Faculty & Staff

Courtney L. Thompson, Photo credit: Stephen Priest, C'20

Courtney Thompson

Associate Professor of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies
BA, Hampton University; PhD, Purdue University


Courtney L. Thompson is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of the South. In her teaching and research, she focuses on the African diaspora, particularly the lived experiences of Black women, the African American literary tradition, constructions of Black masculinity, and representations of Africa.

Dr. Thompson’s current research examines political discourse in Black women’s writings, specifically the relationship between Black women’s progressive politics in the United States and democratic reform.  She is currently working on her book manuscript, tentatively titled “We Are Fighting for Democracy:” Black Women Activists and the Pursuit of All Things Equal, 1920s-Present. The book reflects her broader research interests in autobiography, politics, social movements, and Black feminist theory. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Palimpsest:  A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International; Women, Gender, and Families of Color, and Africology:  The Journal of Pan African Studies.

Dr. Thompson completed her doctorate in American Studies at Purdue University and her undergraduate degree in English at Hampton University, where she studied abroad for one year with Advanced Studies in England (ASE) in Bath, England.  She is a proud UNCF/Mellon (Mays Undergraduate) Fellow and alum of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT).  Prior to joining the faculty at Sewanee in Fall 2015, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Africana Studies at Hamilton College (Fall 2013-Spring 2015), a Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor in African American Studies at the University of Houston (Fall 2012-Spring 2013), and a Visiting Assistant Professor in Africana Studies at Dickinson College (Fall 2011-Spring 2012).

Dr. Thompson’s pedagogy reflects her commitment to the liberal arts tradition.  Her discussion-based courses foster ideological diversity and critical thinking, and she encourages her students to ask questions, think independently and creatively, and consider competing perspectives, while affirming their ability to make a positive difference in the world. To learn more about Dr. Thompson’s research, teaching, and service, please check these links.

 blm  palimpsest  wgfc (2)