Kat Powell

African American Studies, Class of 2020

I’m an African American Studies major with a certificates in Latin American Studies and Creative Writing.

Role(s) held in the Humanistic Studies Program:

Certificate Student, Student Mentor, Behrman Society

Activities on campus:

Vice-President of Princeton Association of Black Women, diSiac Dance Company, Princeton University Mentorship Program, El Centro ESL tutoring


Ron Brown Scholar

Why I decided to study the humanities:

I’ve always adored literature and history and been intrigued by the possibility of words as weapons and art as activism; I reject the notion that only the numerically measurable is important. More than anything, I find comfort in the fact that knowledge of what it means to be human — in the broad sense of the word, without regard to language or culture or race — can teach us what it means to be liberated.

What I have gained from the humanities:

Studying the humanities has allowed me to see all the differences and similarities between humans. I’m in the African American Studies department, and seeing how violence and subjugation have been inflicted across African and the African Diaspora has shaped how I see the world. But studying the literature, religion, history, music and dance of Black people across the globe has also shaped how I think of the humanities as tools to freedom for all people.

Independent work:

My junior paper focuses on identity formation in the Dominican Republic, specifically that of Afro-Dominicana women. I plan on using a blend of sociology and literary analysis to probe how Afro-Latinas conceptualize their place in Dominican society.

HUM Sequence fall break trip:

I participated in the trip to Rome with Professors Baraz and Schor. It was an amazing opportunity; the group bonded well and I learned from all the people around me, conducting fascinating projects. My independent work focused on representations of slavery in the first and thirteenth centuries AD, mainly looking at race and ideals of personhood.

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