Jovonne Juanita Bickerstaff
Thesis Title: Together, Close, Resilient: Essays on Emotion Work Among Black Couples
Committee: Orlando Patterson (Chair), Mary C. Brinton, Christopher Winship, and Jason Beckfield
Initial Placement: Postdoctoral Associate for the African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) initiative, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, University of Maryland-College Park
Current Position: Senior Program Officer of Higher Education Initiatives, American College of Learned Societies (ACLS), Washington, DC
Jovonne J. Bickerstaff is a Postdoctoral Associate for the African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) initiative. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University in 2015, focusing on gender, race, emotions and qualitative methodology. Her dissertation, entitled, “Together, Close, Resilient: Essays on Emotion Work Among Black Couples,” examined African American couples in enduring relationships (10-40 years), probing the emotion strategies partners co-construct to foster emotional intimacy, navigate differences and cultivate a shared identity – offering a rare window into black couples’ intimate lives. By revealing how people make sense of their worlds and cultivate best-practices to guide their daily lives, Jovonne’s work is driven by a commitment to look beyond the preoccupation with crisis and failure in social science, shedding light on what works and how in order to reveal rarely explored facets of black experience.