Christopher Tinson, assistant professor of African American studies, earned a Ph.D. from the W.E.B. Du Bois department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He holds an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University and a B.A. from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Professor Tinson's interdisciplinary research and teaching interests include black radical traditions, pan-Africanism and black internationalism, Hip-Hop culture, race and sports, and media studies.
His recently taught courses include: Black Radicalism in the U.S. and Beyond, 1960s and 1970s and Framing Blackness: African Americans and Mass Media in the U.S. In addition to offering an introductory African American studies course, his new courses include: Warfare in the American Homeland: Policing, Imprisonment and the Politics of Control; and More Than A Check: African Americans and the Politics of Reparations.
Doctor of Philosophy Afro-American Studies, University of
May 2010 Massachusetts Amherst - Dissertation: The Fight for Freedom Must be Fought on All Fronts: The Liberator Magazine and Black Radicalism, 1960-1971
Master of Arts Afro-American Studies, University of
February 2007 Massachusetts Amherst
May 2003 Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University with Distinction
Bachelor of Arts Africana Studies & English Literature
CSI 216: Framing Blackness: African Americans and Mass Media in the 20th Century, S2011
SS236: The Black Seventies, Fall 2010
SS120: Introduction to African American Studies, Spring 2010
SS228: African Americans and the Politics of Reparations, Spring 2010
Students I Advise
“We have nothing to lose:”
The Improvisation of Black Studies at Hampshire, 40 Years later
Black Studies programs, departments, and institutes around the country are celebrating their fortieth anniversaries. With Hampshire also recognizing that same milestone, black studies and Hampshire College are mutually reflective of significant shifts in the American system of higher education. The importance of these achievements notwithstanding, it is of significance to note that both black studies and Hampshire college shared (at least on the surface) a concern for meeting educational and social needs of students in this country and indeed from around the world. In the brief time we have today, I will speak to Hampshire College’s engagement with black studies, with a particular emphasis on the early history. Identifying key members of the faculty and the early course offerings at HC and throughout the five colleges will help to situate Hampshire’s adoption of black studies courses within that history.
“Harlem, New York! Harlem, Detroit! Harlem, Birmingham!”
Liberator Magazine and the Chronicling of Translocal Activism, 1963-1967
The four years between 1963 and 1967 were years of growth for the Liberator magazine. Dan Watts’ generous editorial policy allowed the journal to attract a new cadre of staff writers such as Askia Touré and Larry Neal to bolster the magazine’s circulation of black radical perspectives, which supplemented the writings of Harold Cruse, Carlos Russell, Selma Sparks and others. This paper argues that the Liberator served as a critical space of translocal political activity. Through formal and informal distribution networks it was able to connect local struggles in New York, to those in Birmingham, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Accra, Ghana, expanding the circles of activism it grew out of and establishing new connections of its own. Aside from the numerous articles it published, including political, social and aesthetic commentary, Liberator also frequently opened its pages to readers and subscribers from around the country, expanding political debate beyond core activists and writers on its editorial staff. In this way, the magazine’s format and its generous publishing policy gave voice to and participated in the building of community networks of criticism and activism. Drawing on published and unpublished sources and interviews this paper holds Liberator magazine as a critical example in the shaping of a radical print culture in the 1960s.
National Council for Black Studies, 1999-Present
Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, 2004-Present
Organization of American Historians, 2004-2008
Workshop Facilitator, “Triggering Change: Strategies for Self and Community Empowerment,” Alliance to Develop Power (ADP) Youth Retreat, Springfield, MA, August 11, 2010
Guest Speaker, “How We Organize: Creativity, Commitment and Community,”
Project 2050 Legacy Retreat, Hampshire College, August 9, 2010
Featured Speaker, “Hip-Hop’s Political Visions,” Kopkind Colony, Guilford, Vermont,
July 23, 2010
Guest Speaker, The High School of Science and Technology, Springfield, MA, July 23, 2010
Board Member, Friends of the Holyoke Public Library, Elected May 2010
Lead Organizer, “Triggering Change 2: Hip Hop, Community Engagement, and Sites of Empowerment” Conference, Hampshire College, April 23-24, 2010
People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond “Undoing Racism Workshop,” Springfield, MA, November 6-8, 2009
National Conference Planning Committee Member, “Free Minds, Free People 2011,”
Facilitator, Education for Liberation Politics, Arts, and Culture Series, Food For Thought Books, Amherst, October-November 2009
Guest Speaker, After School Connections Program, Holyoke High School, October 19, 2009
Mentor, First Generation Community-Based Arts Program, August 2009-Present
Master of Ceremonies, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration, Northampton High School, January 19, 2009
Workshop Co-Facilitator, “Triggering Change: Thinking Critically about the Impact of Incarceration on Black and Brown Youth,” Hampshire College, October 17, 2008
Co-Organizer and Panel Moderator, North Star Community Book Festival, Springfield, MA, October 11, 2008
Agape Community’s Annual St. Francis Day Celebration, “Breaking the Silence: Unheard Voices in an Election Year”, Ware, MA, October 4, 2008
Lead Organizer, Triggering Change: Hip-Hop, Media Justice and Social Responsibility, UMass, Amherst, April 25-26, 2008
Youth, Hip-Hop and Media Reform Workshop, Hampshire Educational Collaborative, Northampton, MA, April 13, 2007
North Carolina State University Ghana Humanities Program, Summer 2005
Interviewed for Okayplayer’s (Jazz, Soul, Hip-Hop) “Revivalist” Column,
“Hip-Hop DIY ‘High Art’ Achiever” by Bouyan Gao, January 2, 2011.
Interviewed for Black Agenda Report/VoxUnion Column by Dr. Jared Ball, “Black Studies and the Canary in Our National Mine,” December 14, 2010. http://www.voxunion.com/?p=3254
Panelist, “We Ourselves,” hosted by Dr. Jared Ball, WPFW 89.3 Pacifica Radio,
Washington DC, November 5, 2010
Interviewed for “Ten Things The Past Can Teach Us Today,” The Nation, September 2, 2010, (On-line); September 20, 2010 (Print).
Panelist, Free Speech TV with Herb Boyd, United States Social Forum, Detroit, Michigan,
June 22-26, 2010.
Radio Show featured: “TRGGR-ing Change: A locally based national collaborative uses Hip-Hop to educate, inspire and revolutionize.” The Valley Advocate, January 10, 2007
Host, TRGGR Radio, WMUA 91.1FM, Amherst, MA 2006—Present
Board of Directors Member and Secretary, Valley Free Radio, 2006—2007
Co-Founder and Editor, TRGGR: A Journal of Grassroots Intellectual Thought (in progress)