Alondra Nelson is an American academic and writer. She is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Columbia University in the City of New York. She is also Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia. From 2003-2009, she was Assistant Professor of African American Studies, American Studies and Sociology at Yale University, where she was the recipient of the Poorvu Family Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching. At Yale, she was also the first African American woman to join the Department of Sociology faculty.
Education and career
From an interdisciplinary social science perspective, Nelson writes about the intersection of science, technology, medicine and African diasporic experience. Named one of "13 Notable Blacks In Technology" By AOL Black Voices, she established the Afrofuturism on-line community in 1998 and edited an eponymous special issue of the journal Social Text in 2002. She is also co-editor Technicolor: Race, Technology and Everyday Life, one of the first scholarly works to examine the racial politics of contemporary technoculture. Nelson recently contributed a chapter to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008) edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky. Her writing and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Guardian (London) and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications.
Nelson has been a visiting scholar at BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society at the London School of Economics and the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She serves on the editorial boards of Social Studies of Science and Social Text.
Nelson's writing deals with the intersection of technology, literature and new media, and how these lenses can be used to address the continuing impacts of African Diaspora. She is among a small group of critical theorists studying and discussing Afrofuturism, an emerging literary and cultural aesthetic.  Particularly, her essay Future Texts lends insight to the inequitable access to technologies between whites and blacks. She writes, "Blackness gets constructed as always oppositional to technologically driven chronicles of progress."  Nelson explores the way artists and writers have adopted older forms of technology and retrofitted them to promote a black aesthetic.
- 2001. Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life. New York University Press, ed. with Thuy Linh Tu ISBN 0-8147-3604-1.
- 2002. Afrofuturism: A Special Issue of Social Text. Duke University Press, ISBN 0-8223-6545-6.
- 2011. Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination. University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 0-8166-7648-8.
- 2012. Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History. Rutgers University Press, ed. with Keith Wailoo and Catherine Lee, ISBN 0-8135-5255-9.
Articles and Book Chapters
- 1997. Alondra Nelson, Thuy Linh Tu, Debra Wexler Rush and Alicia Headlam Hines. ‘Communities on the verge: Intersections and disjunctures in the new information order.’ Computers and Composition, 14(2), 289-300.
- 2000. 'Afrofuturism: Past Future Visions,' Colorlines
- 2006. ‘A Black Mass as Black Gothic: Myth and Bioscience in Black Cultural Nationalism.’ In Lisa Gail Collins and Margo Crawford (eds.), New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement. Rutgers University Press, ISBN 0-8135-3695-2.
- 2007. Lundy, Braun, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Duana Fullwiley, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Alondra Nelson, et al. ‘Racial Categories in Medical Practice: How Useful Are They?’. PLoS: Medicine 4(9): 1423-28.
- 2007. Deborah Bolnick, Duana Fullwiley, Troy Duster, Richard Cooper, Joan H. Fujimura, Jonathan Kahn, Jay S. Kaufman, Jonathan Marks, Ann Morning, Alondra Nelson, et al. ‘The Business and Science of Genetic Ancestry Testing,’ Science 318 (5849): 399-400.
- 2008. ‘The Factness of Diaspora.’ In Barbara Koenig, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, and Sarah Richardson (eds.) Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. Rutgers University Press.
- 2008. ‘Bio Science: Genetic Ancestry Testing and the Pursuit of African Ancestry’. Social Studies of Science 38 (5): 759-783.
- 2009. Adele E. Clarke, Janet Shim, Sara Shostak and Alondra Nelson. 'Biomedicalising genetic health, diseases and identities.' The Handbook of Genetics & Society: Mapping the New Genomic Era. London: Routledge.
- Smallwood, Scott and Flores, Christopher. "Yale Seeks 'Next Generation' of Stars in Black Studies", Chronicle of Higher Education, 22 February 2002.
- Lee, Brian. "Prof Cornel West heads south to Princeton". Yale Daily News, 15 April 2002.
- "Junior Faculty Win Awards In Support of Their Research", Yale University Office of Public Affairs, 7 November 2008.
- "Scholars Question the Image of the Internet as a Race-Free Utopia", Chronicle of Higher Education, 28 September 2001.
- John Pfeiffer, Review of Alondra Nelson, guest ed. Social Text 71: Afrofuturism. Utopian Studies 14:1 (2003): 240-43.
- Estrada,Sheryl. "What Does it Mean to be Hi-Tech Anyway?", Black Issues Book Review, 1 January 2002.
-  Reviews of Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life. Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies.
- "Beyond Roots", Boston Globe, 10 February 2006.
- "Henry Louis Gates's Extended Family", The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 February 2010; "The Social Life of DNA", The Chronicle of Higher Education, Big Ideas for the Next Decade, 29 August 2010.
- "Afrofuturism". Wikipedia.
- Nelson, Alondra (2002). "Introduction: Future Texts". Social Text 20 (2): 1–15.
- Alondra Nelson, Department of Sociology, Columbia University
- Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWaG), Columbia University
- Alondra Nelson, Department of Sociology, Yale University
- Department of African American Studies, Yale University
- American Studies Program, Yale University