Vice Provost for Arts, Libraries and Global Engagement

Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting, PhD


T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University where she directs the Callie House Research Center for the Study of Global Black Cultures and Politics. She is also the Vice Provost for Arts, Libraries and Global Engagement.

A comparative Europeanist and scholar of women, gender, and African Diaspora Studies, she is author/editor of 15 books and three novels. She has testified before the 110th Congress in 2007 and is also editor of The Speech: Race and Barack Obama’s A More Perfect Union. Sharpley-Whiting lectures widely in the United States and abroad and has offered commentary on a range of issues for Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, C-SPAN2, CBS News, the BBC Live Television, Radio SBS Australia, and Oprah Satellite Radio. 

She was the 2006 winner of the Horace Mann Medal for Distinguished Graduate School Alumni from Brown University. In October 2010, Sharpley-Whiting was named one of the top 100 young leaders of the African American community, ages 25-45, by The Root, an online magazine founded by scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.  A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, she is currently working on three monographs, The Black Musketeer: Race and Alexander Dumas; Men I’d Like to Have KnownThe Adventurous Lives of a Revolutionary Romantic, A Contraband Soldier, An Africanist Auteur, and A Peripatetic Painter; and The Variegated Lives of Josephine Baker. Professor Sharpley-Whiting has appeared in two documentaries related to Josephine Baker, Josephine Baker: The Story of Awakening by Kepler 22 Productions with ARTE France and the PBS-produced Harlem in Montmartre: A Paris Story. Editor of the journal Palimpsest: Women, Gender, and the Black International, she is also a founding advisory board member of the Musée Franco-Américain du Château de Blérancourt and the Sussex Centre for American Studies and winner of fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Camargo Foundation, and Howard Foundation, among others.