Cheryl Sterling

Cheryl Sterling


Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison

M.Phil University of Ghana, Legon

B.A. Fordham University

Cheryl Sterling’s teaching and research interests overlap the areas of identity, representation, and aesthetics in African Literature, Critical Race and Post-Colonial Theories, Gender Studies, and Afro-Atlantic Studies.  She is a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of numerous grants including the Organization of American States fellowship. She has published numerous critical essays in noted journals and in texts such as Migrations and Creative Expressions of Africa and the African Diaspora and Narrating War and Peace in Africa.  Her book, African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity (Palgrave MacMillan 2012), which has won the 2013 New York African Studies Association Book award, investigates the discourses of Africanness and Blackness as mediating constructs in Afro-Brazilian identity.

Dr. Sterling is currently the Director of the Black Studies Program at City College and is spearheading its revitalization as a scholarly and public program. 


Research Interests: 

African and African Diaspora Literature, Post-Colonial Theory, Critical Race 
Theory, Gender Studies, Social and Cultural Movements in Brazil. 


Book Publication:

African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity in Brazil.New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Selected Publications:

“Race Matters: Cosmopolitanism, Afropolitanism, and Pan-Africanism in the works of Edward Wilmot Blyden.” Journal of Pan-African Studies 8.1. (June 2015): 119-145.

“On Jacqueline Bishop’s Jamaican Views: Frames, Vistas and Images.”  Wasafiri 81 (Spring 2015):  17-26. 

“A Bença: The Blessings of the Bando de Teatro Olodum.” African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal (July 2012): 229-242.

“The (Un)broken Cycle in Death and the King’s Horseman.” Journal of the African Literature Association 5.1 (Summer/Fall 2010): 37-59. 

“Can You Really See Through a Squint?: Theoretical Underpinnings in Ama Ata Aidoo’s, Our Sister Killjoy.” Journal of Commonwealth Literature 45.1 (March 2010): 131-150. 

“Blackness Re-visited and Re-visioned in the works of the Black Arts Movement and Quilombhoje.”  Afro-Brazilian Mind / A Mente Afro-Brasileira: Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Literary and Cultural Criticism. Ed. Niyi Afolabi and Mácio Barbosa. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2007. 51-72. 

Under Additional Information please list Selected Presentations (with only these) 

“What Type of Hero is This?” Aesthetic Twists and Turns with Shango’s Twirls.”  ALA Conference, University of Bayreuth, Germany. June 3rd -6th, 2015. 

Panel Chair and Organizer – CCNY Students Panel – Literature Of Africa And The Diaspora. NYASA, Union College, Albany, NY. April 3, 2015.

Moderator - “Walter Mosely. Unbound And Unrestricted: A Master Writer Of Many Genres.” Langston Hughes Festival. November 21, 2014. 

“Man, God and the Cosmos in Arrow of God.” Symposium in Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God. African American Studies Program, Syracuse University, October 17, 2014.

Workshop - “Introduction to the History of Ghana and Pan-Africanism,” McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, NYU Silver School of Social Work. July 6, 2014.

”Other Cinemas. ” Americas Film Festival of New York. The Center for Worker Education of City College of New York, CUNY. June 3, 2014. 

“Forging a Common Path: An Anthology of Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian Poetry, Culture and Thought.” Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture. March 21, 2014.

 “150 Years After the Emancipation Proclamation: Are We Really Free.” Congressional Black Caucus – Author’s Pavillion. Washington, D. C. September 19, 2013.



“Bleque Pau, Black Bailes and the Perfor(n)ormative in Afro-Brazilian Cultural Space.” Black Power Conference, Univ. of Charleston, Sept. 20-21, 2012.

“Embodied Memory and the Aesthetic Canvas of Afro-Brazilian Candomblé.” BRASA Conference. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Sept. 6-8, 2012.

“Welcome to the Cabaré:  Blackness as a Paradigm for Racial Equality in Afro-Brazilian Theater.” ALA Conference. April 11-15, 2012.

“Imagining Africa - Ilê Aiyé’s transformation of Candomblé.” NYASA. Feb. 2425, 2012. Pennsylvania State University.

“Black Bailes and the Beginnings of Hip Hop Performance,” ASWAD, Univ. of Pittsburg. Nov. 5, 2011.

Candomblé, Carnival, and the Ideal of African Continuity in Brazil.” African and the People of African Descent: Issues and Actions to Re-envision the Future.” Howard University. Sept. 14-16, 2011.

“Aesthetically Black: Quilombhoje and the Quest for an Afro-Brazilian Poetic Voice.” Ifé Afro-Brazilian Seminar Series. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ilê-Ifé, Nigeria. July 2011.

“At the Crossroads of Gender and Race: Orisha Incarnation and Spiritual Pedagogy.” Caribbean Studies Association. May 2010.   

Invited Speaker – Celebrating Chinua Achebe. “Representing the Challenges of Africa on Film:  Then and Now, Xala and Ezra.” Wellesley College. March 2010.

Invited Speaker – Experts Workshop – International Peace Institute, United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa. February 2010.

Invited Speaker  - “What is Africa?” International Trade Development Center, Medgar Evers College, CUNY. December 2009