University of Rochester
Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies

Current Fellows at the FDI

Pre-doctoral Fellow 2013-2014

Lynne Ellsworth Larsen is a PhD candidate of African Art History from the University of Iowa.   She has a B.A. in Humanities with an English Literature emphasis and Art History minor from Brigham Young University and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Iowa.  Her dissertation research deals with issues of post-colonial identity as manifest through architecture. Specifically, she is examining The Royal Palace of Dahomey, in Abomey, Benin, its evolving purpose and its influence on the local architecture and religious practices.  She spent nine months in Abomey as a Fulbright Fellow from 2012-2013.  She has worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant, and has designed and taught a course on African Architecture. 


Post-doctoral Fellow 2013-2014

Elliott H. Powell is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies at the University of Rochester. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University, and has a B.A. in History from The University of Chicago. His research broadly focuses on the role of music in the intertwined social formations of race, gender, and sexuality. In particular, Elliott is concerned with African American and South Asian American intercultural music-making endeavors during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the ways in which these music-centered collaborative efforts illuminate the complex and historically situated processes of identity formation. 

He is currently revising his dissertation, Kindred Sounds: Afro-South Asian Musical Intersections in U.S. Jazz and Hip Hop, into a book manuscript. The project traces the resonances between African American and South Asian diasporic musical collaborations in U.S.-based jazz and hip hop during the postwar and post-9/11 periods, respectively. It investigates these cross-cultural exchanges in relation to larger global and domestic sociohistorical junctures that linked African American and South Asian diasporic communities—1960s and 1970s social movements and the current War on Terror—and argues that these Afro-South Asian cultural productions constituted dynamic, complex, and at times contradictory sites of comparative racialization, transformative gender and queer politics, and anti-imperial political alliances.