Christopher Roberts earned a PhD in Africology and African American Studies from Temple University and an MA in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. He examines Black geographies of memory and forgetting, with an emphasis on port cities in the US that anchored the transatlantic and domestic slave trades. His current manuscript project proposes an alternative episteme through which we can unsettle the antiblackness and geographic imperialism inherent in the monumental landscape of the US via robust archival, field and digital humanities research that analyzes Confederate monuments and African burial grounds in the US American South. Prior to teaching at RISD, he taught at Brown University, where he was the Artemis AW and Martha Joukowsky Postdoctoral Fellow at The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. Before that, he taught at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ and Temple University in Philadelphia.
In addition to his career in academia, Roberts spent 10 years as a museum professional working in educational programming and tour design at The Betti Ono Gallery in Oakland, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore. While in Oakland, he worked as a poet mentor in Bay Area public schools for the organization Youth Speaks Inc. He has also worked as a spoken word artist, performing his poetry in cities across the US, and from 2007–11 he hosted an open-mic poetry event in his hometown of Baltimore, MD.