Navigating the path to tenure can be challenging for junior faculty in underrepresented populations. To address this gap, Duke University’s Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement (SITPA) awards fellowships to help minority faculty advance their academic careers.
Aria S. Halliday, an assistant professor in the UNH women’s studies program, recently won the two-year SITPA fellowship, which kicked off with a three-day workshop in August. At the workshop, she was matched with a faculty mentor, with whom she will work with over the next two years to get advice and feedback on her research, which includes expanding a digital archive dedicated to black girls called Digital Black Girls and on a manuscript focused on black women as cultural influencers in popular culture.
“The more people I talked to, the more difficult I found out it was for women faculty of color to get advice,” Halliday says. “SITPA promises you a mentor in your particular field, someone who can walk you through the process. It appealed to me because it’s a small program.”
Halliday’s research focuses on the field of black visual culture and black feminist studies, in which she focuses on black women’s expression of their bodies and sexualities as well as the sexual expressions of black girls in the United States and Caribbean popular culture. Her manuscript, Beyond Barbie: Nicki Minaj, Disney, and Black Women’s Cultural Production, follows the trajectory of black women as cultural producers and their influence in popular culture from the 1960s to the present. In it, Halliday says she specifically focuses on how black women at Mattel and in Disney films created the cultural landscape that makes performer Nicki Minaj successful in the 21st century.
Halliday says the fellowship will help her stay motivated to attend conferences, publish articles and books, and continue conducting scholarly research in her field. She also plans to extend what she’s learned to other junior faculty on campus.
Halliday joined UNH as an assistant professor of Africana feminisms in the women's studies program in 2017. Her research spans the interdisciplinary fields of American studies; African American studies; women's, gender, and sexuality studies; and cultural studies, focusing on black American and Caribbean women's visual and material cultural production.