LaNitra M Berger

LaNitra M Berger

LaNitra M Berger

Associate Professor

Art History: Art of the African Diaspora, African-American art history, South African modern art, Intersections of the African and Jewish Diasporas, lynching photography, art and social activism, African and African American Studies, social justice and international education, women artists, racial injustice and public monuments and memorials

LaNitra M. Berger is an associate professor of history and art history and director of African and African American Studies at George Mason University. From 2010-2022, she was the senior director of the Office of Fellowships at Mason. Throughout her career, she has worked toward helping underrepresented students gain access to transformational education abroad opportunities and careers in public service. Since joining Mason in 2010, Dr. Berger has helped students secure more than $2 million in external funding for national scholarships and fellowships such as the Boren, Fulbright, Gilman, Truman, National Science Foundation, and Critical Language Scholarship. She has helped 30 students receive Fulbright awards, many of whom are first generation or minority students. She is the recipient of the Spirit of King Award (2015) and the Margaret C. Howell Award (2018) at Mason.  

In 2021, she was elected President and Board Chair of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Dr. Berger also serves on several education abroad advisory boards, the AIFS academic advisory board, and Globalize DC. She previously served as director of leadership and international programs at the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), where she managed a federal internship program and helped minority-serving institutions develop campus internationalization strategies. During her tenure at NAFEO, Dr. Berger organized three national dialogues on diversity in international education, bringing together college presidents, federal agencies, ambassadors, and nonprofit leaders to improve access to study abroad. She has also previously been a regular contributor to The American Prospect online magazine as a correspondent on race and gender issues. 

Dr. Berger is affiliate faculty in the Center for Mason Legacies and the Department of History and Art History at Mason, where she teaches classes on African and African American art, museum curating, and South African history and culture. As an art historian, her research focuses on the intersections of art and social activism in the Black and Jewish diasporas. In 2018, she designed and led a study abroad course in South Africa called, “Monuments, Museums, and Memory in South Africa” that challenged students to look at the intersections of art and social activism in public monuments and memorials. 

Dr. Berger received her MA and PhD in art history from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in art history and international relations from Stanford University. She is the author of the NAFSA guide, “Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants.” She is also the editor of the book, “Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, and Perspectives,”published by NAFSA. Her first monograph, Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color was published by Bloomsbury in December 2020. 

Selected Publications


Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color (Bloomsbury 2020)

Edited Volume

Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, Perspectives (NAFSA 2020)


Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants (NAFSA 2016)

Courses Taught

HNRS 122: Harlem Renaissance Art

HNRS 130: Conceptions of Self in Modern South Africa

HNRS 110: Research Methods

ARTH 206: African Art

ARTH 495: Curating an Exhibition (African Art)

UNIV 490/495: Critical Decisions in Postgraduate Transitions

AFAM 200: Intro to African American Studies


BA, art and international relations, Stanford University

MA, art history, Duke University

PhD, art history (certificate in African and African American Studies), Duke University