Liseli Fitzpatrick

Liseli Fitzpatrick
Africana Studies
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Office Hours: Mondays 1:00pm-3:00pm or by appointment
Liseli Fitzpatrick
Lecturer in Africana Studies

African Diasporic cosmologies, sacred ontologies; Afro-Caribbean cultural expressions and identity; slavery and the Afro-Atlantic world; sacred sexualities and gender.

Liseli A. Fitzpatrick is a Trinidadian-scholar, poet, and professor of Africana Studies. Her research and pedagogy are grounded in African Diasporic cosmologies, sacred ontologies, culture, and cultural expressions. Fitzpatrick teaches what she lives and lives what she teaches. She explores themes of African sacred ritual, love, identity, home, belonging, the voluntary and involuntary movement of persons of African descent, the pervasive effects of slavery and colonialism in the creation of the political West, resilience, Africanisms, community, wholeness, healing, liberation, and joy.

Through her embodied and experiential teachings, Fitzpatrick seeks to engender emancipatory change by presenting a non-hegemonic way of life and being in the co-creation of an equitable, just, breathable, and compassionate world. Fitzpatrick’s life’s work is fueled by her ongoing quest to dismantle oppressive constructs and eradicate systems of miseducation. As such, she values her place in the classroom and emphasizes the pedagogical importance of teaching to enlighten, encourage, enrich, enhance, and empower.

In May 2018, Fitzpatrick made history as the first Ph.D. in the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) at The Ohio State University (OSU). In 2010, she earned a B.A. in Psychology (pre-Law) with a double-minor degree in African American and African Studies and Visual Communications, and, subsequently, she obtained an M.A. in AAAS, in 2012. During her tenure at OSU, Fitzpatrick taught the early African Civilizations course sequence for seven consecutive years and was awarded a lectureship position while pursuing her Ph.D.

Prior to joining the academic community at Wellesley, in Fall 2018, Fitzpatrick spent one year at James Madison University (JMU) as the first Preparing Future Faculty Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion while completing her doctoral degree. At JMU, Fitzpatrick taught the "Religions of Africa and the African Diaspora" course and presented public lectures on sacred sexualities and Ifá/Òrìṣa cosmology. 

Fitzpatrick is a member of several committees, organizations, and sisterhoods including the Wintergreen Women Writers' Collective, Ile Ase, and Ohemma Ku. She is a 2022-2023 HistoryMakers Faculty Fellow and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Resilient Sisterhood Project (RSP), Boston, MA, and the Roxbury Roots Montessori Inc. Board, Roxbury, MA. Fitzpatrick is passionate about cultivating sacred sanctuaries not defined by religiosity and is a cultural enthusiast at heart. Music, water expanses, service, and art enliven her Soul. Her penchant for spirituality paired with her altruistic spirit informs her life path and dedication to humanity – spirituality, family, love, nature, altruism, and culture constitute and sustain the essence of her existence. Fitzpatrick’s undying love for her home country Trinidad and Tobago is also evident in her frequent travels to and involvement in national and cultural events.

Fitzpatrick is thrilled to be a part of the Department of Africana Studies and wider Wellesley community. She enjoys engaging with her students and is committed to positively contributing to the ethos and longevity of the College.


  • Africans of the Diaspora
  • Ancient African Civilizations to 1700s
  • Black Pedagogies *NEW*
  • The Black Church
  • The History of Black Studies and Black Life at Wellesley *NEW*
  • New World Afro-Atlantic Religions
  • Caribbean Cultural Expressions and the Diaspora