Ayanna De'Vante Spencer

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Dr. Ayanna De’Vante Spencer is a joint-appointed Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. Professor Spencer is a Black feminist epistemologist and survivor-scholar who earned her doctorate in philosophy at Michigan State University, as well as a proud graduate of Spelman College. Dr. Spencer examines how Black girl survivors of sexual violence in the US are structurally denied power to meaningfully act as experts of their own experiences of violence. She researches epistemic oppression, sexual violence, and criminalization to aid in efforts to dismantle the sexual abuse to prison pipeline. Professor Spencer is also a co-author of the newly released me too. International social and political framework, available for free at www.metoomvmt.org/framework.



  • Spencer, A. D. (forthcoming). Epistemic Adultification: Clarifying the Pernicious Work of Black Girls as “Prematurely Knowing.” Hardison, A. (Ed.), Women, Gender, and Families of Color.
  • Spencer, A. D. (2021) Surviving Jane Code: Black Feminist Epistemological Considerations for MeTooBots. Henning, T. M. & Aikin, S. (Eds.), Plenary Session: Black Feminism. Southwest Philosophy Review. https://doi.org/10.5840/swphilreview20213713
  • Dotson, K., & Spencer, A. D. (2020). Another Letter Long Delayed: On Unsound Epistemological Practices and Reductive Inclusion. Takaoka, B. & Manne, K. (Eds.), Gendered Oppression and Its Intersections [Special Issue]. Philosophical Topics. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26927950
  • Spencer, A. D. (2018). Say Her Name: Maladjusted Epistemic Salience in the Fight Against Anti-Black Police Brutality. In Pieranna Garavaso (Ed.), Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Feminism. London: Bloomsbury. Print.


Book Reviews 

  • Spencer, A. D. (2020). Reading Patriarchy through Liberation Feminism [Review of Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation by Imani Perry]. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. Georgetown University.
Photo of Professor Ayanna Spencer
Contact Information
CV Spencer_20230120_CV
Office LocationManchester Hall 333
Office HoursTuesday/Thursday 11am-12pm in Beach Hall, Rm. 412; by appointment.