Shirley E Thompson
Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts
Associate Professor, Center for African and African American Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Professor Thompson is Associate Professor of American Studies. She currently serves as the Associate Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies.
She is currently researching a book project entitled "No More Auction Block for Me: African Americans and the Problem of Property" which traces out some of the legacies of slavery for African American encounters with property and ownership. Specifically, it explores the interwoven concepts of race and property value from the vantage point of African American historical memory, political economy, and expressive culture. Situated at the intersection of legal and economic discourses, the notion of property also finds expression in literature and performance, material and expressive cultures. Thus, the project draws on the methodologies of cultural history, literary criticism, performance studies, ethnography, and critical theory. Her first book, Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans is a cultural history of New Orleans' French-speaking free people of color over the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The dissertation on which it is based was awarded the Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize by the American Studies Association in 2001.