Simone Drake


Simone Drake

Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor of African American and African Studies

470 University Hall
230 North Oval Mall
Columbus, Ohio 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Critical Race, Gender, and Legal Studies
  • Black Visual Culture and Media
  • Public Humanities and Social Justice
  • Diasporic Migrations and Belonging
  • African Diasporic Literature and Culture


  • Ph.D., English, U. of Maryland, (2007)
  • M.S.L., Master in the Study of Law, Ohio State U. (2013)
  • BA, Classical Civilization and English, Denison U. (1997)

Simone Drake is the Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor of the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. Her interdisciplinary research agenda focuses on how people of African descent in the Americas negotiate the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation through the lenses of critical race, gender, and legal studies. She is the author of When We Imagine Grace: Black Men and Subject Making (University of Chicago Press 2016) and Critical Appropriations: African American Women and the Construction of Transnational Identity (Louisiana State University Press 2014, Southern Literary Studies Series); co-editor (with Dwan Henderson) of Are You Entertained?: Black Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century (Duke University Press 2020); and numerous journal articles and book chapters. She serves on the editorial board of Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men (Indiana University Press).  Also, she is a HERS Institute Alumna, and she completed an American Council on Education leadership forum and the eighteen-month long Ohio State University President’s and Provost’s Leadership Institute.

Dr. Drake is the creator and convener of The Black Matters 101: This Side of the Pandemics series of virtual webinars that addresses the current state of national affairs as they pertain to Black people. The health pandemic created by COVID-19 has brought racism to the forefront as a public health crisis that has been and continues to be an age-old detriment to African Americans. The health disparities crisis is compounded by the persistence of police killings and civilian vigilantism that traumatize black communities. This webinar series brings together educators, students, community activists, civic leaders, and the general public to discuss topics emanating from the volatile moment of the pandemics, and, importantly, to develop action-oriented strategies for social justice.