MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The former University of Memphis professor who came under fire recently for her controversial tweets has taken a faculty position at Rhodes College.
The institution released the following statement on Wednesday:
As a leading scholar and author in the areas of race, class, gender, culture, and the South, Dr. Zandria Robinson’s comments are sometimes provocative, controversial, and debatable.
Dr. Robinson was hired for a faculty position in the Rhodes Anthropology & Sociology Department that calls for expertise in particular areas, specifically gender studies and social movements. Her expertise in these areas, her extensive understanding of the complex problems of race in American society, her deep roots in the Memphis area, and many years of successful teaching experience, made her an attractive candidate for the position.
When Dr. Robinson was previously at Rhodes during the 2008-2009 academic year, she was well received by students who appreciated her ability to challenge them to think about society with fresh eyes. Throughout her academic career, she has consistently demonstrated a commitment to mentor all students.
Dr. Robinson has an extensive and impressive body of scholarship that provides clarity and context to the sound bite world of social media. This situation ultimately shines a light on Rhodes as a place where intellectual engagement and the exchange of ideas are among our highest priorities.
WREG first reported on this story Tuesday.
Students that spoke with WREG’s Jessica Gertler said Robinson was well-known for challenging the status quo.
All of this started after Robinson, who taught Sociology at the university since 2004, recently posted a series of tweets on her personal account which sparked national attention.
The blog SoCawlege captured the tweets before her account was set to private.
In one of them, she seemed to be responding to the Charleston church shooting.
“Whiteness is most certainly and inevitably terror,” she tweeted.
She described herself on her Twitter profile as a “dirty south black feminist sociologist,” and “some babies mama.”
On Tuesday, the University of Memphis sent out a tweet that simply stated Robinson no longer worked at the school, but refused to say why.
Robinson tweeted back, saying she was not fired.