Charles Peterson

  • Associate Professor of Africana Studies
  • Chair of Africana Studies
  • Director, Gertrude B. Lemle Teaching Center


Charles Peterson is a member of the American Society of Aesthetics, serving on its Diversity Caucus.

His research interests include Africana philosophy, film, and Africana political and cultural theory.

A regular film reviewer for the Africa Knowledge Project, Peterson is a coeditor of De-Colonizing the Academy (Africa World Press, 2003) and author of DuBois, Fanon, Cabral and the Limits of Anti-Colonial Leadership (Lexington Books, 2007).

He is now working on the monograph Social Nullification and the Materiality of Black Life.

Through Oberlin’s partnership with Pioneer Academics, Peterson works with talented high school students from around the world on advanced research projects.

Fall 2024

Fingerprints Across Time: Re-memoring and Africana Identity — AAST 223
Africa, Memory & Diasporic Identity — AAST 223OC
African American Politics — AAST 231
Africana Humanities in Dialogues — AAST 304


Associate Professor Charles Peterson Explores the State of Black Citizenship in New Book

August 11, 2021

Beyond Civil Disobedience: Social Nullification and Black Citizenship (African American Philosophy and the African Diaspora), by Associate Professor of Africana Studies Charles Peterson, was published in July by Palgrave Macmillan. The book interrogates the nature and state of African American citizenship through the prism of Social Contract Theory. Challenging the United States’ commitment to African American citizenship, the book explores the idea of Social Nullification, the decision to reject, revoke and re-define the social contract with a state and society. 

Charles Peterson Co-Edits Issue of Journal of Art and Art Criticism

October 31, 2019

Charles Peterson, associate professor of Africana studies, co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Art and Art Criticism: Aesthetics and Race, Vol. 77, No. 4, Fall 2019 and the introduction to the issue, "Exploring Truth and Beauty in Worlds of Color: An Introduction to the JAAC Special Issue on Race and Aesthetics."


Voice of Experience

June 27, 2023

Véronique Harris grew up a witness to inequality. Now she’s dedicating her life to eradicating it through a career in public-service law.