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TAFT Postdoctoral Fellows

Simone SavannahSimone Savannah, Ph.D. is an award-winning, Black feminist writer and performer. Her research offers a pathway within feminist literature and scholarship that builds upon and extends the quest for identity, survival, and autonomy. In her dissertation turned lecture, “Writing, Performing, and Working Out,” discussions of anger, the erotic, and the personal converge with her readings of essays by women writers such as Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Carmen Gimenez-Smith, and black feminist texts by writers such as Audre Lorde, Ntozake Shange, Tracie Morris, Claudia Rankine, and Robin Coste Lewis.  

Her collection of poems Uses of My Body (2020) was selected by Jericho Brown as the winner of the 2019 Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize. Her chapbook, Like Kansas, was a finalist for the Atlas Review Chapbook Contest, and she was a finalist for the 2017 Rita Dove Award in Poetry. Simone’s work has been published in Apogee, The Fem, Powder Keg, GlitterMob, Shade Journal, BreakBeat Poets, and several other journals and anthologies. Her current project Homage to Hip Thrusts explores the body’s relationship to movement and describes her experience as a gym rat and group fitness instructor. Through poems and short fiction, she explores articulations of womanism through movement.

She has and continues to perform poetry for university departments, presses, and bookstores. You can find reviews of Simone’s work at the Poetry Society of America and at the Project on the History of Black Writing.

She earned her M.Ed and B.A. from Ohio University and she holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kansas. As a first-generation student, she has worked for several TRIO programs, including Upward Bound and the McNair Scholars Program. Simone is currently a Charles Phelps Taft Post-Doctoral Fellow. Her areas of teaching include poetry and poetics, and Black feminist literature and criticism. In Spring 2022, she is teaching WGS 3161/AFST 3161/ENGL 3161: Black Women Writers.

She curates the Instagram page @i_beenawoman which features poems and passages by Black women writers. Outside of writing and teaching, Simone works as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.

For more about Dr. Savannah, please click here.

Chandra FrankChandra Frank, PhD, Department of Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies, with an emphasis on queer and feminist studies, Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr. Frank (she/her/hers) is a feminist researcher who works on the intersections of archives, waterways, gender, sexuality and race. Her curatorial practice explores the politics of care, experimental forms of narration, and the colonial grammar embedded within display and exhibition arrangements. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and exhibition catalogues, including Feminist Review, the Small Axe VLOSA catalogue, The Place is Here publication and the collection Tongues. She recently co-edited a special issue on Archives for Feminist Review. Her curated exhibitions include Re(as)sisting Narratives (Amsterdam/Cape Town), Fugitive Desires (London), and Proclamation 73 (Durban) (co-curated with Zara Julius). Chandra curated the 2016 Archives Matter Conference at the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths. She is on the international editorial board of Palgrave Studies in (Re)Presenting Gender. In addition, she is the Project Manager of the Experiment Program in International Living, a summer program for US students focused on LGBTQ+ Rights and Advocacy in Amsterdam: https://www.experiment.org/experiment_blog/program-spotlight-the-netherlands-dutch-culture-and-lgbtq-rights/.

For more about Dr. Frank, please click here.