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T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting is professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University, where she also directs the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies and serves as Director of the W. T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies. Author of four books, she was described by cultural critic and scholar Michael Eric Dyson as a rising "superstar" among black intellectuals and "one of the country's most brilliant and prolific racial theorists" in the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002. She has also co-edited three volumes, including The Black Feminist Reader.