Aimee Cox is an assistant professor of African American and African Studies and an urban anthropologist. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan where she also held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for the Education of Women. Professor Cox’s research and teaching interests include urban youth culture; public anthropology; social mobility in African-American communities; non-profit organizations; black girlhood; Black Feminist Thought and performance. Her most recent work explores the strategies young women in low-income urban communities use to become economically and socially mobile.

Dr. Cox is the co-editor of Transforming Anthropology, the peer-reviewed journal of the national Association of Black Anthropologists.

Dr. Cox is also the founder of The Blacklight Project, a youth-led arts activist organization currently housed out of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). In the summer of 2010, The BlackLight Project received a grant to include its social justice dance methodology as a part of the core curriculum at Central High School in Newark.

Professor Cox is a former director of a homeless shelter where she created several innovative youth development programs that provided services to young women throughout Detroit. Through a two-year collaboration with Ewha Women’s University, she introduced these innovative educational models to scholars and social service providers in Seoul, Korea. Professor Cox has also conducted qualitative research on the structural and climate issues women of color academics encounter in predominantly white universities as part of her ongoing interest in structures of power within social institutions. She is currently completing a book entitled, OutClass: Black Girls and the Politics of Self-Improvement.

Professor Cox is also a choreographer and dancer. She trained on scholarship with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and toured extensively as a professional dancer with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble/Ailey II.


“With Anarcha: A Meditative Diary on Personal Healing and Touching History Through Performance Praxis.” Liminalities vol. 4 (no. 2) 2008: 1-19.

“The BlackLight Project: Performing Through and Against the Boundaries of Anthropology” in Transforming Anthropology, vol. 17 (no. 1) 2009: pp. 51-64.

“Thugs, Black Divas and Gendered Aspirations” in SOULS A Critical Journal of Black Politics Culture and Society, vol. 11 (no. 2) 2009: pp. 113-141.

“Martha Washington Goes to Anthropology, Part 1” in Anthropology News vol. 50 (no. 4) 2009.

“That Supposed To Be Me?’ Young Black Women Talk Back To Hip Hop.’” (forthcoming in New Directions in Hip Hop Studies).

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