with the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship, the Andrew Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities and the Andrew Mellon Travel Fellowship, the 2015 FIU Award in Service, and the 2016 FIU Engagement Award for her partnerships with university students, poets and charitable organizations to build houses and fishponds ain Haiti. She is also a facilitator for prison educational exchanges and collaborations, including Exchange for Change.

Giselle Liza Anatol, Immediate Past President
Professor, English, University of Kansas

Giselle Anatol published The Things That Fly in the Night: Female Vampires in Literature of the Circum-Caribbean and African Diaspora with Rutgers University Press in 2015. She has also published three edited collections in the field of children's literature: Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays (Praeger, 2003), Reading Harry Potter Again: New Critical Essays (Praeger, 2009), and Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on the Pop Culture Phenomenon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Prof. Anatol was honored with KU's Frances L. Stiefel Teaching Professorship in English (2021-2024), the Ned Fleming Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016, the Mabel S. Fry Teaching Award in 2011, and a Conger-Gabel Teaching Professorship from 2001-2004. Her courses include Caribbean literature surveys, seminars on folklore in African diaspora literature and African/diaspora speculative fiction, classes on Toni Morrison's oeuvre, the works of the three Black authors to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (Soyinka, Walcott, and Morrison), and multicultural writing for children and young adults.

Carol Bailey, Vice President
Associate Professor, English, Westfield State University

Carol Bailey is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Westfield State University in Massachusetts, USA, where she teaches courses in World, Postcolonial, Caribbean and Cross-Cultural, and Women’s Literatures. She is the author of A Poetics of Performance: The Oral-Scribal Aesthetic in Anglophone Caribbean Fiction (UWI Press 2014), and co-editor (with Stephanie McKenzie) of the forthcoming Pamela Mordecai’s Selected Poems. Carol’s current research and teaching center on intersections of long colonization and globalization with a focus on how these phenomena manifest in cities, particularly Black diasporic cities. This is the subject of her current book project, Writing the Black Diasporic City in the age of Globalization. Carol’s interest in the role of academic pursuits in addressing social issues also translates into professional and community-based service such as her role as founding director for Diversity Across the Curriculum at Westfield State University.

Daniele Bobb, Secretary
Lecturer, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill

Dr. Daniele Bobb is an Afro-Caribbean scholar whose work and interest include gender and development, government and social policies, mothering, and women and work. Among her literary work is a Ph.D. thesis which centered on how women negotiate and navigate motherhood and work within the context of neo-liberalism. Dr. Bobb’s teaching portfolio at the undergraduate and graduate levels includes courses such as Women, Leadership and Change in Developing Countries, Gender and Sexuality, Theoretical Concepts and Sources of Knowledge in Women’s Studies, Issues in Caribbean Feminism and Gender Relations, among others. In addition to publishing in the area of gender and education, and gender and sexuality, she is presently working on a single author manuscript, and has several publications forthcoming including a co-authored book entitled Marginalized Groups in the Caribbean: Gender, Policy, and Society. She is involved in many outreach and research projects focusing on a myriad of areas including youth empowerment, the marginalization of vulnerable groups, gender and infrastructure, and gender and education. Dr. Bobb sits on several committees and faculty boards. She is steadfast in her devotion to the work for gender equity and enhancing the quality of life for all.

Marie Alexandra Cornelius, Publications Editor
Associate Teaching Professor, Florida International University

Dr. Alex Cornelius is the Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS) at Florida International University (FIU). Appointed in 2020, she leads the Center in promoting women’s and gender studies research, curricular development, and Miami-based community partnerships. Cornelius joined the Department of History and the African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) Program in 2006 and was promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in 2019. She earned her Ph.D. in American History from Washington University, St. Louis, after completing an M.A. in American History at Purdue University and a B.A. in History at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). Her research and teaching expertise are in Race, Gender and Science, and in African American Women’s Intellectual History. Committed to intersectional approaches to the study health and wellness, Cornelius established the Health Humanities Certificate program at FIU. Her publications include “‘A Taste of the Lash of Criticism’: Racial Progress, Self-Defense, and Christian Intellectual Thought in the Work of Amelia E. Johnson” in Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women, edited by Mia Bay, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Martha Jones, and Barbara Savage (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

Marissel Hernández Romero, Social Media Publicist
Assistant Professor, Alfred University

Dr. Marissel Hernández Romero is a Black Puerto Rican Scholar. She holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic and Portuguese-Brazilian Studies from the City University of New York (CUNY). Her Ph.D. research focuses on the exploration of new representations of the social bandit in both Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean. More broadly, her scholarship investigates how seemingly forgotten, marginalized, and excluded groups express themselves in different cultural movements and social networks. Her most recent project examines Afrofuturism in Brazil and the Hispanic Caribbean through a comparative lens. Employing an ethnographical methodology, Dr Hernández Romero proposes that current theoretical reflections on music are key to understanding both social processes and movements. She is currently the coordinator and co-editor of a project and book manuscript titled De coco y anis: Un proyecto de Amor para Rafael Cortijo. Dr Hernández Romero also engages with the wider academic and non-academic community through her newspaper column "Negra académica y malcriá" (Black Academic and Misbehaved) at Claridad. Her column addresses both racism and antiracism in Puerto Rico which set the bases for the forthcoming book titled "Guía para la lucha antirracista en Puerto Rico" (The Anti-racist Guide to Counteract Racism in Puerto Rico).

Allison E. Francis, Treasurer
Professor, Chaminade University of Honolulu

Dr. Allison E. Francis (Paynter) is a Professor of English at Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii. She teaches and publishes academic papers on a range of topics, which include Victorian and Scottish Literature, Theatre and Poetry, Vodou in Haiti, 19th century African American and Caribbean women’s Literature, and Women’s Literature, with a focus on science fiction and fantasy. Dr. Francis co-edited South Sea Encounters: Nineteenth-Century Oceania, Britain, and America (Routledge 2018), which includes her chapter “Ernest Hogan’s Colored All-Stars Minstrel Show: A Case of Racial Discrimination in the Republic of Hawai’i.” Her poetry will be featured in Bamboo Ridge Press’ Kipuka: Finding Refuge in Times of Change, in 2021. Currently, she is drafting a book manuscript on how community-building operates in popular media cultures that examine Afrofuturism—music, television, and film, and her first musical play A Boy’s Life: The Musical, based on a Ray Bradbury short story. Dr. Francis is an accomplished playwright and performance poet who has been featured at venues in London, Edinburgh, New York and on Zoom.

Michael Grafals, Archivist
Assistant Professor, English, Florida International University

Michael Grafals is an assistant teaching professor in the Department of English at Florida International University. He regularly teaches courses on Caribbean, African and US Latinx literatures and received a 2020 FIU Top Scholar award for his globally-engaged and culturally responsive teaching. He is completing Detoured Island, a manuscript on the way diaspora as an identity-in-process is represented in Puerto Rican literature. Michael is interested in phenomenology, hermeneutics and the representation of the African diaspora in Caribbean literature. He has published a chapter on shamanic activism and critical theory in the poetics of Gloria Anzaldúa and Wilson Harris and an essay on distanciation and utopia in Chicanx fiction. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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