Affiliated Institutions

University of South Florida

Dr. Cheryl Rodriguez is chair of the Department of Africana Studies and Director of the Institute on Black Life at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include: community ethnography, public housing policy, feminisms in Africa and the Diaspora, and community-based organizations for youth. Since 1994, Dr. Rodriguez has directed several community history projects and is currently collecting oral histories of Black neighborhoods in Tampa. In 2000, Dr. Rodriguez co-directed a project on the impact of the Federal HOPE VI program on women and children in the U. S. public housing system. This project was funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Rodriguez has also conducted extensive research on programs for youth in low-income communities. Her work on women and gender includes a co-edited text with colleagues at the University of Ghana entitled Transatlantic Feminisms.

Areas of Research

Community Ethnography, Black Feminisms, Low-Income Housing


Rodriguez, Cheryl (2010). “Review of the Works of Mark Schuller and Gina Ulysse: Collaborations with Haitian Feminists”, American Anthropologist, 112(4), 638-640.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (2008). “Beyond Today and Pass Tomorrow: Self-Efficacy Among African-American Girls in Youth Focused Organizations”, VOICES, 8 (1), 18-22.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (2006). “We Came With Truth”: Black Women’s Struggles against Public Housing Policy in marilyn thomas-houston and Mark Schuller (editors) Homing Devices: Poor People and Public Housing Policies, Lexington, MA: Lexington Press.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (2003). “Invoking Fannie Lou Hamer: Research, Ethnography and Activism in Low-Income Communities”, Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Development, 32 (2), pp. 231-251.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (2001) “A Homegirl Goes Home: Black Feminism and the Lure of Native Anthropology” in I. McClaurin (editor) Black Feminist Anthropology: Theory, Praxis, Poetics and Politics. Pp. 233-257. Rutgers University Press.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (1998). “Recapturing Lost Images: Narratives of a Black Business Enclave”, Practicing Anthropology, 20 (1), pp. 6-11.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (1998) “Activist Stories: Culture and Continuity in Black Women’s Narratives of Community Work”, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, XIX (2), pp. 94-112.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (1996) “African-American Anthropology and the Pedagogy of Activist Community Research”, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 27 (3), pp. 414-431.

Rodriguez, Cheryl R. (1996) “Anthropology and Womanist Theory: Claiming the Discourse on Gender, Race, and Culture”, Womanist Theory and Research,2 (1), pp. 3-11.


Tampa, Florida, United States

The Scrub and Beyond: Race and Place in Tampa

This project documents 150 years of Black life in Tampa, Florida. The work includes analyses of the creation of a complex diasporan community; the politics of place for people of African descent; and the roles of agency and self-determination in community-building processes.

West Africa, Taraba, Ghana

Transatlantic Feminisms

I situate this project in Ghana, West Africa because it is there that I began working with African feminists and conceptualizing a project that would contribute to the literature on diaspora feminisms. Our first project, Transatlantic Feminisms,is a collaborative endeavor that brings together an interdisciplinary body of research on women's lives in Africa and the diaspora. Themes include political leadership, images, identity, agency, survival and livelihoods.