An interdisciplinary scholar, Noliwe Rooks’ work explores how race and gender both impact and are impacted by popular culture, social history and political life in the United States. She works on the cultural and racial implications of beauty, fashion and adornment; race, capitalism and education, Black women and material culture, and race, capital and the urban politics of food and cannabis production.
The author of four books and numerous articles, essays and OpEd’s, Rooks has received funding from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Center to aid in her research. She lectures frequently at colleges and universities around the country and is a frequent contributor to popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Time Magazine and NPR.
Rooks’ current book, in which she coined the term “segrenomics,” is Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education which won an award for non-fiction from the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Her current research, for which she has received a Kaplan Fellowship and a fellowship from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, will explore relationships between capitalism, land, urban food politics and cannabis legalization in the United States.
She is the W.E.B Du Bois Professor of Literature, a Professor in Africana Studies, and the director of American Studies at Cornell University where she is also a member of the core faculty in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies.