Riché J. Daniel Barnes

Associate Professor of Gender Studies; on leave 2021-2022
Specialization: 
Black feminisms; Black feminist theories; race, class, and gender; motherhood; marriage and family; work and family policy; Black feminist anthropology; urban studies and public policy; housing and urban education; African/Black Diaspora studies; the U.S. South

Riché J. Daniel Barnes is a sociocultural anthropologist whose teaching and research specializations are at the intersection of black feminist theories, work and family policy, and African Diasporic raced, gendered, and classed identity formation. Her research focus has been on Black women and Black motherhood. Her ethnographic field research focus is the U.S. South and the Black Diaspora broadly defined.

Barnes is an award-winning scholar. Her book, Raising the Race: Black Career Women Redefine Marriage, Motherhood, and Community, won the 2017 Distinguished Book Award for the Race, Gender, Class section of the American Sociological Association. She has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Sloan Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. Additionally, Barnes has held research affiliations with the Clayman Institute at Stanford University and Yale Center for the study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration. She has published her research in numerous scholarly journals and collections and has been a speaker for various universities, corporations, and print and broadcast news outlets.

Her conceptual framework, “Black Strategic Mothering,” has been used to understand the complexities of Black women's survival strategies as they pertain to motherhood, family, work and community, over time and space. She is currently working on two book projects that expound on these strategies. One looking at Black women’s health and pregnancy disparities. The other looking at how Black mothers navigate what is referred to as the school-choice “market place,” tentatively titled “The Struggle for Progress”. She is also co-editor of a volume in progress on African American Contemporary Lives from a social scientific perspective, under contract with NYU press.

Barnes has also received awards in recognition of her scholar-activism, teaching, and mentoring. She has been active with the Movement for Black Lives, #SayHerName, and the Black Girls and Women Research Group, convened by the African American Policy Forum. She co-founded and chaired the Association of Black Anthropologists Mentoring Program and she is currently the president of the Association of Black Anthropologists. Her efforts were recognized with the 2019 AAA/Oxford University Press Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology award and the 2020 American Anthropological Association President’s Award.

Recent Campus News

Riche Barnes

Amplifying the voices of Black women

Mount Holyoke’s Riché J. Daniel Barnes studies the Black experience in the diaspora from an anthropological viewpoint.

Patrisse Cullors, a social activist, best-selling author of “When They Call You A Terrorist,” co-creator of the viral Twitter hashtag and movement #BlackLivesMatter, was recently named to Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2020.

Talking with Patrisse Cullors

For Mount Holyoke’s annual Hortense Parker day, Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, spoke about revolutionary healing. 

Photo of the field gate

Meet Mount Holyoke’s newest faculty 2020

Mount Holyoke’s newest faculty bring cross-disciplinary scholarship to the College’s thriving intellectual community.

Riche Barnes

Reactions to Kamala Harris’ nomination

Mount Holyoke Associate Professor Riché J. Daniel Barnes talks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Kamala Harris’ historic vice presidential nomination.

Riché J. Daniel Barnes, associate professor of gender studies at Mount Holyoke College, spoke to Mass Appeal about the 19th Amendment.

19th Amendment history

Riché J. Daniel Barnes, associate professor of gender studies at Mount Holyoke College, spoke about the history of the 19th Amendment. 

Recent Awards

The Association of Black Anthropologists, of which Riché Daniel Barnes is President, received the President's Award from the American Anthropological Association.

Recent Honors

Was interviewed on the podcast, Zora's Daughters, Episode 12 "On the Shoulders of Our Ancestors" which aired February 17 for Black History Month and World Anthropology Day.

Was selected as a recipient of a fellowship to participate in the OpEd Project's "Write to Change the World" workshop.

Began a two-year term as President of the Association of Black Anthropologists. (2020)