“Professor Davis is an electrifying speaker and her commitment to creating a more just and inclusive world is shared by, and central to, so many members of the class of 2018,” said Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy. “From her involvement in the civil rights movement to her more recent work on social problems associated with mass incarceration, Angela Davis has long been a voice for the marginalized and disenfranchised and we’re honored to have her address this year’s graduates.”
Davis is the author of 10 books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early 1970s when she spent 18 months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment.
Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays titled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016.
Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent 15 years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and of Feminist Studies.