Welcome Dianna Watkins-Dickerson to the #HMTProject

Dianna Nicole Watkins-Dickerson is currently enrolled at the University of Memphis as a graduate student pursuing a PhD in communication with an emphasis on womanist rhetoric and African American discourse. Additionally, she serves as an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) and as a chaplain (Captain) in the United States Air Force.

Her research centers on Black women’s rhetorical efficacy toward re-claiming the body and voice through their public and private discourse. Of particular scholarly interest are the rhetorical constraints of breastfeeding and motherhood, as well as the challenge of asserting leadership from various pulpits and podiums. Her current work charts these challenges and emphasizes the ways in which Black women overcome to re-construct, re-imagine, re-activate, re-member, and redeem narratives demeaning and restrictive to them. 


Dianna is married to her seminarian sweetheart, Mr. Dennis C. Dickerson, Jr, and the mother of Dennis C. Dickerson III. She is a graduate of Spelman College (B.A. Political Science, ‘08) and Vanderbilt University (M.Div. ‘11) and she is projected to complete her degree requirements at the University of Memphis in 2020.