Angelita Reyes

Professor Emerita


Angelita Reyes is a professor in the School of Social Transformation and the Department of English at Arizona State University. An award-winning author, scholar-teacher, and consultant, Reyes is a distinct voice in today's national and global arena of new approaches for social and organizational transformation. Reyes is an affiliate faculty member of women and gender studies and the School for International Letters and Cultures. She is also a Barrett College Honors professor.

Reyes is the author of "Mothering ACROSS Cultures: Postcolonial Representations" (2002) which received the Choice Outstanding Academic Title in Language and Literature and nominated for the Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Prize (2003). She has two edited books on African literature and she has numerous articles in national and international journals. Reyes was a faculty curator of the multi-media exhibition, Dynamic Journey: Transformations of Slavery-Era Spaces, Routes and Sounds (2007). The exhibition was sponsored by the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Collaborative Research and Creativity Grant. 

Reyes has keynoted and presented at seminars and conferences in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. In 2007, she was invited to Kazakhstan, Central Asia, by the U.S. Department of State to establish lectures on ethnicity and African American cultures in the United States.

Her current work on vernacular architecture and material culture established the naming of a standing pre-Civil War slave cabin in southern Virginia to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia National Register. In 2015, Reyes implemented a team research grant awarded by the Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund grant for the historic preservation site. The site subsequently was awarded the prestigious Virginia historical highway marker.


Ph.D. Comparative Literature, University of Iowa 1986


Abridged List

Book-in-progress: Waters, Still Run Deep: Watersheds and Oral Narratives in an African American Community. Through collected oral histories and public history projects the research analyzes cultural dynamics within an African American community resulting from the construction of a dam in Mecklenburg County, Virginia that displaced many African Americans in the 1950s. Still Waters Run Deep includes selections from a public history photo exhibition crafted from the research and targeted to both general and academic audiences. The book includes oral history stories about passing and interracial intimacy that includes wine making, interracial marriage and passing for white.

Journal Articles under Peer Review and in Preparation

Under review with the Journal of Atlantic Studies. “Representation and Performance in Blackface: Mammy (USA), Zwarte Piet (Netherlands), and Haji Firuz (Iran).”

Original research explores how “blackface” exemplifies performativity in global societies where historical legacies of a black African presence have been marked by various indicators of racial stereotypes. Cultural performativity defines our understanding of blackface with invented language, behavioral expressions, and gendered subjectivity. Representative blackface performers, Mammy, Zwarte Piet, and Haji Firuz are racialized constructs—culturally and intellectually inferior characters who are gender-focused and invented for spectacle, but perceived as the embodiment of social reality. Research originated from the presentation at the symposium, “Slavery, Race Construction & African Diaspora in Iran” at Arizona State University (February 2015); and the 11th Biennial Iranian Studies Conference. University of Vienna, Austria. 5-10 August 2016.

In preparation: Journal of American Culture. Special issue on Black Womanhood. “Before Scandal:  Black Women and White Men in Love…But Not in Marriage?”

Anti-miscegenation laws placed interracial marriage in immutable danger at the intersections of gender and white supremacy. This article discusses cases from legal sources, oral histories, and literary representations that illustrate the dangerous exceptionalism of marital rights for black women when they effected legal interracial matrimonial rites

Print Books

Mothering ACROSS Cultures: Postcolonial Representations.  University of Minnesota Press, 2002.  244 pp

Book Award and MLA Award Nomination

            Choice Outstanding Academic Title in Language and Literature (2003)

            Nominated for the MLA William Sanders Scarborough Prize (2003).

Global Voices: Contemporary Literature from the Non-Western World. Eds. Arthur Biddle, Angelita Reyes, et al.  Prentice Hall/Simon & Schuster 1995.

African Literatures: Retrospectives and Perspectives.  Eds. Barkan, Brutus, Panofdsky and Reyes.

             Washington, D.C.:  Three Continents Press, 1990.

Digital Book

2013    Master Plan: Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War Era Historic Site & Log Cabin. Community Design Assistance Center. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Tech State University: 54pp.

Refereed Journal Articles and Book Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)

“Not Even Past: Six Acres and a Mule or Searching for Vicey Skipwith.”  Common-place: A Journal of Early American History.  April 2012.

“Bling/блинг:  Ethnicity, National Identity and Rap Music in Kazakhstan.”

Angelita D. Reyes. Translations by Yuliya Khlebnikova in Words. Beats. Life. The Global Journal of Hip Hop Culture.  14pp. February 2012.

 “A Teachable Moment with Legal Sources:  Marriage Matters and Unruly African American Women” in Journal of Women’s History.  22:2 (Summer) 2010: 157-61.

“Elusive Autobiographical Performativity:  Vicey Skipwith’s Home Place and Sarah Parker Remond’s Italian Retreat.”  Loopholes and Retreats: African American Writers and the Nineteenth Century.  Eds. John Cullen Gruesser, Hanna Wallinger.  Muenster: LIT Verlag. 2009: 141-168.

“History Telling at the Kitchen Table: Private Joseph Shields, WW II and Mother-Centered Memory in the Late Twentieth Century. Robert Jefferson and Angelita Reyes. Journal of Family History. (2002) 27:4. 430-458.

“Integrating Gender Concerns into the International Relations Curriculum:  “Ways of Reading” at the University of Minnesota.” Mary M. Lay, Angelita Reyes, et al.  Women’s Studies Quarterly. XXVI 3&4.  Fall/Winter 1998:  181-201.

SIGNS:  Journal of Women in Culture and Society.  Special Issue on "Postcolonial, Emergent and Indigenous Feminisms".  Editorial by Angelita Reyes and Joanna O'Connell. 20:4 1995:  787-790.

"Rereading a Nineteenth-Century Slave Incident:  From Toni Morrison's Beloved to Margaret Garner’s Dearly Beloved."  Nikki Manos, Ed.  Annals of Scholarship.  7:4 1990:  465-486.

"Do This in Remembrance...Margaret Garner's Fugitive Slave Story from Facts to Artifacts." Profils  Américains.  Genviève Fabre, Ed.  2  1992:  163-179.

"The Dance of the Past and Present in The Dragon Can't Dance."  World Literature Written in English.  24 1984: 107-120.

"Toward A More Perfect Union of Black and White Americans."  America.  February 1989: 138-140.

"Suspended Disbelief and Magical Realism in Los pasos perdidos." Selected Papers of the 1982 Southwest Graduate Student Conference in Comparative Literature. Austin, Texas:  University of Texas Press, 1983: 1-15.

"Ancient Properties in the New World: The Paradox of the 'Other' in Toni Morrison's Tar Baby." The Black Scholar.  V. 17 1986:  19-25.

"The Black Woman Writer and the African Diaspora." Bulletin of the African Literature Association. V. 12 1986:  6-9.

"Metaphors and Politics of Materialism in Paule Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow and Toni Morrison's Tar Baby." Politics and the Muse: Politics in Recent American Literature.   Adam J. Sorkin, Ed. Bowling Green State University Press, 1989: 178-201.

"All o' We is One or Carnival as Ritual."  African Literature in its Social and Political Dimensions.  Eileen Julien, Ed. Washington, D.C.:  Three Continents Press, 1985:  59- 68.

Reprint:  "The Dance of the Past and Present in The Dragon Can't Dance."  World Literature Written in English. V. 24 1984: 107-120.

Digital Humanities Scholarship

Multimedia Exhibition and Production

2016   “From the Virginia Forum to Visiting with “The Old Plantation.” Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund Initiative. Web.

2016    Director and Production with Agalya Loganathan. “Parker Sydnor Virginia Historical Highway Marker Dedication.” Trailer and Promotional Video: 1:16. In collaboration with Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund (CHIF) team grant.

2015    Director and Production. Angelita Reyes. Parker Sydnor Virginia Historical Highway Marker Dedication. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.    16:22 mins. Camera: Iron Alley Films. South Hill, VA.

Collaborative, technical, and narrative discipline of digital humanities (transmedia approach to scholarship production); two research-focused websites; directed and produced the research based video, “Parker Sydnor Virginia Historical Highway Marker Dedication.”

2015     Virginia historical highway marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources

dedication on October 16, 2015 to honor the life and occupation of Patrick Robert “Parker” Sydnor, who was born into slavery and earned renown as a skilled stonecutter and engraver of grave markers by the turn of the 20th century.  See:

2015    LIA at Work. Digital/Print annual publication of the Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War era Historic Site. Feature: Historic Site Awarded Virginia Historical Highway Marker. Summer 2015,

2015    Parker Sydnor Historic Log Cabin site. Web Design and Launch. Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund. Arizona State University.  

2014    LIA at Work. Digital/Print annual publication of the Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War era Historic Site. Feature: Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund grant. Summer 2014,

2013    LIA at Work. Digital/Print annual publication of the Parker Sydnor Civil War era historic site for general public/public history. New, events, historic preservation update. Feature: Virginia Tech University, Community Design Assistance Center crafts master plan for the Parker Sydnor historic log cabin site. Summer 2013,

2010    February-March.  Exhibition and Panel Event. “Michael Jackson:  Icon. Humanitarian. Legacy.”  Curators:  Angelita Reyes and Vicki Coleman.  Hayden Library Exhibition.  Co-sponsored by African and African American Studies Forum and ASU Libraries

2007    Herberger College of Fine Arts: Collaborative Research, and Creativity Grant.  Multi-media exhibition entitled:  Dynamic Journey:  Transformations of Slavery-era Spaces, Routes, and Sounds Faculty curators: Stephen Marc (photographer), Kay Norton (musicologist) and Angelita D. Reyes (cultural studies).  January 29-February 28.

Scholarship Journalism

Reyes, Angelita. “Sarah Parker Remond (1815-1895) and Maya Angelou 1928-2014).”  ASU Now. “Global Engagement: ASU Professors Share Influences For International Women's Day.” March 7,2017. womens-day

2014    Reyes, Angelita. Mecklenburg County nonprofit receives $60,000 from Carnegie group. Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 1:04 pm.

Research Activity


Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
AFR 492 Honors Directed Study
AFR 493 Honors Thesis
AFR 498 Pro-Seminar
AFR 499 Individualized Instruction
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
AFR 492 Honors Directed Study
AFR 493 Honors Thesis
AFR 498 Pro-Seminar
AFR 499 Individualized Instruction
AFR 580 Practicum
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
AFR 492 Honors Directed Study
AFR 493 Honors Thesis
AFR 498 Pro-Seminar
AFR 499 Individualized Instruction
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
AFR 210 Intro African American Studies
ENG 354 Af/Am Lit: Harlem Renais-Pres
AFR 492 Honors Directed Study
AFR 493 Honors Thesis
AFR 498 Pro-Seminar
AFR 499 Individualized Instruction
AFR 580 Practicum


  • Angelita Reyes. Black States of Desire: 2011 CAAR Conference Universit� Paris Didet-"The Stretching Centre: Creative Mappings of the Circum-Caribbean." Moderator. April 2011 Ninth International Conference of the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) (Jun 2011).
  • Angelita Reyes. "African American Churches and Home Places." Moderator and Panel Chair. Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute. April 2011 Annual Meeting of the Virginia Forum, (Apr 2011).
  • Angelita Reyes. March 2011 Conference: Women, Islam and Peace Building. "At the Interface of Anti-Immigrant and Islamophobic Discourse: Coalition Building in Arizona." Session Chair and Respondent. The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict. Arizona State University. Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Conference: Women, Islam and Peace Building (Mar 2011).
  • Angelita Reyes. Something Old, Something New: Race, Inter-race, Sexuality, and Marriage in the African American Postcolonial Moment". University of Naples "LOrientale:" "Dark Continents: the sexes of culture" (May 2010).
  • Angelita Reyes. 2010 Virginia Forum Editorial Board. Annual Virginia Forum (Mar 2010).
  • Angelita Reyes. "American Idols and Bling/????? in Kazakhstan". 35th Southern Comparative Literature Association Conference (Oct 2009).
  • Angelita Reyes. Editorial Board. Virginia Forum (Apr 2009).
  • Angelita Reyes. "Elusive Autobiography and Performativity: Vicey Skipwith, 1856-1936". Fairfield University colloquia (Mar 2009).
  • Angelita Reyes. This Old Cabin: From the Back of the Big House to the National Register. Wells Fargo Celebrates (Feb 2009).
  • Angelita Reyes. "Vicey Skipwith 1856-1936". Fourteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women: Continuities and Changes Berkshire Confere (Jun 2008).
  • Angelita Reyes. "Domestic Landscapes and Inheritance in Old Virginia.". Annual Virginia Forum (Apr 2008).
  • Angelita Reyes. "In the Shadow of the Silk Road: Place and Space of American Rap Music in Kazakhstan.". 29th Annual Meeting of the South West /Texas Popular Cuylture Association (Feb 2008).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Intersectionality: Paradigmatic Shifts on Race, Class, Gender and Human Rights in the Continuum of Globalization. International Refereed human rights conference (May 2006).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Intersectionality: Paradigmatic Shifts on Race, Class, Gender & Human Rights in the Continuum of Globalization. History of Human Rights, Center for the Study of History and Memory (Mar 2006).
  • Reyes, Angelita. InterNation and Beyond: In the Footsteps of Sarah Parker Remond. Collegium on African American Research (CAAR) Europe (Mar 2005).
  • Reyes, Angelita. What's Love Got to Do With It? The Politics of Miscegenation. Creating Idenity and Empire in the Atlantic World: 1492-1888 (Sep 2004).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Gender Roles and Oral History. XIIIth INTERNATIONAL ORAL HISTORY CONFERENCE (Jun 2004).
  • Reyes, Angelita. African Literary Studies and Hiring in the Academy. Annual African Literature Association Meeting (Apr 2004).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Very Unfriendly Fire: WW II and the Homicide of Private Joseph Shields at Fort Huachuca, AZ. Arizona History Convention (Feb 2004).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Evening with ASU/Scholar Recruitment (Oct 2003).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Acknowledging Our Past. Arizona State University Annual Convocation Ceremony for Black and African Graduates (May 2003).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Bringing Our Community Together To Educate Our Youth. Sigma Gamma Ro Sorority, Women of Color Brunch (May 2003).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Each child is born of a morning star rising?. Gathering at the River Women of Color Conference (Feb 2003).
  • Reyes, Angelita. The Dream of America's Destiny and the Empowerment of Race Unity. Arizona Martin Luther King Day Commemoration (Jan 2003).
  • Reyes, Angelita. National Council of Teachers of English presentation. World and Comparative Literature Committee annual meeting (Nov 2002).
  • Reyes, Angelita. What's in Vogue?: Tailored Artwear in the African Dispora. Wrapped and Draped: Alternate Fashions (Sep 2001).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Diaspora Paradigms: New Scholarship in Comparative Black History. Michigan State University. Refusing to Live By Bread Alone: Literacy as a Site of Memory Among 18th Century African Moravian Slave Women in the Danish West Indies (Sep 2001).
  • Reyes, Angelita. High Heels and Human Rights: Searching for Global Justice & Female Genital Cutting. Modern Literature Conference on Globalcities (Sep 2001).
  • Reyes, Angelita. The Creative Circle of Writing Autobiography and Human Rights: Waris Dirie, Fauziya Kassindja and Their Odyssey from Female Cutting. African Literature Association (Apr 2001).
  • Reyes, Angelita. I Is A Long Memoried Woman: Writing Memory and Writing Black. Conference: "The Politics of Writing Black" (Feb 2001).
  • Reyes, Angelita. 'All for a pack of cigarettes': WW II, Mother-Centered Memory & the Unsilencing of Private Joseph Shields. Oral History Association Annual Meeting: At the Crossroads & Transforming Community Locally and Globally (Oct 2000).
  • Reyes, Angelita. The Life and Times of Sara Baartman-The Hottentot Venus. Juneteenth Film Festival, "It Takes a Village: The Struggle and Liberation of the African American Community" (Jun 2000).
  • Reyes, Angelita. On the Edge of the Millennium: Woman-Centered Memory Telling from Schwarz-Bart to Danticat. Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars (Apr 2000).
  • Reyes, Angelita. Sustainable Feminisms: World Beat Across Global Borders. Sustainable Feminisms
  • Reyes, Angelita. Engendering A Globalized Diaspora: From 19th Century Abolitionists in Exile to 20th Century Miss [Black] Italy. African American and Diasporic Research in Europe


Awards described as highly prestigious by the National Research Council for outstanding achievements, extraordinary originality, leadership, and innovative research, as well as the advancement of human knowledge and the betterment of society are marked with an *
2016 Vernacular Architecture Forum Paul E. Buchanan Award Nomination: Dir. and Prod., Angelita Reyes. Parker Sydnor Virginia Historical Highway Marker Dedication. Web. 22 Dec. 2015. 16:22 mins.
The Paul E. Buchanan Award is a model for scholars and institutions looking to engage communities in the practice of placed based history, and it was excited that Parker Sydnor, an outstanding person in his own right, has been recovered and presented to a broader public. The committee particularly appreciated that this project draws attention to race -- an issue that has often divided communities -- in a manner that builds community. The award was instituted by VAF in 1993 to recognize contributions to the study and preservation of vernacular architecture and the cultural landscape that do not take the form of books or published work.
2014- Multi-year External Grant: Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund (CHIF). $61,000+
2016 Interdisciplinary High-Impact, Place Studies Project: Patrick Robert Parker Sydnor Historic Log Cabin Site in Mecklenburg County, VA. Arizona State University.
The Sydnor project features use-inspired research and entrepreneurial impact that defines ways in which scholarship connects with new audiences. The transdisciplinary team, composed of faculty, students and community professionals, intersects public and oral history, women and gender studies, critical race theory,
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vernacular architecture, and cultural studies interpretations at a Civil War-era historic preservation site in southern Virginia. The innovative digital humanities component of the project engages social media networking and a video production.
2014 Religion and Conflict: From Human Funerary Practices to the Global Implications of Malaysia
Airlines Flight 17. Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Undergraduate Fellows Program. Undergraduate Research Assistant, Gabe Kaplan, Barrett Honors College. Arizona State University. Fall semester
2013 National Council on Public History. Outstanding Public History Project Award Nomination
Project: Parker Sydnor Civil War-era log cabin site.
Award acknowledges the value of historical understanding to the general public, and the fact that this understanding results from a variety of public history projects, the National Council on Public Historys Outstanding Public History Project Award recognizes excellence in work completed & that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice.
2013 Writing among the Dead: Funerary Practices and AfricanAmerican Tombstone Carving,
18351950. Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Undergraduate Research Fellows Program. Undergraduate Research Assistant, Alyssa Green. Arizona State University.
2013 Virginia Department of Forestry Rural Development grant. Project: Virginia Tech University
Community Assistance Design Center; Literacy InterActives, Inc., Conceptual Master Plan developed for the Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War era log cabin project. $10,000.



Academic Leadership and Organizational Management
2017-2018 Faculty Women’s Association, President.
2016-2017 Faculty Women’s Association, President-Elect (2016-2017). Arizona State University
FWA and its executive board strive to be an effective voice for women faculty at ASU. In addition to working for changes in policies, practices and attitudes on campus, FWA provides career development and networking opportunities for women at all faculty ranks, as well as an awards program that recognizes outstanding faculty mentors and distinguished graduate students. FWA maintains an ongoing dialogue with university leadership to improve the climate for women at ASU and provide a congenial atmosphere for faculty at all levels.
2016-2019 University Promotion and Tenure Committee. Arizona State University
The committee reviews all petitions for promotion and tenure and makes recommendations to the university provost. The committee and the committee chair are appointed by and responsible to the university provost.
2014-2017 Founding Faculty Leadership Circle: Faculty Women of Color Caucus, Arizona State University
Faculty Women of Color Caucus works to advocate for substantive and effective responses to institutional, cultural and social norms that impact our work as teachers, mentors, researchers, and colleagues on the ASU campus.
2015-2018 Faculty Women’s Association, Board of Directors, Arizona State University
2014-2016 Project Team Director and PI, Carnegie Humanities Investment Fund (CHIF). External/sponsored grant, $60,000+ Arizona State University Patrick Robert “Parker” Sydnor Historic Log Cabin Site Mecklenburg County, VA.
The grant will fund interactive website networking, a promotional video production and business crowd sourcing for the initiative. The grant also provides an administrative assistant position for two years. Director’s Responsibilities: Manage and disburse of funds; Director of team duties and responsibilities in accordance with interdisciplinary research faculty (social sciences and humanities), & staff at Arizona State University and Mecklenburg County (Virginia Department of Historic Resources); direct supervision of research graduate assistants; supervision and consultation of relevant programming with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
2013-2016 Dean’s Strategic Planning and Academic Resources Advisory Council, Arizona State University
2012-present City College of the City University of New York (CUNY) Alumni Scholarship Committee.
Founding Committee Member: Leadership and collaboration has established a scholarship fund, "The Paper Scholarship at CCNY" to enrich the next generation of outstanding graduates in media, communication arts and other related fields striving to make a difference in the world for social transformation. This scholarship will continue The Paper's (journalism publication) standards of excellence in writing, journalism, media communications, and social justice.
2013-2015 Modern Language Association (MLA) Executive Committee of the Division
Women's Studies in Language and Literature, Secretary (Elected)
2012-2013 Virginia Tech, Project Director & Principal Investigator: Patrick Robert Sydnor historic log cabin site. Mecklenburg County, VA; Community Design Assistance Center VA Tech
2009-2017 Arizona Chapter of the Fulbright Association, Board of Directors; Academic & Nonprofit sector. Elected President in 2015. AZ Members: 1000+ Lifetime member.
2011-2012 School of Social Transformation Governance Task Force, Arizona State University
2008-present Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Literacy InterActives, Inc., Nonprofit sector Leadership/Research project: Parker Sydnor historic log cabin site in Virginia.

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