Art of the African Diaspora, African-American art history, South African modern art, Intersections of the African and Jewish Diasporas, lynching photography, art and social activism, African and African American Studies, social justice and international education, women artists, racial injustice and public monuments and memorials
LaNitra M. Berger is the senior director of fellowships in the Office of Undergraduate Education at George Mason University. Throughout her career, she has worked toward helping underrepresented students gain access to transformational education abroad opportunities and careers in public service. Since joining Mason in 2010, Dr. Berger has helped students secure more than $2 million in external funding for national scholarships and fellowships such as the Boren, Fulbright, Gilman, Truman, National Science Foundation, and Critical Language Scholarship. She has helped 30 students receive Fulbright awards, many of whom are first generation or minority students. She is the recipient of the Spirit of King Award (2015) and the Margaret C. Howell Award (2018) at Mason. Dr. Berger is currently working with IIE and the US State Department to develop initiatives that support diversity and inclusion in the Fulbright US Student Program, including the Fulbright Noir Instagram platform.
Dr. Berger serves on several education abroad advisory boards, including NAFSA, the AIFS academic advisory board, and Globalize DC. She previously served as director of leadership and international programs at the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), where she managed a federal internship program and helped minority-serving institutions develop campus internationalization strategies. During her tenure at NAFEO, Dr. Berger organized three national dialogues on diversity in international education, bringing together college presidents, federal agencies, ambassadors, and nonprofit leaders together to improve access to study abroad. She has also previously been a regular contributor to The American Prospect online magazine as a correspondent on race and gender issues.
Dr. Berger is affiliate faculty in the African and African American Studies (AAAS) and the History and Art History Programs at Mason. As an art historian, her research focuses on the intersections of art and social activism in the black and Jewish diasporas. In 2018, she designed and led a faculty led study abroad course in South Africa called, “Monuments, Museums, and Memory in South Africa” that challenged students to look at the intersections of art and social activism in public monuments and memorials.
Dr. Berger received her MA and PhD in art history from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in art history and international relations from Stanford University. She is the author of the NAFSA guide, “Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants.” She is also the editor of a forthcoming book, “Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, Perspectives” published by NAFSA. Her first monograph, “Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color” will be published by Bloomsbury in 2020.
Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color (Bloomsbury 2020)
Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, Perspectives (NAFSA 2020)
Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants (NAFSA 2016)
HNRS 122: Harlem Renaissance Art
HNRS 130: Conceptions of Self in Modern South Africa
HNRS 110: Research Methods
ARTH 206: African Art
ARTH 495: Curating an Exhibition (African Art)
UNIV 490/495: Critical Decisions in Postgraduate Transitions
BA, art and international relations, Stanford University
MA, art history, Duke University
PhD, art history (certificate in African and African American Studies), Duke University