Riché Richardson is Associate Professor in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University where she is serving a second two-year term as Director of Undergraduate Studies. She is a scholar of African American literature with additional specialties in American literature, Southern studies and gender studies. Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, she attended Spelman College, and received her B.A. in English in 1993 with minors in philosophy and women's studies. She received her Ph.D. in American literature from Duke University in 1998 and a Certificate in African and African American Studies. She spent the first 10 years of her career teaching in the English department at UC Davis (1998-2008). At UC Davis, she served as the campus representative on the President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Advisory Committee (2006-08) and was awarded with a Special Citation from the university as a faculty member in 2008 for Diversity and the Principles of Community. Among her other awards are a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Davis Humanities Institute Fellowship. Her essays have been published in journals such as American Literature, Mississippi Quarterly, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, TransAtlantica, the Southern Quarterly, Black Camera, and NKA. Her first book, Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007), was highlighted by Choice Books among the "Outstanding Academic Titles of 2008," and by Eastern Book Company among the "Outstanding Academic Titles, Humanities, 2008." She is now completing a book manuscript that examines the U.S. South in relation to black femininity and the national body. Since 2005, she has served as coeditor with Jon Smith of the New Southern Studies book series at the University of Georgia Press.
As a visual artist, her work has been featured in several solo and group museum exhibitions, including national exhibitions. Her art is the subject of a short film made in Paris by Anne Crémieux and Géraldine Chouard entitled A Portrait of the Artist (2008), is featured in the Lauren Cross film The Skin Quilt Project (2010), and is the subject of a chapter of Patricia A. Turner's Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters. In January of 2009, she was invited to Paris as a "Cultural Envoy" of the U.S. Embassy in France, was featured in their "Speaker Series" through a grant from the U.S. State Department, and was honored with a talk, exhibition, film screening and reception at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence.