Daphne A. Brooks

Daphne A. Brooks's picture
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Music
81 Wall St., 405

Daphne A. Brooks is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Music at Yale University. She is the author of Bodies in Dissent:  Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2006), winner of The Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship on African American Performance from ASTR; Jeff Buckley’s Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005) and Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound (Harvard University, February 2021).

Liner Notes for the Revolution is the winner of ten book awards and prizes: the Museum of African American History (MAAH) 2021 Stone Book Award; the 2022 Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award; the 2022 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History; the 2022 Music in American Culture Award from the American Musicological Society; the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award; the 2022 ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Outstanding Book Award; the 2022 Prose Award from the Association of American Publishers in Music & the Performing Arts; the 2021 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Nonfiction; the 2022 Popular Culture Association’s Shaw and Hazzard-Donald Award for Outstanding Work in African American Popular Culture Studies; and the 2022 Certificate of Merit—Best Historical Research on General Recording Topics, ARSC Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound.

Brooks has authored numerous articles on race, gender, performance and popular music culture, such as “‘Loud Dreaming’ with Toni Morrison and Cecile McLorin Salvant” in Ways of Hearing: Reflections on Music in 26 Pieces; “Sister, Can You Line It Out?:  Zora Neale Hurston & the Sound of Angular Black Womanhood” in Amerikastudien/American Studies, “‘Puzzling the Intervals’: Blind Tom and the Poetics of the Sonic Slave Narrative” in The Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative, “Nina Simone’s Triple Play” in Callaloo and “‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’: Surrogation & Black Female Soul Singing in the Age of Catastrophe” in Meridians. She is also the author of the liner notes for The Complete Tammi Terrell (Universal A&R, 2010) and Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia (Sony, 2011), each of which has won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing. Her liner notes essays for Prince’s Sign O’ The Times deluxe box set and Omnivore Records reissues of Nina Simone’s early releases on Bethlehem were published in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Brooks is the editor of The Great Escapes:  The Narratives of William Wells Brown, Henry Box Brown, and William Craft (New York:  Barnes & Noble Classics, 2007) and The Performing Arts volume of The Black Experience in the Western Hemisphere Series, eds. Howard Dodson and Colin Palmer (New York: Pro-Quest Information & Learning, 2006). From 2016-2018, she served as the co-editor of the 33 1/3 Sound: Short Books About Albums series published by Bloomsbury Press. With Prof. Brian Kane, she is the co-founder and co-director of Yale University’s Black Sound & the Archive Working Group, a 320 York Humanities Initiative. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The GuardianPitchfork.com(link is external)(link is external) and other press outlets, and her 2020 New York Times article, “One Hundred Years Ago, ‘Crazy Blues’ Sparked A Revolution for Black Women Fans” was awarded the 2021 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for outstanding article in the pop music field.

Brooks is currently editing an anthology of essays forthcoming from Duke University Press and culled from Blackstar Rising & The Purple Reign: Celebrating the Legacies of David Bowie and Prince, an international 3-day conference and concert which she curated.

She is a past recipient of a range of honors, including a 2022-2023 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2022-2023 New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellowship.

More information at https://www.daphneabrooks.com(link is external)