Andrea Y. Adomako is currently a PhD student in the Department of African American Studies and a Mellon Cluster Fellow in Gender and Sexuality at Northwestern University.
Adomako holds a M.A. from the American Studies program at Purdue University and a B.A. from the Department of Africana Studies and Human Rights at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her interdisciplinary scholarship spans the fields of Black girlhood studies, Black Feminism, children’s literature, and Black political thought.
Her work focuses on narratives of Black girlhood in 19th and 20th century Black children’s and young adult literature in the United States and West Africa. She examines how Black children’s literature, both by and about Black girls, is an ideological tool used to communicate Black girls’ ideas about violence and intimacy. Given Black girlhood’s proximity to death, despite it being overlooked or erased in the popular cultural landscape Adomako ask show literature by and about their experiences produces the life-affirming knowledge of Black friendship, alongside these harrowing dynamics. Working within a Black feminist epistemological framework, Adomako centers Black girls represented in the genre of children’s and young adult literature and how they engage in resistant critical intimate relationships to create moments of Black girlhood friendships that exist and are maintained in spite of, although constantly aware of, Black death. She interrogates how these seemingly minor connections form structuring girlhood relationships, which provide an opening to understand Black pain, death, and violation for Black girls that would otherwise be invisible. Through her scholarship, teaching and community engagement, Adomako hopes to encourage future scholars to critically engage with the category of childhood as a site of influence.
Adomako’s work continues to be supported by the Alumnae Association of Barnard College, the Social Science Research Council, the Mellon Mays Fellowship program, and the Graduate School at Northwestern University.