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Featured Faculty: Dr. Julia Tigner

Dr. Julia Tigner, one of the English Department’s newest faculty, is an Assistant Professor of African American Literature. She received a B.A. in English from Tuskegee University, an M.A. in English from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in English from Auburn University.

What brought you to JSU?

What brought me to JSU are the warm, collegial environment and commitment to meet the needs of all students.

What is your area of expertise in African American Literature?

My research examines how Black women writers across the African Diaspora use liminality as a trope to explore how Black women negotiate space and live at the intersection of race and gender.

What courses are you currently teaching at JSU?

I am currently teaching the following courses this semester: English Composition I, American Literature II: 1865 to Present, and Contemporary African American Writers.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The best part of working here is the students. They are AWESOME (in Rhino’s voice from the movie Bolt).

What is your favorite thing about the English department?

I enjoy the camaraderie present. My colleagues have been so welcoming.

What impact do you hope to have while teaching at JSU?

I strive to heed to bell hooks’ charge of encouraging students to be “active participants and not passive consumers.” It is my hope to equip students with the tools to lean into their discomforts and have meaningful discussions about representation, visibility, and power imbalances. It is also my hope that by underscoring marginalized perspectives in the classroom, students will acquire empathic understanding of others’ experiences that are different from their own.

Do you have any ongoing projects or academic activities you’d like to share?

Currently, I am working on a project that examines the hair salon setting as a liminal space and sanctuary for Black women.

What do you do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, catching up on my favorite TV shows, shopping, journaling, and reading.

What advice would you give to a student of yours?

How you manage your time is important. Enjoy the journey, give yourself grace, and always remember that there are valuable life lessons born of missteps.

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