Profile: Professor Thompson

Sewanee is a school of character and quirks, and our professors are a key aspect of this unique character, regardless of how late they may make us stay up to finish unending heaps of papers. The University of the South is lucky to be home to professors that are not only extremely knowledgeable, but also equally as passionate about sharing that knowledge with their students and working to foster our success. Her Campus Sewanee is happy to introduce one of the newest of these professors, Professor Thompson. Now beginning her second semester on the mountain, we thought a proper Her Campus introduction was in order.  

            Professor Thompson, a native of Akron, Ohio, completed an undergrad degree in English at Hampton University in Virginia, then a PhD in American Studies from Purdue University, with a quick year-long study abroad in Oxford somewhere in-between. So I think it’s safe to say she knows what she’s talking about.  When asked what drew her to Sewanee, Dr. Thompson answered, “I knew that at Sewanee I would have the opportunity to teach classes that reflected my interdisciplinary training and research interests in the African diaspora, mentor students, develop my research agenda, and engage in meaningful service.” But enough with the formal info, this wasn’t a job interview. If you want to know more about Dr. Thompson the professor, take one of her many intriguing and thought-provoking courses; let’s get to Dr. Thompson the person.

While she doesn’t have much “free” time, Dr. Thompson says she makes time for yoga, documentary films, and speed walking. As she loves to read, we couldn’t help but ask for a quick favorite book list. “In terms of the most insightful and instructive book I've ever explored, it would be the Bible. J. California Cooper is my favorite author because she represents the complexities of Black female identity in a way that affirms Black women as beautifully human. All of Cooper's collections of short stories are worth reading, but for new readers I would recommend The Matter Is Life or Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime.” We tried to be sneaky and ask what her favorite class to teach at Sewanee was, but our response was an “I plead the fifth,” so we weren’t able to slip that one past her—it was worth a shot. However, she did tell us which courses she would most like to take at Sewanee. “I've narrowed my choice down to three courses: "African-American Political History," "Media and Politics," or "Representing Egypt" because all of these courses address topics that I find fascinating and would like to learn more about.”

Although admitting to not having a bucket list, if she did, “I imagine I would be constantly revising it.  However, one thing I would like to accomplish at Sewanee would be to explore some of the local trails. In the future, I would like to learn sign language.” Her biggest adventure? “I suspect my biggest adventure is still unwritten; however, traveling to Kenya and going on a safari definitely qualifies as an adventure.”

            Whether it’s leaving one of her classes still talking about the material, or arriving out-of-breath to her class because she started a race outside of Clurg; whether you’re stopping by her office for help on your final project, or you’re meeting her at Stirling’s for a little coffee and conversation, Professor Thompson is yet another professor that Sewanee is lucky to call ours, and she’s a professor worth taking and a person worth knowing.

YSR.