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Haile Eshe Cole

Assistant Professor of Instruction in African American Studies; Weinberg College Advisor

PhD in Anthropology (African Diaspora Studies), The University of Texas at Austin
M.A. in Anthropology (African Diaspora Studies), The University of Texas at Austin
B.A. in Sociology and African American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests:

Black Feminism(s)
Black Motherhood
Reproductive Health and Justice
Activist Research Methods
Visual Media


Haile Eshe Cole’s background includes interdisciplinary research and teaching experience in Cultural/Medical Anthropology, Black/African Diaspora Studies, and Black feminist theories. Her scholarly interests include Black feminisms, community-engaged/social justice research methodology, Black motherhood, reproduction, and health. Over the years, she has conducted research on women’s mass incarceration and Black women’s maternal and infant health disparities in Texas. Utilizing a reproductive justice framework, her most recent research project considered how rates of maternal and infant mortality are impacted by on-going processes of racism and structural inequality. Growing research examines the role of chronic stress caused by experiences of on-going racism over the life course as a primary cause for negative maternal and infant health outcomes for Black women. Given this, the research addressed the ways in which geo-political processes such as segregation, institutions, policy, community organizing, and social movements have larger impacts on the reproductive health and well-being of black women in the United States. Her research builds upon applied public health experience and years of community organizing and reproductive justice work in Austin, Texas and nationally. This body of work serves as the basis for her current book project entitled Belly: Blackness and Reproduction in the Lone Star State. Additionally, some of her more recent work, including a piece entitled “Reproduction on Display: Black Maternal Mortality and the Newest Case for National Action,” evaluates the growing public and media discourse around the current maternal health crisis in the United States. It examines not only the ways in which these narratives uphold problematic notions of the Black reproductive body but also the broader impacts of such rhetoric on Black maternal health.

2019-20 Course(s):

AF_AM_ST 380-0-21 (Spring): "Reproducing Race": Culture, Race, and Reproductive Health

Selected Publications:

Cole, Haile. “Blood and Water: Black Motherhood, Friendship, Love, Survival, and the Meaning of Showing-Up” in Black Sisterhoods: Black Womyn's Representations of Sisterhood across the Diaspora. Ed. Dannielle Joy Davis, Denise Davis-Maye, Tamara Bertrand Jones, and Jill Andrew, MA. Demeter Press (Accepted)

Cole, Haile. “The Repast: Self and Collective Love in the Face of Black Death.” Women, Gender, and Families of Color Journal. University of Illinois Press. Champagne, IL. (Forthcoming)

Cole, Haile Eshe. "Reproduction on Display: Black Maternal Mortality and the Newest Case for National Action." Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research & Community Involvement 9, no. 2 (2018).

Cole, Haile.  “A Love Letter for my Daughter:  Love as a Political Act.”  in Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy and Childbirth an Anthology. Ed. Julia C. Oparah, and Alicia D. Bonaparte. Routledge. 2016.

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