An interdisciplinary scholar, Noliwe Rooks is the Chair and Professor of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theater at Brown University. Her work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by popular culture, social history and political life in the United States. She works on the cultural and racial implications of beauty, fashion and adornment; race, capitalism and education, and the economic and health politics of food and cannabis production. Read more
The author of four books and numerous articles, essays and op ed’s, Rooks has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson School among others. She lectures frequently at colleges and universities around the country and is a regular contributor to popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Time Magazine and NPR.
Rooks’ current book, in which she coined the term “segrenomics,” is Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education which won an award for non-fiction from the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Her current research, for which she has received a Kaplan Fellowship and a fellowship from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, asks what social policy would look like if it were crafted with a view toward ensuring the social, mental, emotional, and physical health of those most deeply impacted by it. It is organized around a construct Rooks is developing called “Killing Cures,” or policies that can harm citizens as often as they fix what is broken in democratic societies, explores relationships between capitalism, land, health, urban food politics and cannabis legalization in the United States.