Renée Alexander Craft is an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and Curriculum in Global Studies. Her research and teaching focus on Black Diaspora literature and culture. More specifically, Alexander Craft investigates the ways Black Diaspora communities have and continue to use imagination as a tool for liberation. For the past seventeen years, her research and creative projects have centered on an Afro-Latin community located on the Caribbean coast of Panama who call themselves and their carnival performance tradition “Congo.” She has completed three projects that reflect this focus: an ethnographic monograph titled When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in 20th Century Panama, a digital humanities project titled Digital Portobelo: Art + Scholarship + Cultural Preservation (, and a novel based in large part on her field research titled She Looks Like Us.