Michelle D. Commander received a Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2010. Prior to joining Harlem, New York's Schomburg Center as an associate director and curator of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery, she was a tenured associate professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee. 

A Ford Foundation and Fulbright (Ghana) awardee, Commander’s research has centered on slavery and memory, diaspora studies, heritage tourism, literary studies, and Black social movements. 

She is currently at work on a creative nonfiction book on mobility and slavery’s afterlives as well as a monograph on nineteenth and twentieth century Black speculative arts concerning slavery and democracy.

Commander is available as a content creator, consultant, and speaker. Please use the “Connect” feature to inquire.