Althea Tait , Ph.D

Associate Professor
(585) 395-5920
Office: Liberal Arts 220


  • PhD, English Department, Morgan State University, 2008
  • Visiting Gradute Scholar, Women’s Studies Certificate Program, University of Maryland, College Park, 2007-2008
  • MA, English Literature, The University of Tulsa, 2003
  • BA, English Literature, Oral Roberts University, 1998

Courses Taught

Africana Studies, The Univesrity of Arizona, Tucson

    Women, Writers, and the Gods (This course looks at the ways race, class, and gender among other interlocking sites of oppression act as god-like forces in black women’s lives. Black women’s literature and cultural artifacts are the space in which students examine the premise for the course.)
    African American Women and AutoBiography

Note: The AFAS 342 course is crosslisted with the departments of English and Gender and Women’s Studies. The AFAS 306 course is crosslisted with the departments of Gender and Women’s Studies and History.

Women’s Studies, Old Dominion University

  • WMST 495/595 - Feminist Theory
  • WMST/ENGL/AAS 495/595 - Beauty and Performance: Black Women’s Writing
  • WMST/ENGL/AAS 495/595 - Black Penelope: Black Women n the Odyssey of Hollywood Film
  • WMST/ENGL 495/595 - Race-ing Beauty: The Novels of Toni Morrison
  • WMST/ENGL/AAS 495/595 - Gender, Memory, and the Black Experience
  • WMST/COMM 495 - Gender and Popular Culture
  • WMST 302 - Dimensions of Diversity: A Multicultural Approach to Women’s Studies
  • WMST 201 - Introduction to Women’s Studies

Note: Many of the courses, as noted, were crosslisted with the departments of English and African American and African Studies; the Gender and Popular Culture course was crosslisted with the department of Communications alone.

English, Towson University

  • ENGL 466/566 - Beauty and Performance: Black Women’s Writing
  • ENGL 234 - Major African American Writers
  • ENGL 233 - Survey of African American Literature
  • ENGL 101 - Introduction to College Writing

Humanities, Morgan State University

  • HUM 202 - Modern Africana Humanities 202
  • HUM 201 - Ancient Africana Humanities 201

English, Morgan State University

  • ENGL 101 - Understanding Literature
  • ENGL 354 - Advanced English Composition
  • ENGL 102 - Composition and Research
  • ENGL 350 - Writing Practicum

English, The University of Tulsa

  • ENGL 1033 - Exposition and Argumentation
  • ENGL 1004I - Introduction to College Writing: Breaking Free—Seeing and Writing Beyond the Constructions of Race, Gender, Economics, and Self -Presentation

Research Interests

  • 19th and 20th Century African American Literature
  • Literary Criticism
  • Women’s Studies

Academic Positions

  • SUNY, SUNY Brockport - Assistant Professor, Department of English, (Fall 2014-)
  • Old Dominion University - Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, (2008-2013)
  • Towson University - Visiting Lecturer in African American Literature, Department of English, (2006-2008)

Research & Teaching Assistantships

  • Morgan State University, Teaching Assistant, Department of English, (2005-2006)
  • Morgan State University, Research Assistant, Department of English, (2004-2005)
  • The University of Tulsa, Teaching Assistant, Department of English, (2003-2004)

Teaching and Creative Interests

  • 19th and 20th Century African American Literature
  • Literary Criticism
  • Women’s Studies


The National Endowment for the Humanities (2004)

  • “Black Aesthetics and African Centered Cultural Expressions: Sacred Systems in the Nexus Between Cultural Studies, Religion and Philosophy” Summer Institute at Emory University Awarded $2700.00

The National Endowment for the Humanities (2013)

  • “Don’t Deny My Voice: Reading and Teaching Black Poetry and Poetics” Summer Institute at The University of Kansas
    Awarded $2700.00

Children’s Literature Association Faculty Research Grant (2011)

  • “Light Rebellions: Colorism Within The Crisis Magazine Children’s Beauty Contest”
    Awarded $1000.00

Old Dominion University College of Arts and Letters Summer Research Grant (2010)

  • “The Harm in Beauty: Misappropriations of Traditional Theories of Aesthetics” Awarded $6000.00

Old Dominion University, The Office of the Dean Research Travel Grant (2010)

  • Awarded $400.00

Professional Service

The University of Arizona, Tucson

Department of Africana Studies

  • Faculty Co-Organizor, “Saidiya Hartman on Scenes of Subjection,” April 3, 2014
  • Black History Month Events Committee
  • Undergraduate Advisor
  • Major/Minor Recruitment
  • Graduate School Preparation Coordinator

Old Dominion University

Department of Women’s Studies

  • Chair, Curriculum Committee, (2009-2013).
  • Committee Member, Friends of Women’s Studies Annual Scholarship Fundraising Event, (2009-2013).
  • Faculty Major and Minor Advisor, (2009-2013).
  • Library Acquisitions Director, (2009-2013).
  • Faculty Organizer, “Annual Women’s Studies Writing Contest” (2010-2012).
  • Committee Co-Chair, Departmental Writing Curriculum Committee (2009-2011).
  • Faculty Organizer/Sponsor Thanksgiving Day Student Community Outreach to YWCA of South Hampton Roads Center for Women in Crisis (2010-2011).
  • Major/Minor Recruitment Liason with Center for Major Exploration, (2010-2011).
  • Faculty Organizer/Sponsor, “Love Your Body” Poetry Event (2009-2011).
  • Search Committee Member, WMST and Humanities Office Administrator Position, (2010).
  • Faculty Mentor for two Graduate Student Presenters, Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, October 28-31, 2010.
  • Faculty Mentor for Graduate Student Presenter, National Association for African American Studies Conference, February 10-13, 2010.
  • Faculty Organizer/Sponsor for Student Excursion, “Still Brave: Black Women’s Studies at 25+, Looking Backward to Move Forward” University of Maryland, College Park April 23, 2010.
  • Faculty Organizer/Sponsor, “Get It Off Your Chest” Student Poetry Reading (Spring 2010).

Department of African American Studies

  • Affiliate Faculty Member (2008-2013)
  • Committee Member of the Weave Assessment for African American Studies Program, (Spring 2011).

College of Arts and Letters

  • Committee Member, College Curriculum Committee (Fall 2009-2013).
  • Search Committee Member, African American Literature Position (Fall 2009).
  • Committee Member, Dean’s NEH College Grant Committee (Fall 2008).

University Community - Administrative

  • Faculty Senate, (2011-2013).
  • Office of the Provost Committee on Faculty Diversity, (Fall 2011).
  • Faculty Presenter, ODU Faculty Summer Institute for Learning Technologies, (Summer 2011).
  • Committee Member, Black Faculty Caucus Scholarship Fund (2009- 2011).
  • Faculty Advisory Board Member, Black History Month (2009-2011).
  • Faculty Co-Organizer, “Taking the First Step, When You Can’t Even See the Whole Staircase: Poery, MLK Aphorisms and the Struggle Toward Humanism in the Poetry of Chezia Thompson Cager” (Spring 2009).


  • Invited Discussant, “Hip Hop: Beyond the Beats and Rhymes,” hosted by the Counseling Center and the Women’s Center (April 15, 2013).
  • Invited Speaker, “‘Mamma’s Baby, Pappa’s Maybe’: A Mother’s Responsibility of Navigating the Media’s Roadmap to Beauty and Self-Esteem.” ODU Community Development Corporation 3rd Annual Conference for Girls & Young Women (Summer 2011).
  • College of Arts and Letters Summer Grant Presentation, “The Harm in Beauty: Toni Morrison’s Revision of Misappropriated Theories of Aesthetics,” (Spring 2011).
  • Faculty Organizer and Moderator, “Do We Know Our Hairstory: a Screening of Good Hair,” Old Dominion University, (Spring 2010).
  • Invited Discussant: “From Margin to Center: Movement for Change that Matters” hosted by The Women’s Center, Old Dominion University, (Spring 2010).
  • Invited Speaker, “The Soul of Beauty: Brokenness Leads to Healing” Old Dominion University UMOJA Conference under the Office of Intercultural Relations, (Spring 2010).
  • Faculty Participant, “Out of My Head, Into My Heart” Black History Month Panel (Spring 2010).
  • Invited Speaker, Institute for Humanities Junior Faculty Lecture Series, “The Soul of Beauty,” Old Dominion University, (Spring 2009).
  • Invited Discussant: “A New Day: Implications of the Obama Presidency” hosted by the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Old Dominion University, (Spring 2009). Faculty Participant in “Love Your Body” Poetry Event (Fall 2008).

Towson University

English Department

  • Invited Speaker, “Self and Sisterhood: Unity Within and Without” Black Student Union, Towson University (2007).
  • Faculty Sponsor and Judge, Body Image Poetry Contest (2006-2007).
  • Respondent to “Roots and Routes: Reflections on the Life of Olaudah Equiano” with plenary guests: Vincent Caretta, Roland Williams, Patricia Romero, Towson University (February 20, 2007).


  • Invited Speaker, “To Clamor for a Kiss, Toni Morrison, Blackmotherhood, Motherwork, and Beauty,” Virginia State University, Spring 2013.
  • Member, Board for Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, 2010-2012.
  • Chair, Women’s Studies Area, Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, 2010-2013.
  • Consultant, Norfolk State University, The Women’s Center, Spring 2011. Consultant, Norfolk State University, Women’s Studies Minor, 2011.
  • Invited Speaker for Black History Month: “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide…and Dared to Live,” Tidewater Community College (Metro Campus), Spring 2011.
  • Invited Speaker for Women’s History Month: “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide…and Dared to Breath (Together),” Norfolk State University, Spring 2011.
  • Faculty Expert, WHRO, Another View “Pay Equity for African American Women,” Spring 2011.
  • Faculty Expert, Hampton Roads News Channel 13 WVEC, “In the 21st Century, Does Chivalry Have a Seat at the Table?,” Spring 2010.
  • Invited Speaker: Unitarian Church of Norfolk Women’s History Month Celebration, March 1, 2009.


  • Member, Diversity Committee, Children’s Literature Association, 2013-2016. Reader, The Journal of Research on Women and Gender, 2014-present.
  • Reader, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, the University of Tulsa, 2010-present.
  • Hostess, Toni Morrison Society Celebration of Toni Morrison’s 80th birthday, 2011.
  • Reader, The Mid-Atlantic Almanack, 2011.
  • Documentary Critic, Last to the Altar: Black Women and Marriage. Dir. Candice McDowell, 2010.
  • College Language Association Creative Writing Judge, 2006-2007.
  • Editorial Assistant, Sankofa: A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature, 2005-2007.
  • Fiction Manuscript Reader, Nimrod International Journal, 2003-2004.
  • Guest Artist, Greenwood Cultural Center, 2002.
  • Member of Toni Morrison Society
  • Member of Modern Language Association
  • Member of Children’s Literature Association
  • Member of National Women’s Studies Association


  • Visiting Scholar, Conference of International Education Exchange, Senegal, Africa, 2005.


  • Invited Speaker, “This is not a rout; It is a route (Overcoming Insurmountable Odds…),” Palmer Women and Children’s Center for Addiction and Healing, Tulsa Oklahoma, June 27, 2013.
  • Faculty Expert, “YWCA of South Hampton Roads Candle Light Vigil for Women in Crisis,” Fall 2010.
  • Board Member of the Suzanne Behr Scholarship for Women 2004-present.
  • Poetry Instructor, Female Offenders Committed to Ultimate Success (FOCUS) Program/Resonance Women’s Resource Center, 2004.
  • Volunteer Grant Researcher for Resonance Women’s Resource Center, 2004.