Scholars in Residence

Chatham University Women's Institute

Each year, the Women's Institute hosts a Scholar in Residence for a week or more on campus bringing outstanding national women leaders to work closely with students. The Scholar in Residence gives guest lectures in classes, advises and mentors small groups of students, and also gives a public lecture. The residency is by invitation only.

Njaimeh Njie

njaimeh njie, artist-SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE
spring 2020

The Women's Institute and Immersive Media program are thrilled to welcome artist Njaimeh Njie to Chatham University as an Artist-Scholar in Residence for the Spring 2020 semester. This residency is supported through a grant from the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Initiative, funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments. Ms. Njie will be creating new immersive media pieces while on campus, helping to shape the new immersive media academic program, working with students, giving lectures and public talks, and exhibiting her work.  

Njaimeh Njie is a photographer, filmmaker, and multimedia producer. A native of Pittsburgh, her practice centers everyday people, narratives, and landscapes, with a particular focus on how black people perceive themselves and their experiences in the cities they call home. Njaimeh is the Founder/Lead Producer of the nonfiction storytelling company Eleven Stanley Productions, and she earned her B.A in Film and Media Studies from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010. Her work has been exhibited at SPACE Gallery, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Future Tenant, Carnegie Museum of Art Storyboard Blog, the August Wilson House, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Gallery 102, and others. Njaimeh is the recipient of numerous grants, residencies, awards and commissions including: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ Emerging Artist of the Year, Brew House Association Distillery 10 Cohort residency, Who’s Next in Pittsburgh Art, New Pittsburgh’s Courier’s 40 Under 40, and the Creative Industries Network Creator of the Year.

Past Scholars in Residence

Keisha Blain

Keisha N. Blain (2018-2019) is a historian of the 20th century United States with broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women's and Gender Studies. She completed a PhD in History at Princeton University. Her research interests include black internationalism, radical politics, and global feminisms. She is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and on research leave this year with a prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her new book, Set the World On Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), uncovers the crucial role women played in building black nationalist and internationalist protest movements in the United States and other parts of the African Diaspora during the twentieth century.

Blain is one of the co-editors of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016), which grew out of her #Charlestonesyllabus, a Twitter movement and crowdsourced list of reading recommendations relating to the history of racial violence in the United States. It was created in response to the racially motivated shooting that took place in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015 and has drawn international attention. She also co-authored Trump Syllabus 2.0, a mock syllabus and public reading list that explores the deep historical and political roots of Donald Trump's political success during the 2016 Presidential campaign. That syllabus has been featured nationally.

Blain in the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships and is the current president of the African American Intellectual History Association (AAIHS), and senior editor of Black Perspectives.

Vanessa German

Vanessa German (2017-2018) is an award winning spoken word artist, poet, sculptor, painter, writer, and activist based in Pittsburgh. She is the founder of Love Front Porch and the ARThouse, a community arts initiative for the children of her historic Homewood neighborhood. Her performances combine her poems with hip hop, story telling, music, and movement. She performed at last year’s Gender Symposium here at Chatham, and has been featured at everything from Mayor Peduto’s inauguration ceremony to social justice rallies to TEDx Harvard, TEDx MIT, and TEDx Pittsburgh.

Her sculptures and other work are in private and public collections including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Progressive Art Collection, David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, Snite Museum of Art, among others. German’s fine art work has been exhibited widely, most recently at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; the Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL; and in the traveling exhibition State of The Art: Discovering American Art Now, which originated at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR. Her work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered and in The Huffington Post, O Magazine and Essence Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and was a member of the inaugural 2009/2010 class of fellows at the August Wilson Center of African American Culture.

Callie Crossley

Callie Crossley (2016-2017) is a media commentator and public speaker and currently hosts Under the Radar with Callie Crossley. Crossley formerly served as host for Boston Public Radio and The Callie Crossley Show. She is a regular contributor on National Public Radio, CNN, Fox 25 TV's Morning Show, and the PBS NewsHour.

Crossley was a producer for Eyes On the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, the critically acclaimed documentary series, which earned her an Oscar nomination, a national Emmy, and major film and journalism awards, including the Gold Baton of the DuPont-Columbia Award, considered the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism. As a network television producer, Crossley also earned top awards for her health and medical stories produced for ABC News' 20/20. Crossley balances her commentary and speaking schedule with her work as Program Manager for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, designing and directing the foundation's seminar series. Through her company, CrossChannels, she consults for both journalism projects and documentary filmmakers and leads media coaching workshops. Crossley has been both a Nieman Fellow and an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University.