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Mako Ward

Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4308
Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4308
Biography: 

Mako Fitts Ward, PhD is a social scientist whose research explores the intersection of Black cultural production, culture industries and urban placemaking efforts to advance arts practice and foster inclusive community development. She is Assistant Professor of African American and Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. As Director of the Social Transformation Lab, she fosters collaborations among universities, for- and non-profits, philanthropies and municipal government to develop strategies, tools and inclusive learning opportunities around diversity, equity and inclusion at the individual and organizational levels. She is a co-editor of The Pandemic Reader: Exposing Social (In)justice in the Time of COVID-19 (DIO Press, 2021) and served as research lead on the Women in the Mix Study sponsored by The Recording Academy©. Her writing has appeared in a wide range of academic journals, edited volumes and popular news blogs, including Huffington Post, The Conversation and Ms. She teaches courses on intersectionality, gender and hip-hop, ethnic studies, the African diaspora, social justice and women’s social movements.

Education: 
  • PhD Justice Studies, Arizona State University
  • MS Justice Studies, Arizona State University
  • BA Political Science and Gender Studies, University of Southern California
Research Interests: 

Black Feminist & Womanist Theory, Culture Industries, Economic Justice, Hip Hip Culture & Activism, Intersectional Social Inequalities, Social Movements

Publications: 

Select Academic Publications (full texts available using Google Scholar link above) 

Ward, M. F., Sandlin, J., Vlahoulis, M. M. and Holman, C. (editors) (2021). The Pandemic Reader: Exposing social (in)justice in the time of COVID-19. New York: DIO Press, Inc.

Ward, M. F. (2021). “Metamorphic liberation”: Radical self-care and the biopolitical agency of Black women. Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, 8(1): 256-273.

Ward, M. F. (2021). The Resurgence of Marxist feminist analytics: Book review of Marx, Women and Capitalist Social Reproduction: Marxist Feminist Essays by Martha E. Giménez. Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict and World Order, 47(1-2): 241-247.

Ward, M. F. (2017). Queen Bey and the new Niggerati: Ethics of individualism in the appropriation of black radicalism. Black Camera, 9(1): 146-163.

Fitts, M. (2011). Theorizing transformative revolutionary action: The contribution of bell hooks to emancipatory knowledge production. The C.L.R. James Journal: A Review of Caribbean Ideas, 17(1): 112-132.

Fitts, M. (2008). ‘Drop it like it’s hot’: Culture industry laborers and their perspectives on rap music video production. Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 8(1): 211-235.

Fitts, M. (2009). Institutionalizing intersectionality: Reflections on the structure of women’s studies departments and programs. In Michele T. Berger and Kathleen Guidroz (Eds.) The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy through Race, Class and Gender, 249-257. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Rubin, L. R., Fitts, M. L., & Becker, A. E. (2003). ‘Whatever feels good in my soul’: Body ethics and aesthetics among African American and Latina women. Culture, medicine, and psychiatry, 27: 49-75.

Research Reports, White Papers & Training Materials

Hines, E. and Ward, M. F. (2022). Black Women Thriving: BWT Report 2022. Every Level Leadership. https://everylevelleads.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Black-Women-Thriving-Report_2022.pdf.

Barra, E., Ward, M. F., Anderson, L. M. and Brown, A. M. (2022). Women in the Mix Study. The Recording Academy©. https://www.recordingacademy.com/sites/com/files/witm_study_2.pdf.

Ward, M. F., Bailey, M. M., Solyom, J. and Bustamante, N. (2019). Welcoming dialogue on sexuality bias. To Be Welcoming. Starbucks Global Academy. https://www.starbucksglobalacademy.com/to-be-welcoming/.

Ward, M. F., Solyom, J., Chin, J. (2019). Welcoming dialogue on gender bias. To Be Welcoming. Starbucks Global Academy. https://www.starbucksglobalacademy.com/to-be-welcoming/.

Fitts, M., Sawa, D. and Schulman, J. C. (2007). Lesson 1: Modern momotoro: Folktales in hip hop. In M. Runnel and M. Diaz (eds.), The hip-hop education guidebook, volume 1. New York: Hip-Hop Association, Inc., 70-77.

Editorials & Popular Publications

"The Power of the Intersectional Protest Image," JSTOR Daily, October 3, 2020.  

"Queer Liberation is Black Liberation, Justice for Black Lives is Justice for All," Praxis Center, June 24, 2020 (co-authored with Marlon M. Bailey)

“Could black philanthropy help solve the black student debt crisis?,” The Conversation, July 12, 2019

“The Problem with Beyhive Bottom Bitch Feminism,” Huffington Post Canada, Dec. 17, 2013 (co-authored with Christa Bell) 

"The Good News: Madea’s Not a Colored Girl,” Ms., November 6, 2010

“Can Tyler Perry Pull Off a Black Feminist Masterpiece?,” Ms., October 14, 2010

“Where Do We Go From bell,” Ms., September 10, 2010

“Police Violence is a Feminist Issue,” May 27, 2010

"Better education, open schools are the right way to fight crime.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Friday, February 5, 2009, Editorials, p. A11. 

Beyond Beats and Rhymes tackles male roles and sexism in hip hop.” Freedom Socialist, April-May 2007, Volume 28, No.2, p. 10.

Summer 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
JUS 592Research
Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
SST 220Intro to Social Transformation
JUS 592Research
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
JUS 428Critical Race Theory
AFR 428Critical Race Theory
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 200Intro to Africana Studies
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
WST 394Special Topics
JUS 394Special Topics
AFR 394Special Topics
WST 690Reading and Conference
JUS 790Reading and Conference
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
WST 460Women and the Body
WST 792Research
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 200Intro to Africana Studies
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
WST 394Special Topics
AFR 394Special Topics
JUS 394Special Topics
WST 493Honors Thesis
JUS 493Honors Thesis
WST 498Pro-Seminar
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 603Engendering Methodology
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 335Gender, Race, & Sex in Sci Fi
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
JUS 477Youth and Justice
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
WST 375Women & Social Change
WST 394Special Topics
AFR 394Special Topics
JUS 394Special Topics
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 498Pro-Seminar
WST 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
WST 460Women and the Body
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 200Intro to Africana Studies
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
JUS 394Special Topics
WST 394Special Topics
AFR 394Special Topics
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 498Pro-Seminar
WST 499Individualized Instruction