2022-2023: Dorothy Porter & Charles Harris Wesley Fellow
Panashe Chigumadzi is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University’s Departments of African and African American Studies and History. She is an award-winning writer on themes ranging from Black feminism, Black consciousness, race, religion and spirituality and the indignity of black life under crippling poverty and violence. Chigumadzi was the founding editor of Vanguard Magazine, a platform for black women coming of age in post-apartheid South Africa. She is columnist for The New York Times and contributing editor of the Johannesburg Review of Books.
For her fellowship project, she will complete the dissertation "The Israelites and the Ethiopians: Dylann Roof, the AME Church and the Transatlantic Question of Race in South Africa, Rhodesia and the American South," a re-reading of the Charleston Massacre through transnational and comparative histories, to reflect on how memory, history and violence is lived, forgotten, remembered and contested across gender, geography and generation. The thesis revisits Roof’s 2015 attack on the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church to explore what it tells us about racial imaginaries and religion, land and faith, war and segregation, and terror and violence in the settler colony in the past and present.