Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2020
B.A., Williams College, 2014 (awarded with Honors)

Professional Bio

Dr. Jallicia Jolly is an Assistant Professor in American Studies and Black Studies at Amherst College. A 2022 Ford Postdoctoral Fellow based at Yale University, Dr. Jolly researches and teaches on Black women’s health, grassroots activism, and reproductive justice; the transnational politics of gender, structural racism, sexuality, class, and health; intersectionality and HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and Caribbean; Black feminist health science, Black motherhood, obstetric violence, and health equity. Dr. Jolly's first book manuscript, Ill Erotics: Black Caribbean Women and Self-Making in the Time of HIV/AIDS, now under contract with the University of California Press, is an ethnography and oral history of the reproductive justice organizing of young Black Jamaican women living with HIV that chronicles how they build empowerment and self-care around disability, class oppression, severe impoverishment, and lack of access to health care. Foregrounding their intimacy as sources of interdependence and connection rather than contagion and isolation, Ill Erotics explores how the politics of HIV care and self-making meet in young Black women’s everyday confrontations with illness, reproductive violence, and inequality in this unique pandemic-inflected era of HIV/AIDS in postcolonial Jamaica. Dr. Jolly connects her research to tailored community interventions that advance equity, systemic change & community-building within and beyond U.S. borders. She is appointed as a 2022-2024 Research Scientist by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) at the Yale School of Public Health to the Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS). @jallicia 

Read full professional bio »

A group of five women smiling

BREHA In the News

Knowledge and Action

“It matters to me that my work is meaningful and has some kind of impact,” says Ash Smith ’18, who is doing research for BREHA, Amherst's new Black Feminist Reproductive Justice, Equity & HIV/AIDS Activism Collective.

Read the recent Amherst News story covering the collaboration between Jallicia Jolly, assistant professor of American studies and Black studies, and a group of Amherst students studying and advancing reproductive justice.

“We have very intentional, informed discussions that include the application of theory to the urgency of the current political moment. A collective learning environment is not just an intellectual community, it is a relational community invested in social transformation.” — Dr. Jallicia Jolly

As an instructor, I strive to connect intersectional methods to real-time teaching in ways that collectively problem solve, bring people into the conversation, and engage students at various stages of their development process. As an organizer invested in equity as a core principle, I am eager to continue working with institutions, instructors, and students to create ethical and reciprocal connections between academic work and community-based needs. For more information on my teaching, check out this feature article on innovative pedagogy.

Professor Jolly is so ENGAGED and PASSIONATE. She welcomes all ideas and responses without hesitation and is the most supportive professor I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. She wants you to succeed, to be thoughtful, and also pursue your interests and make connections. I love how safe she’s made the class feel and how community oriented the class is.” 
—Student in BLST/AMST/SWGS-296: Black Women and Reproductive Justice in the African Diaspora

Recent Publications

Racism as a Source of Pain

Photos of eight people against an orange background

February 2023

Journal of General Internal Medicine

An interdisciplinary intervention to raise collective consciousness about the source and impacts of racism and racial inequities in health outcomes. Feel free to use blue or orange — whichever fits best with the page or section aesthetic.

Read the Article

A Reproductive Justice Response to HIV/AIDS & COVID-19

screenshot of Lancet article

November 27, 2021

The Lancet

Jallicia Jolly writes about the lived experiences of HIV-positive Black women in the U.S. and Jamaica as they grapple with the prolonged effects of illness, inequality, and inequities on their wellbeing.

Read the Article

At the Crossroads: Caribbean Women and (Black) Feminist Ethnography in the Time of HIV/AIDS

cover of Feminist Anthropology

July 12, 2021

Feminist Anthropology

Feminist analyses and insights chart possible futures for doing more ethically and politically invested work that emerges from the lives and experiences of Black women and women in the Global South.

Read the Article

Selected Publications


Ill Erotics: Black Caribbean Women and Self-Making in Times of HIV/AIDS. University of California Press (Under Revision).

Selected Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

Opara, Ijeoma, Jolly, Jallicia, Brooks-Stephens, Jasmin, Rose, Raquel, and Duran-Becerra, Beatriz. “The Sexual Objectification of Black Girls: A Qualitative Exploration.” Psychology of Women Quarterly (Under revision)

“Divine Intimacies: Tracing Gender, Sexuality, & Queerness in HIV-Positive Jamaican’s Women Religious Experience.” GLQ (Forthcoming Winter 2024)

“Transforming the AIDS Pandemic as We Know It: AIDS Pasts, Present, and Futures in Viral Cultures: Activist Archiving in the Age of AIDS.” Feminist Formations (Forthcoming Fall 2023)

Schubiner, Howard, Benita Jackson, Kristine M. Molina, John A. Sturgeon, Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Mark A. Lumley, Jallicia Jolly, and Zina Trost. "Racism as a Source of Pain." Journal of General Internal Medicine (2023): 1-6.

From HIV/AIDS to COVID-19: A Reproductive Justice Lens to Pandemics.” The Lancet: The Art of Medicine 398 no. 10315 (2021): 1958-1959.

“At the Crossroads: Caribbean Women & (Black) Feminist Ethnography in the Time of HIV/AIDS.” Feminist Anthropology, 2021(1-18).

“Black Feminist Geographies of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.” Gender, Place and Culture (2021). DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2020.1845617.

“From At Risk to Interdependent: The Erotic Life Worlds of HIV+ Jamaican Women.” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black politics, Culture, and Society 21, no. 2-3 (2020): 107-131.

“On Forbidden Wombs and Reproductive Justice.” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, 15, no. 1 (2016): 166-188.

“Surviving in the Margins: Examining the Survival Strategies of Low-Income Jamaican Women.” Harvard Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Journal (2013): 77-81.

Book Reviews

Theorizing Agency: New Directions in Research on HIV/AIDS Activism, American Quarterly (Forthcoming)

“Holding On: African American Women Surviving HIV/AIDS.” Alyson O’Daniel. Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services, 17, no.3 (2019): 1-3.

Invited Talks & Selected Presentations

Selected Invited Keynotes & Talks

A group of students poising on a stage in orange light

Princeton University

Lewis Center for the Arts

March 3–4, 2023: Invited by the Lewis Center of the Arts for a talk and guest lecture, Dr. Jolly discussed the politics and radical potential of Black women’s artistry through the lens of innovative performance - Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem and spoken word poetry.

A group of six women taking a photo with one holding a baby

Cape Cod Health Equity Symposium

Hyannis, Mass.

March 10, 2023: As a keynote speaker, Dr. Jolly joined a group of health professionals at The Cape Cod Health Equity Symposium to discuss accountability and equity in reproductive healthcare accessibility.

A group of five people with tehir arms aroudn each other and smiling

University of Michigan

Institute for Research on Women and Gender

April 14, 2023: Dr. Jolly shared research & actionable strategies centering equity & reproductive justice to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic at the Dr. John Lamont Peterson Annual Research Symposium at the University of Michigan.


Birth Equity & Justice Massachusetts (BEJMA)'s inaugural fall convening in October 2022. BEJMA is a Black women-led coalition that centers Black and Brown leadership and the creation of a broad and inclusive table. We elevate the voices and experiences of birthing people, advance maternal health policy, and build community power through a lens of justice and equity. This convening was co-sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield MA Foundation & the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Two photos of women in groups smiling and hugging

The WomenNow World SisterLove, Inc Delegation to AIDS 2022 in August 2022 in Montreal. It brought together a diverse global group of women and girls of African descent, along with community advocates & experts who work to serve their unique sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice needs. We continue to honor the lives, organizing, & voices of everyday people & communities on the frontlines of HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice across the diaspora.

Two photos of women in groups smiling and hugging


Two women poising with the title Health EquiTEA Podcast

Health EquiTEA Podcast

Hosted by Dr. Jallicia Jolly and Dr. Ijeoma Kola

Do you want the tea on health equity? Tune in to the new Health EquiTEA podcast! Dr. Jallicia Jolly and Dr. Ijeoma Kola elevate the voices and work of Black organizers on the frontlines of health equity and justice and put their expert knowledge in conversation with academic research and theory on racial health inequities that disproportionately impact Black communities. Health EquiTEA brings first-hand stories—our collective stories of organizing, resistance, and knowledge production—in fresh and exciting ways! Listen to recent episodes now on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or visit

A podcasting microphone

Community, Captivity, and Betrayal

A Williams College Podcast

Dr. Jallicia Jolly speaks on human rights, racial (in)justice, and modern forms of reproductive abuse in a new Williams College podcast that engages the entwined histories of liberation movements against racism, enslavement and imperialism. The project evolved from the senior seminar, “Cuba, U.S., Africa and Resistance to Black Enslavement, 1791-1991” taught by Dr. Joy James, Williams’ Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities.

Scholarly Symposia

Black Girlhood(s) & Violence in the African Diaspora

Black Girlhood(s) & Violence in the African Diaspora was a CHI research seminar that convened scholars invested in employing interdisciplinary and transnational approaches to study the relationships between violence and the lived experiences of Black girls across continental contexts.

Black Queer Diaspora Symposium

The Black Queer Diaspora Studies is a CHI seminar and symposium that organized an intellectual / scholarly and social community that foregrounded the moral and ethical imperative to engage the diasporic and transnational dimensions of Black queer and trans life in ways that disrupt nations and nationalism.

The symposium was divided into four themed panels with 3-5 co-panelists that each focused on an opening / introduction, politics, sociality, and art and performance that exposed expansive frameworks, terminology, and methodologies. In this diasporic and transnational Black space, we critically engaged race, gender, sexuality; freedom, politics, and mobilization; and intimacy, community-building, and organizing.

Jalicia Jolly

“Who Cares for the Caregivers?”

Dr. Jallicia Jolly uses the power of the vivid visual to show that Black caregivers’ lives matter. Read the article from the U. Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

poster for Professor Jolly's talk

“Which Lives Matter and Which Deaths Don’t”

In a talk at Diablo Valley College, Professor Jolly spoke about racial justice and the pathways to systemic change.

Public Writing

Awards and Honors

Award Spotlight: Ford Fellowship & REIDS Scholar

Dr. Jallicia Jolly has been awarded a Ford Foundation 2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship that will support the completion of her first book manuscript, which is titled "Ill Erotics: Black Caribbean Women and Self-Making in Times of HIV/AIDS," (under contract with University of California Press). Dr. Jolly was also appointed as a Visiting Research faculty by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at the Yale School of Public Health to the Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS). The REIDS program aims to increase the number and impact of racial and ethnic minority researchers dedicated to reducing HIV inequities in communities of color, with particular emphasis on early career faculty and post-doctoral researchers.

Dr. Jolly states: “I am grateful to join a phenomenal community of visionaries, researchers, organizers, and practitioners breaking the silos of public health, medicine, & research doing impactful work around health equity & justice in our communities. I’ll be centering Black girls & women’s holistic lives & needs in HIV/AIDS interventions that are culturally resonant, community-based, & invested in racial & reproductive justice.”

FirstGen Publishers Program Grant, University of California Press (Fall 2023)

Movement Building Grant, Boston Women's Foundation (2023-2024)

Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (2022-2023)

Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars (REIDS), Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS and Yale School of Public Health, Yale University (2022-2024)

Kahn Liberal Arts Institute Faculty Fellowship, Health and Medicine, Culture and Society: Crossroads in a Liberal Arts Education, Smith College (Fall 2022)

Special Initiatives Grant for Racial Equity and Reproductive Justice in Maternal Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation (Fall 2021)

Women of Color Leadership Project, National Women’s Studies Association (Fall 2021)

Laura Bassi Scholarship, Laura Bassi Editing Press (Spring 2021)

AAUW American Fellowship (Short-Term Research Publication Grant), American Association of University Women (Summer 2021)

Five College Reproductive Health, Rights & Justice Certificate Program Course Enhancement Grant (Spring 2020, 2022)

Susan Lipschutz Award (for Scholarly Achievement, Social Responsibility, and Interest in the Success of Women in the Academy), Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan (Spring 2020)

The Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies Research Award, LGBT Studies, Yale University (Winter 2020)

Pre-doctoral & Post-doctoral Fellowship, Consortium for Faculty Diversity, Amherst College (Fall 2019-Spring 2021) 

Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellow In Queer Studies & Religious Studies, Yale University (Spring 2019)

SHASS Diversity Predoctoral Fellow, Women’s Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Fall 2019-Spring 2020)**

MMUF Dissertation Completion Grant, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (Fall 2019-Spring 2020)**

American Dissertation Fellowship, American Association of University Women (Fall 2019-Spring 2020)**

SSRC-Mellon Mays Proposal Writing and Dissertation Development Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia (Spring 2019)

Graduate Student Scholarship, National Women’s Studies Association, Atlanta, Georgia (Fall 2018)

Mary Fair Croushore Graduate Fellow, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan (Fall 2018)

Rackham Program in Public Scholarship Grant, University of Michigan (Summer 2018)

Emerging Scholars Diversity Network, National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan (Winter 2018)

Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, Rackaham Graduate School, University of Michigan (Inducted at Yale University in Spring 2017)

SSRC Predocotoral Research Grant, SSRC-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program, Social Science Research Council (Summer 2017)

Rackham International Research Award, International Institute, University of Michigan (Summer 2017) 

Reicker Graduate Student Research Grants, Center for the Education of Women, University of Michigan (Fall 2016)

Humanities Without Walls Pre-doctoral Fellowship, Humanities Without Walls Consortium, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (Summer 2016)

Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan (Summer 2016)

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Field Grant, International Institute, University of Michigan (Summer 2016)

PEPFAR Community Grant, Public Affairs Section Office U.S. Embassy, Kingston (Fall 2015)

Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program, Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan & University of the West Indies-Mona (Summer 2015)

Rackham Merit Fellowship for the American Culture Program, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan (Fall 2014 - Spring 2020)

The Gaius C. Bolin 1889 Prize in Africana Studies, Department of African Studies, Williams College (Spring 2014)

Nancy McIntire Prize in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Department of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Williams College (Spring 2014)

U.S. Student Fulbright Program, Institute for International Education, Department of State (Spring 2014)

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Mellon Mays Foundation, Williams College (Spring 2012)

**Award declined by recipient.