Dr. Mitchell's teaching and research interests are in African American literary and cultural studies; African American Studies; race and representation, race and politics, African American music, African American history, slavery in the US; the American South; contemporary Black women writers; gender and racial politics; Black feminist theory; and American Studies. She is 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."
Dr. Mitchell is an expert on the works of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. She 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 to chronicle twentieth-century African American literary and cultural criticism as well as twentieth-century intellectual and literary histories of African American writers. 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 slavery by Black women. She is the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to African American Women's Writing (Cambridge UP, 2009), a collection of essays chronicling the long literary history and traditions of Black women writers from 18th century to the present. She is currently completing a book entitled "Whiteness: Toni Morrison and the Politics of Race," and her next book project is "Three Transformative Years: A Racial Biography of 1963, 1965, and 1968."
Dr. Mitchell founded Georgetown University's African American Studies Program in 2003 and served as its first director from 2003-2013. She currently directs the Minority Mentoring Program, a program for Georgetown undergraduate students of color who are 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 has also worked and is available as a consultant for diversity training, inclusive teaching initiatives, and progressive curricular reforms.