Loren Cahill, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Office: Lilly Hall
Email: lcahill@smith.edu
Pronouns: she/her

Loren Cahill stands in the Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia wearing a black and white blouse. Her arms are folded in front of her.

B.A., Wellesley College
M.S.W., University of Michigan
Psy.M., City University of New York
M.Phil., City University of New York
Ph.D., City University of New York


Loren S. Cahill is an assistant professor at Smith College School for Social Work. Cahill grew up in St. Louis, MO, where she was nurtured by a family of judges, lawyers, teachers and social workers. She has carried the lessons learned from her family and community into her organizing, service and research. Cahill received her Ph.D. in critical social personality environmental psychology from the City University of New York, an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a B.A. in Africana and educational studies from Wellesley College. Cahill has also had the distinct privilege to collaborate with Black girl artists in Philadelphia, PA, organize with Black young mothers and survivors of sexual assault in Brooklyn, NY, and consult with African women leaders through the Gates Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya.

Cahill’s scholarship interrogates how understanding the implications of intersectionality, specifically the nexus of race and gender, impacts constructions of affect, space and time. It seeks to better comprehend spaces curated by and for Black women and girls, but also have important implications for the construction of institutional and informal spaces where they might be present. Cahill is creating a body of research that chronicles people, place and transformative movements. It is rooted in concurrently studying how histories, lives and structures can result in radical interventions that advance justice.

Selected Publications

Cahill, L. S. (2022). Black dreams matter: Exploring the polyphonic realms of the Black Radical Imaginary. Journal of Personality, 00, 1– 20.

Cahill, L. & Okafor, C. (2021). Black Sistering: A Freedom Project. Freedom Teachers, Freedom Dreamers: Black Girls' and Womxn's Embodiments of Healing and Liberation. Accepted Book Chapter.

Cahill, L. (2021). Radical Love: a Biomythography. Visual Arts Research - Special Issue: Arts & Aesthetics of Black Girlhood. Accepted Paper.

Cahill, L. (2021). Black Dreams Matter: Exploring the Realm of the Black Radical Imaginary Through An Intergenerational Oral History. Journal of Personality - Special Issue on Psychobiographies of Social Change Agents. Submitted Paper.

Cahill, L. (2020). In Search of Radical Love in the City of Sisterly Affection: Mapping Socio-Spatial Archives of Black Girlhood. “Where My Girls At?”: The Missing Discourses of Geographies, Genders, and Sexualities in Educational Research on Black Girls. Accepted Paper.

Cahill, L. (2019). BlackGirl Geography: A (Re) Mapping Guide Towards Harriet Tubman & Beyond. Girlhood Studies. 12 (3). 

Del Tufo, A., Fine, M., Cahill, L., Okafor, C., Cook, D. (2020). “Chapter 6: The Power of Bearing Wit(h)ness: Intergenerational Testimonies of Racial Violence.” in Stories Changing Lives. Oxford University Press.

Patton, D. U., Leonard, P., Cahill, L., Macbeth, J., Crosby, S., & Brunton, D. W. (2016). “Police took my homie I dedicate my life 2 his revenge”: Twitter tensions between gang-involved youth and police in Chicago. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26(3-4), 310-324.