Ayanna Spencer

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Dr. Ayanna De’Vante Spencer is a Black feminist epistemologist and survivor-scholar who earned her doctorate in philosophy at Michigan State University. She is also a proud graduate of Spelman College. Dr. Spencer examines how Black girl survivors of sexual violence in the US are structurally denied power to meaningfully act as experts of their own experiences of violence. She works on epistemic oppression, sexual violence, and criminalization to aid in efforts to dismantle the sexual abuse to prison pipeline. Additionally, Dr. Spencer is a consultant for the international ‘metoo’ movement, a recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.




  • Spencer, A. D. (Forthcoming). Epistemic Adultification: Clarifying the Pernicious Work of Black Girls as “Prematurely Knowing.” Hardison, A. (Ed.), Women, Gender, and Families of Color.
  • Spencer, A. D. (2021). Surviving Jane Code: Black Feminist Epistemological Considerations for MeTooBots. Henning, T. M. & Aikin, S. (Eds.), Plenary Session: Black Feminism. Southwest Philosophy Review. https://doi.org/10.5840/swphilreview20213713
  • Dotson, K. & Spencer, A. D. (2020). Another Letter Long Delayed: On Unsound Epistemological Practices and Reductive Inclusion. Takaoka, B. & Manne, K. (Eds.), Gendered Oppression and Its Intersections [Special Issue]. Philosophical Topics. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26927950
  • Spencer, A. D. (2018). Say Her Name: Maladjusted Epistemic Salience in the Fight Against Anti-Black Police Brutality. In Pieranna Garavaso (Ed.), Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Feminism. London: Bloomsbury. Print.


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