Kameelah Martin, director and professor of African American Studies and English at the College of Charleston, has been named dean of the Graduate School of the University of Charleston, S.C., effective June 1, 2021.
Prior to her faculty appointment at the College in 2017, Martin taught at Georgia State University, the University of Houston and Savannah State University. A first-generation college student, Martin earned a B.A. in English from Georgia Southern University, an M.A. in Afro-American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in African American literature and folklore from Florida State University, where her dissertation earned the FSU Department of English J. Russell Reaver Award for Outstanding Dissertation in American Literature or Folklore.
Martin has deep experience teaching and researching literary and vernacular traditions, with an emphasis on 20th and 21st century prose, as well as African American genealogy. She has explored topics such as the conjure woman as an archetype, the performance of African spirituality in visual media and the preservation of Gullah Geechee heritage and folk beliefs. In addition to her service on College and faculty committees, she has served as assistant editor and book review editor of the College Language Association Journal. She is also co-editor of The Lemonade Reader, an interdisciplinary collection that explores the nuances of Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album, Lemonade.
“We are honored that Dean Martin has agreed to take on this critical leadership position as dean of the Graduate School,” said Provost Suzanne Austin in an email to the campus community. “Her perspectives, scholarly accomplishments and passion for diversity and education will help elevate the College and position our graduate students and faculty for greater academic distinction and success.”