Welcome to our ICONversations, a series where you will hear iconic Black feminist anthropologists answer five questions about their intellectual projects and growth, what their work has meant to them, and the imprints they want to leave on the world.

In this first episode, Alyssa and Brendane sit down with Dr. Irma McClaurin, an anthropologist who defies definition. In her words: “I don’t do academic windows.” Dr. McClaurin is a bio-cultural anthropologist, author, leader, and entrepreneur. She has, and continues to walk in alignment with her life’s purpose: creating space for Black women to thrive, to be celebrated and remembered.

Dr. Irma McClaurin describes her past interactions with Toni Cade Bambara, Chinua Achebe, and James Baldwin.
Dr. Irma McClaurin encourages students to see themselves as junior colleagues in the making as graduate students, and that everything that you produce in graduate school should have a purpose.

Additional Reading

Be sure to check out Dr. McClaurin in the PBS documentary ‘Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space‘.

Other Places to Catch Dr. McClaurin

‘Why We Still Love Zora’: Irma McClaurin on PBS Documentary ‘Claiming a Space’ and Zora Neale Hurston’s Legacy (Janell Hobson, 2023)
Women of Belize (Irma McClaurin, 1996)
Black Feminist Anthropology (Irma McClaurin, ed., 2001)
Black Feminist Archive at UMass

Her Website – Zora Neale Hurston on My Mind: ‘Claiming Her Space’ Beyond the Shadows of Anthropology

 Find Dr. McClaurin on Twitter and Instagram

Dr. Irma McClaurin stands with her arms folded.

Transcript will be available on our website here.

Let us know what you thought of the episode @zorasdaughters on Instagram and @zoras_daughters on Twitter!