- Priority Area: Race, Racism, and Inequality
- Disciplines: Geography, Black Studies
- Mentor’s Name: Dr. D. Asher Ghertner
- Mentor’s Discipline: Geography, Political Ecology, India
- School: School of Arts and Sciences (SAS)
- Department: Geography
About Teona Williams
Dr. Teona Williams is a critical human geographer who specializes in Black and Indigenous Geographies and Black ecologies. Her research and work show how a focus on the histories of rural Black women re-map the contours of antiblackness, the Black Radical Tradition, ecological degradation, and settler colonialism. Dr. Williams’ dissertation, Okay Now: Gender and Ecology in the Black Radical Tradition maps an environmental, spatial, and social history of the Mississippi Delta from the perspective of poor rural Afro-Indigenous and Black women. It focuses on twentieth-century histories of Black geographies, critical disaster studies, and Black Feminist cartographies. Dr. Williams hails from Yale University, where she earned her Ph.D. in History and African American Studies. During her time as a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Williams will work on turning her dissertation into a book manuscript. Okay Now is an exploration of rural Black feminists' interventions on food access, disaster relief, and welfare reform from the 1930s through the 1990s, and the impact of their political practices on contemporary Black feminist writers. Dr. Williams’ work will include conducting archival research in Mississippi and adding new chapters that will focus on Black feminist writers' intervention in ecology.
Aside from being a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Williams is also a Research Assistant in Food Justice at the Smithsonian Institute: Anacostia Community Museum as well as an Academic and Professional Development Fellow in the Office of Graduate Student Diversity and Development at Yale’s Graduate School.
Dr. Williams is also a member of the 2022-2024 postdoctoral cohort at the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice and will be appointed in Geography as a named term chair, a Mellon Assistant Professor in Global Racial Justice, in 2024.