After serving as the chair of women and gender studies for the past year, Dr. Kaifa Roland was recently named the new director of the Pan African Studies Program at Clemson University beginning this fall. This multidisciplinary field grounds students in the histories, cultures, literatures, movements, and traditions of Africans, and provides a framework to encourage intellectual discourse on the African and African American experience.

Dr. Roland, previously associate professor of Anthropology, had been at CU since 2006, where she taught courses such as Anthropology and Race, Anthropology and the Next Generation of Star Trek; Brown Studies: A Toolkit for and about the Mixed and Multiracial, and Zora Neale Hurston, Anthropologist. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University, and a master's degree in African Studies from Howard University, and is the author of Cuban Color in Tourism and La Lucha: An Ethnography of Racial Meanings (Oxford University Press 2011). Her current research includes a book project regarding AfroCubana entrepreneurial experiences, and journal articles about travel to Cuba - analyzing travel historically, and also writing with advice for first-time travelers.

We are thankful for all the work and leadership Dr. Roland provided to our department, especially during the unexpected difficulties encountered during the Covid-19 pandemic. She provided the faculty and staff with a sense of community, purpose, and direction, and though we will greatly miss her presence here, we are now stronger as a result of her leadership.

For more information on Dr. Roland's new position, visit