Monica Miller, associate professor of English, is well known for her work on black dandyism. Her research on these fashionable, often androgynous personalities ranges from historical figures like W.E.B. Dubois to modern day celebrities like Kanye West and Janelle Monae.

“Dandies,” Miller says, “are figures who are playing with clothing, they’re playing with performativity, they’re playing with their identity, and they’re doing so in order to become creatures that are transformative and that can cross boundaries... Dandies who are black actually question your expectations about what blackness looks like.”

Here, Miller describes the evolution of her interest in black dandyism: from her early days as a PhD student studying under famed philosopher and academic Cornel West, to her more recent essays on some of popular culture’s most controversial figures.

Browse photographs from Miller’s life as a child in Connecticut, as a young woman pursuing her passion, and finally, as a professional and an academic.

View previous Pathways videos profiling political science professor Séverine Autesserre and chemistry professor John Glendinning.