Incoming Fall Faculty: Jamella Gow Joins Sociology & Criminology

September 01, 2020
College of Arts & Sciences

In this short interview series, we will introduce the Gonzaga community to the College of Arts & Sciences' incoming Fall 2020 faculty. This interview is with the Sociology & Criminology department’s newest faculty member, Jamella Gow. We sat down with Jamella to learn more about her background as an academic and to find out what she looks forward to the most at Gonzaga University. 


Your dissertation, How Caribbeans Become Black: Reframing Blackness amongst Afro-Caribbeans in South Florida and much of your research focuses on identity, including the multitudes of diasporic populations. Can you tell us what brought you to these subjects - was it an aha moment, or a culmination?


I would say it was a culmination of steps. I was interested in studying identity and culture while in college. I took classes in English and Sociology, and I found myself drawn to the studies colonialism, race, culture, and identity. I was especially interested in the perspectives of migrants and their descendants who navigate learning to belong in a new land while also holding onto their cultural homes. As a graduate student in cultural studies and then sociology, I began to focus more on how race and ethnicity influenced migrants’ identity and feelings of belonging. I enjoy the study of Diaspora, and especially Black diaspora, because it brings all of my interests together. My dissertation thus focuses on how Black Caribbean identity and culture is necessarily tied to experiences with race and its historical impacts.


What drew you to Gonzaga?


The Gonzaga community itself! I have met the friendliest faculty and staff that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I’ve also met many engaged students with a passion for knowledge.


What courses will you be teaching at Gonzaga? Will you be teaching any subjects that are new to the department?


This fall, I will be teaching courses on Race and Ethnicity and Introduction to Sociology. I plan to teach on Globalization and Social Theory as well as introduce new courses on Immigration, Race in Comparative Perspective, and Culture from a Global Perspective.  


What are you most looking forward to in the next year (professionally, personally, etc.)?


I look forward to teaching! I am very excited about the culture of the campus and look forward to meeting students and sharing knowledge with them. More personally, I am also looking forward to exploring Spokane. I love hiking and biking, and this place seems like a great place to do both.


Do you have any projects or research that you’re currently working on?


I mostly focusing on publications related to my research. The big project will be the book. I am also interested in the impacts of race on local policing and immigration enforcement.