Elka Stevens

Associate Professor, Fashion Design Program Coordinator and Textiles Collection Curator, Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, Howard University

Dr. Elka Stevens, an associate professor of visual culture and studio art, serves as Fashion Design program coordinator and textiles collection curator in Howard University’s Art Department. As an interdisciplinary scholar and artist, she uses textiles and clothing as a lens of analysis, inspiration and media for her scholarship.

Her current research topics include media and design pedagogy, black designers and Zoom® and impression management. Current fiber and digital creative works explore identity, sustainability and social justice.

Dr. Stevens teaches design, textiles, international trade, visual culture and consumer behavior courses. Three decades of educational, design, retail, media, collections and industry experience – plus international travel – inform her teaching, research and studio practice.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and maintains membership in various service and professional organizations. She was also a 2019-20 fellow of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers – Center American Institute of Indian Studies, a 2021 fellow at Brandeis University’s Summer Institute for Israel Studies and artist in residence: creative practice in critical race studies in the Department of Art at Michigan State University for the 2021-22 academic term.

In March 2023, she joined the inaugural Howard University Affiliated Faculty at the American Academy in Rome, where she will be researching a new body of work based on global trajectories of black women artists.

Elka Stevens