Welcome to my website
I am an assistant professor of English and affiliated faculty in the African American and Diaspora Studies Program, Center for Latin American Studies, and Latina and Latino Studies Program at Vanderbilt University. My research is broadly concerned with the relation between the poetics and the politics of racial disavowal across national borders and literary traditions. My research and teaching areas, in no particular order, include contemporary African American, Afro-Latin American, Chicana/o, Latina/o, South African, and Inter-American literatures; Black radical thought, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, sociology of race and ethnic relations; antiracist, feminist, and indigenous epistemologies. I received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, with a Doctoral Emphasis in Global & International Studies, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in English and Spanish, as well as a teaching degree, from the University of Freiburg, Germany.
I am currently completing a book entitled Colorblind Tools: Narrating Racial Power in the Americas and South Africa, which examines the rhetorical contours of colorblindness and its implications for literary imaginaries, antiracist politics, and the production of knowledge in a transnational comparative context. The study considers colorblindness as an ideology and discourse, as well as a metaphor for the global attempt to invisibilize “the colorline,—the relation of the darker races to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea” that W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) identified as the “problem of the twentieth century.” While the colorline persists, colorblindness represents a crucial obstacle to its removal in the twenty-first century. Complicating established theories of racial formation that posit a fundamental shift in racial dynamics and discourse since the formal demise of racial dictatorships, Colorblind Tools reveals overlaps and continuities between colonial, overt white supremacist, and colorblindness discourses. In the process, it shows that colorblindness has far-reaching implications across historical, national, linguistic, literary, disciplinary and racial boundaries.
Next fall, I will be teaching the courses Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (ENGL 3670 - "Writing, Colonialism, and Decolonization," dual-listed with African American and Diaspora Studies) and Foundations of Literary Study (ENGL 2200 - "Stories and Thoughts of Freedom and Confinement"). I will be teaching Introduction to Latina and Latino Studies and the graduate seminar Countering Colorblindness Across the Disciplines in Spring 2016.
Image on the banner: District 6, Cape Town, South Africa, 2012.
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