Liseli Fitzpatrick

Liseli Fitzpatrick
Africana Studies
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University
Office Hours: Tuesdays 10:00am-1:00pm 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 in the field of African Diasporic cosmologies and sacred ontologies. 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 her B.A. in Psychology (pre-Law) with a double-minor degree in African American and African Studies and Visual Communications at OSU. Subsequently, in 2012, Fitzpatrick received her M.A. in AAAS and was immediately awarded a lectureship position while in pursuit of her Ph.D. Her research foregrounds themes of identity, Afro-cosmological thought, the voluntary and involuntary movement of persons of African descent, and the pervasive effects of slavery and colonialism in the creation of the West. Her current project, “Sexuality through the Eyes of the Òrìṣa: An Exploration into Ifá/Òrìṣa and Sacred Sexualities in Post-Colonial Trinidad & Tobago" offers an expansive and universal pedagogical praxis for understanding human sexualities through Yorùbá cosmology and metaphysics. It is part of an ongoing quest to dismantle hegemonic and dichotomous constructs, and bring balance to the discourse on sexuality and gender. 

During her tenure at OSU, Fitzpatrick taught the early African Civilizations course sequence for seven consecutive years. Through teaching, Fitzpatrick seeks to engender emancipatory change by presenting a non-hegemonic worldview through an Afro-cosmological lens. She values her space in the classroom and emphasizes the pedagogical importance of teaching to enlighten and empower. Concurrently, she aims to undo systems of oppression, injustice, inequality and imbalance.

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 as she worked on completing her doctoral dissertation. While at JMU, Fitzpatrick taught "Religions of Africa and the African Diaspora" and presented several public lectures that were centered around her research on sacred sexualities and the Ifá/Òrìṣa cosmological thought. 

New World Afro-Atlantic Religions
Africans of the Diaspora
Ancient African Civilizations to 1700s
Caribbean Cultural Expressions and the Diaspora
The Black Church

Her other areas of research interest include Afro-diasporic experiences and expressions, Caribbean cultural expressions, trans-Atlantic slavery and its afterlife, Ancient African kingdoms and Afro-sacred sexualities and empowerment.

Fitzpatrick is passionate about cultivating sacred consciousness, not limited to religiosity, and is a cultural enthusiast at heart. Her penchant for spirituality paired with her altruistic spirit informs her life path and dedication to humanity. Spirituality, family, altruism and culture are, therefore, positioned at the epicenter of her existence. Her love for her home-country Trinidad and Tobago is evident through her frequent travels and involvement in national and cultural events. Music, water expanses and art enliven her spirit. Fitzpatrick is excited to be a part of the Africana Studies Department and wider Wellesley community. She looks forward to engaging with the students and furthering her research.