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Mako Ward

Faculty Head, Clinical Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Clinical Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Clinical Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Clinical Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Clinical Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Biography: 

Mako Fitts Ward, Ph.D. is an educator, writer, facilitator and social justice advocate with over 15 years of experience teaching core principles of justice and social change to college students and advocating for racial and gender equity in communities around the country. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University teaching. Her teaching and research focus on intersectional, feminist analyses of popular culture, specifically urban youth cultures and their impact on contemporary social movements. Ward is the co-founder of Women Who Rock, a digital archive project at the University of Washington and collective of musicians, media-makers, performers, artists, scholars and activists committed to documenting the role of women in popular music and the formation of cultural scenes and social justice movements. She has published in Huffington PostThe Conversation and Ms. and has published popular and scholarly essays on body ethics and aesthetics among women of color, media and gender images in popular culture, gentrification and cultural displacement and women’s political organizing. She teaches courses on intersectionality, gender and hip-hop, ethnic studies, the African diaspora, justice and women’s social movements.

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Justice Studies, Arizona State University
  • M.S. Justice Studies, Arizona State University
  • B.A. Political Science and Gender Studies, University of Southern California
Research Interests: 

popular culture, community action research, hip hop culture and activism, Black feminist theory and activism

Publications: 

Selected Academic Publications (full texts available here

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.

Ward, M. F. (2017). Race, Gender and Sexuality in Hip Hop. Toronto: Top Hat.

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.

Editorials & Non-Academic Publications

"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 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
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
JUS 329Domestic Violence
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
Spring 2017
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
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
JUS 105Intro to Justice Studies
AFR 200Intro to Africana Studies
AFR 375Race, Gender and Sport
WST 394Special Topics
AFR 394Special Topics
JUS 394Special Topics
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
JUS 105Intro to Justice Studies
AFR 200Intro to Africana Studies
WST 394Special Topics
JUS 394Special Topics
AFR 394Special Topics
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction