Tiffany Harris (she, her, hers)

Assistant Professor

Address: 86 Wentworth St. #222
Phone: 843.953.4682

Tiffany Octavia Harris is an Assistant Professor of Educational and Social Foundations at the College of Charleston in South Carolina’s Lowcountry region (unceded territory of the Kusso, Yamassee, Sewee, Santee, Wateree, Winyah, Chicora, Waccamaw, Pee Dee, and Catawba peoples as well as the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor). Harris is a Southern Black girl from Atlanta, Georgia (ancestral homelands of the Mvskoke and Cherokee peoples). . Her interests include Black girlhood, speculative fiction and human survival as interdependent with ecological restoration.

Harris’ background is rooted in her experiences as a former social studies teacher in Atlanta Public Schools, but also as a homegirl with Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths (SOLHOT), an intergenerational, art-based collective celebrating Black girlhood. Her creative craft draws on ethnodrama performances, DIY photography curation, gardening and hiking as traditional ecological knowledge, experimental filmmaking and poetic prose.

Harris continues her innovative and scholarly training beyond the Ph.D. She attended the 2022 William & Louis Greaves Filmmaker Seminar to explore cinematic realms alongside fellow Black, Brown and Indigenous artists. Given her place-based inquiry and activism dedicated to the Black U.S. South, Harris earned a Civic Humanities Certificate via Tufts University for enrollment in Black Futures Matter: Civic Life, Health, & Equity, a free,10-week online community education course for adult learners in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Moreover, she was accepted into an online, creative writing class entitled Traversing Worlds: An Introduction to Writing Speculative Fiction offered by the Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center in Summer 2022.


Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies
Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dissertation Title: The South Still Got Something to Say: An Atlanta-centric Analysis of Intergenerational Pedagogies 

Ed.M. in Educational Policy Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

B.A. in History with secondary education concentration cum laude
University of West Georgia

Courses Taught

Foundations of Education  

Race, Class, and Gender  

Social Studies and Humanities Methods

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Graduate Student Research Prize
Humanities Research Institute | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  
The Dr. Ruth Nicole Brown Coalition Award
Women’s Resource Center | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  
Smalley Graduate Research Fellowship 
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  
Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship 
Illinois Board of Higher Education


Welton, A.D. & Harris, T.O. (2022). Youth of color social movements for racial justice: The politics of interrogating the school-to-prison pipeline. Educational Policy, 36(1), 57-99.

James-Gallaway, A. & Harris, T.O. (2021). We been relevant: Culturally relevant pedagogy and Black women teachers in segregated schools. Educational Studies. 57(2), pp.124-141.

Welton, A. D., Harris, T. O., Altamirano, K., & Williams, T. (2017). The politics of student voice. Conceptualizing a model for critical analysis. In S. L. Diem & M. D. Young (Eds.), Critical approaches to education policy analysis. Moving beyond tradition (pp. 83-110). New York, NY: Springer.

Welton, A.D., Harris, T.O., LaLonde, P.G., & Moyer, R. (2015). Social Justice Education in a Diverse Classroom: Examining High School Discussions about Race, Power, and Privilege. Equity and Excellence in Education. 48(4), pp. 549-570.

Creative: Art-based Projects and Performances 

Black Girl Genius Week. (2022). Dreaming about SOLHOT in Charleston. Creative Guest Speaker. Hosted by Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths. Funded by Department of African American and African Studies | Michigan State University.

Poetry in Libra. (2022). Creative Guest Speaker. Hosted by La Estación Gallery. Funded by Department of Theatre | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

*We followed the new moon in Libra to remind us that change and rebirth are on the horizon. The abundant Venusian energy is flowing to remind us that experiencing art makes possible new world-making.

Harris, T.O. (2021). Becoming [film]. Homemade, With Love: More Living Room Exhibition in the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL. United States.
*An experimental film embracing nature as a way to interpret Black girlhood. The central concept of node or supporting stem points on plants and trees functions as a metaphor for world making and healing. 

Harris, T.O. (2021). Restorative Justice Blackout Poetry. Workshop Facilitator. 44 Days: Honoring Black History. Saint Mary’s College of California.

Callier, D. (2016). Tell It!: A Contemporary Choral for Black Youth’s Voices. [choreopoem]. INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre sponsored by the University of Illinois Counseling Center and the Department of Theatre. (Actress).
*A performance piece about the premature death of Black and queer youth, remembering their lives, healing ourselves, and dreaming of a better world which does not necessitate their death.

Vanover, C.F. & Harris T. O. (2016, November). Using an Ethnodramatic Case to Discuss Teaching and Learning in Schools Serving Vulnerable Youth. Symposium presentation at the 2016 University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Annual Conference, Detroit, MI.

Vanover, C., Harris, T.O., Salaam, O., Jones, R., & McConnell, H. (2014, November). Using an ethnodramatic case to discuss leadership for social justice. Symposium presented for the Annual Conference of the University Council of Educational Administration.  W. Black and J. Scheurich, Chairs. Washington, DC

Selected Conference Presentations 

Harris, T.O. (2022, November). Black Girlhood Celebration as an Otherwise World: A SOLHOT Homegirl’s Reflection on the Homemade, With Love Museum Exhibition. Paper Presentation at the American Educational Studies Association, Pittsburgh, PA.

Welton, A.D. & Harris, T.O. (2022, November). Working With Youth of Color as Educational Leaders and Policy Actors. Critical Conversation Session at the University Council for Educational Administration, Seattle, WA.

James-Gallaway, A. & Harris, T.O. (2019, November). Indebted to the Ancestors: Black Teachers’ Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in Segregated Schools. Paper Presentation at the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, Austin, TX.

Harris, T.O. (2019, March). Buried in Plain Sight: Atlanta Connections to Lowcountry Aesthetic and Spatial Orientation in Georgia Coastal/Sea Islands. Paper Presentation at the International Gullah Geechee and African Diaspora Conference, Conway, S.C.

Harris, T.O. (2018, December). Mama's Kate's Haunting as Timeline Mapping: An Alternative History of Atlanta's Black Social Progress. Paper Presentation at the 2018 Association of Black Women Historians Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Harris, T.O. (2018, November). Black Women’s Familial Knowledge as Pedagogy: An Alternative New (U.S.) South Narrative. Paper Presentation at the 2018 National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Harris, T.O. (2018, April). A Southern and Global City at a Crossroads: Olympification and Airport Expansion of Atlanta. Paper Presentation at the 2018 Women's and Gender History Symposium at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Harris, T.O. (2017, May). I See You: Everyday Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity. Paper presented as part of the “The Gift that Keeps on Giving: A Black Feminism Class’ Interpretations of Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ Spill” symposium Presented the 11th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (IQCI). Champaign-Urbana, IL.

Harris, T. O. (2017, March). Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington School: A Generational Analysis Towards Disrupting Silences of a New South and Black Social Progress Narrative. Paper Presentation at the 2017 Women's and Gender History Symposium at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.