Patricia A. Banks (Harvard University P.h.D. & A.M./Spelman College B.A.) is a sociologist who studies culture, patronage, and markets with a focus on the African Diaspora. At Mount Holyoke College she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and a faculty member in the Program in Africana Studies and the Program in Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society. She is author of the book Represent: Art and Identity Among the Black Upper-Middle Class (Routledge 2010) and has published articles in journals such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, Cultural Sociology, and Qualitative Sociology. She is currently working on the book Race, Ethnicity, and Consumption: A Sociological View (Under Contract Routledge) where she brings sociological theory and concepts to bear on race and ethnicity in the marketplace. Patricia has been a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow and Non-Resident Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research (now the Hutchins Center) at Harvard University, and received fellowships or grants from institutions such as the UNCF/Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the American Association of University Women. In other research projects Patricia is investigating philanthropy at African American museums, the global market for contemporary African art, and e-commerce in the art market. Patricia has lectured and given talks on issues related to art and culture internationally and nationally. She is also the creator of the African American Museums Database (AAMD) which is an online app that allows researchers and other users to search for over 300 African American museums and related organizations across the United States. For more information about how her research on art collecting and racial identity has been incorporated into the sociology of art see Sociology Looks at the Arts.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights (Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta) / © Patricia A. Banks