Brooke Newman, Ph.D.
Brooke Newman, Ph.D., is interim director of the Humanities Research Center and associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. She served as the associate director of the Humanities Research Center from 2017 to 2019. Dr. Newman specializes in the history of early modern Britain and the British Atlantic world, with a particular focus on slavery, race and gender in the colonial Caribbean. She is the author of “A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica” (Yale University Press, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2019 Frederick Douglass Book Prize awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University for the most outstanding nonfiction book published in English during the previous year on the subject of slavery, abolition and/or antislavery movements. A Dark Inheritance also received the Gold Medal for World History in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was named a 2019 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine. Dr. Newman is the co-editor of "Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas" (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), in addition to numerous referred articles and essays and popular writings in major outlets including The Washington Post.
She has been awarded research grants and fellowships by distinguished institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, most recently the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and the Omohundro Institute and Georgian Papers Programme for research in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. Her current book project, tentatively titled “Subjects of the Crown: Slavery, Emancipation, and the British Monarchy,” chronicles the evolving policies and attitudes of the British Crown and prominent members of the royal family toward imperial rule, slave trading and colonial slavery between 1660 and 1860.
Dr. Newman teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on early modern history, colonial America and the Atlantic world, and the history of slavery, including Colonial Encounters, Early Modern Britain, the British Empire, the British Atlantic in the Age of Slavery, and History through Film: The British Monarchy. She is committed to sustaining and building upon the Humanities Research Center’s outstanding track record of bringing visibility to the humanities and humanistic social sciences within and beyond the university, creating opportunities for interdisciplinary conversations and collaboration, and providing support for faculty and graduate student research and professional development.
Interim Associate Director
Vivian Dzokoto, Ph.D.
Vivian Dzokoto, Ph.D., is the interim associate director of the Humanities Research Center. She is an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies. Her work is interdisciplinary and situated at the intersection of cultural psychology, African studies, psycholinguistics and affective science. Her publications focus on the cultural grounding of affect and mental health practices in African settings, the cultural grounding of money behaviors and the decolonization of knowledge.
Dr. Dzokoto’s work has been supported by the Institute of Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion and through grants and fellowships from several VCU units, including the Humanities Research Center. She draws upon a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods in her work including interviews, experimentation, self-report, cross-cultural comparisons, language analysis (lexicon, text, proverbs and narrative) and the analysis of visual and material culture.
Dr. Dzokoto is committed to sustaining and building upon the Humanities Research Center’s facilitation of intellectual exchange across and beyond the humanities.
Catie-Reagan Palmore is the administrative coordinator for the Humanities Research Center. She earned her master's in strategic design and management from the Parsons School of Design where she focused on gender and dress. She is pursuing a doctorate in arts education.
In addition to her studies, she is a practicing artist in the mediums of photography, painting and textiles. Her work has been featured in galleries in Richmond, Philadelphia and New York.