Simone C. Drake, PhD, MSL

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Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of African American and African Studies and the Department of English

Simone C. Drake is the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Department of African American and African Studies and the Department of English; she is a faculty affiliate at the Moritz College of Law and in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her interdisciplinary research agenda focuses on how people of African descent in the Americas negotiate the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation through the lenses of critical race, gender, and legal studies. She is particularly interested in how the humanities do and should inform public policy and law. She is the author of When We Imagine Grace: Black Men and Subject Making (University of Chicago Press 2016) and Critical Appropriations: African American Women and the Construction of Transnational Identity (Louisiana State University Press 2014, Southern Literary Studies Series); co-editor (with Dwan Henderson) of Are You Entertained?: Black Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century (Duke University Press 2020); and numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her current book project, Becoming Educated: A Midwest Story of Race, Law, and Culture considers the intersection between law, education, visual art, and music that is presented through the lens of memoir and narrative.

Simone has served as a department Chair and Vice Chair and as Director of the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center, an off-campus 7,000 square foot building located in a historically African American neighborhood on the Near East Side of Columbus. She is committed to advancing social justice and racial equity through engaged scholarship and community-focused collaborations. Moreover, she consults with secondary schools on African American Studies curriculum design and pedagogy, as well as with higher education institutions and non-profits on diversity, equity, and inclusion in relationship to employment, hiring, and policing/public safety. Simone received her doctorate in English Literature from the University of Maryland, a Master in the Study of Law from OSU Moritz College of Law along with a dual master’s degree in English and African American and African Studies at OSU, and a bachelor’s degree in Classical Civilization and English from Denison University. She lives in Powell with her husband and three sons.

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