Dr. Mitchell's teaching and research interests are in African American literary and cultural studies; African American Studies; Black women writers; Black feminist theories; race and representation, race and politics, African American music, African American history, slavery in the US; the American South; gender and racial politics; and race in America.
Dr. Mitchell is a four-time recipient of the GU Black Student Alliance's Outstanding Faculty Award. She is also a recipient of the Georgetown College Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015). In 2017, Dr. Mitchell was named by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education one of 25 outstanding women leaders in higher education, making "a difference in the world by tackling some of higher education's toughest challenges and exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills." In 2020, Dr. Mitchell received the Distinguished Leader Award from the GU African American Alumni Advisory Board.
A leading scholar of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison's work, Dr. Mitchell has lectured nationally and internationally on Morrison's works and has conducted seminars for audiences ranging from high school teachers to international scholars on Morrison's works. She is a founding member and past officer of the Toni Morrison Society, and she currently serves as a member of the Toni Morrison Society's Board of Directors.
Dr. Mitchell edited Within the Circle: An Anthology of African American Literary Criticism from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present (Duke UP, 1994), the first anthology of twentieth-century African American literary and cultural criticism, presenting twentieth-century African American intellectual history. She is the author of The Freedom to Remember: Narrative, Slavery, & Gender in Contemporary Black Women's Fiction (Rutgers UP, 2002), a study of gender, memory and history in contemporary novels about US slavery by Black women which posits that remembering is foundational to the afterlives of slavery. She is the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to African American Women's Writing (Cambridge UP, 2009), a collection of essays chronicling the literary history and traditions of Black women writers from 18th century to the present. She is currently completing a book entitled "Toni Morrison: A Writerly Life" (Polity Press, forthcoming), and her next book project is "1963: A Racial Biography."
Dr. Mitchell founded Georgetown University's African American Studies Program in 2003 and served as its first director from 2003-2013. From 2001-2021, she directed the Mentoring Future Professors of Color Program (formerly the Minority Mentoring Program), a program for Georgetown undergraduate students of color interested in becoming professors. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the College Language Association, the Toni Morrison Society, the American Studies Association, and the Modern Language Association. She is available as a consultant for diversity training, inclusive teaching initiatives, and progressive curricular reforms, all areas of her expertise.