Associate Professor of Sociology, Mount Holyoke College

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 StudiesCultural 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 to bear on race and ethnicity in the marketplace.  In other research projects Patricia is investigating philanthropy at African American museums, corporate support for the arts, and the global market for contemporary African art. 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. Patricia's work with students has been recognized by a teaching award from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University and election as the Junior Faculty Baccalaureate Speaker at Mount Holyoke College. 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