Elka Stevens



Critical Race Studies


Dr. Elka M. Stevens is a 2021- 2022 MSU Artist-in-Residence: Critical Race Studies and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Howard University, is Coordinator of the Fashion Design BFA and MFA programs. Her scholarly interests lie at the intersections of visual and material culture, international trade, gender, and identity. She uses textiles and clothing as a lens of analysis, inspiration, and media for her work. Three of her current research projects examine the impact of globalization and trade policy on visual and material culture, the impact of political iconography on public attitudes, and the digitization of a historic costume collection. She currently teaches courses on fashion, textiles, international trade, African American appearance, entrepreneurship, and gender. In addition to teaching in excess of 20 y ears in the United States and Africa, Dr. Stevens has worked as a product development specialist, a micro-enterprise trainer for the Peace Corps, and a technology trainer in Ghana. Elka has also worked as a creative and marketing consultant for businesses in the US and Ghana. As an engaged artist/practitioner, Dr. Stevens’ mixed media pieces explore issues of gender, identity, globalization, and repurposing. Her collaborative endeavors explore relationships between artists, ideas, media, and technologies. In addition to extensive teaching, research, and entrepreneurial endeavors, Elka has maintained membership in various service, academic, and professional organizations.

Elka Stevens Course List


ATD 430 Dress, Culture, and Human Behavior African American Dress
Fall 2021
African American Dress is an interdisciplinary exploration into African American culture using dress as a lens of analysis to examine African and African American appearance practices, consumption patterns, and other facets of a black visual aesthetic. Socio-psychological, technological, political, economic, environmental, historic, and philosophical frames of reference will help students identify and discuss forces impacting the aesthetic choices of black people and their individual personal and social visual identities.

ATD 491A Sepcial Topics in Apparel Critical Race Studies: Cross-Cultural Design
Spring 2022
Cross Cultural Design is a studio-based introduction to select surface design techniques from a variety of cultures and places throughout the world which can be applied to fabric and other materials. Specific attention is given to creating custom fabrics and/or trims that showcase traditional methods and modern adaptations to develop a range of unique, culturally inspired apparel and home goods.

University News

Work by Critical Race Studies Artists-in-Residence on Display at MSU Union Art Gallery
Published May 11, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
The work of Dr. Elka M. Stevens, 2021-2022 Artist-in-Residence: Critical Race Studies, is now on display through Friday, June 10, at the MSU Union Art Gallery. Through this exhibit, titled 38.8%:…Read now »
Critical Race Studies Artist-in-Residence Program Enters Its Fifth Year
Published September 29, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
MSU’s College of Arts & Letters’ Critical Race Studies Artist-in-Residence program is bringing two dynamic artists to campus for the 2021-2022 academic year to enrich the…Read now »
College Welcomes 27 New Faculty and Staff Members
Published September 7, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
This semester, the College of Arts & Letters is pleased to welcome 27 new faculty and staff members. Please join us in welcoming these newest faculty and staff members to the College. Read now »