Welcome to my website
I am an assistant professor of English and affiliated faculty in the Latina/o Studies and African American & Diaspora Studies Programs at Vanderbilt University. My research is broadly concerned with the relation between the poetics and the politics of racial disavowal and antiracism across national borders and literary traditions. My teaching and research areas include 20th and 21st century 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 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, along with a Secondary Education Teaching degree, from the University of Freiburg, Germany. This semester, I am teaching the courses Introduction to Latina and Latino Studies (LATS 201, dual-listed with English and Women's and Gender Studies) and Post-1994 South African Fiction (ENGL 276, dual-listed with African American and Diaspora Studies).
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. Challenging established theories of racial formation that posit a fundamental shift in racial dynamics and hegemonic discourse since the formal demise of racial dictatorships, Colorblind Tools reveals overlaps and continuities between colonial, overt white supremacist, and colorblindness discourses, as well as unforeseen affinities between colonial and decolonial imaginaries. In the process, it shows that colorblindness has far-reaching implications across historical, national, linguistic, literary, disciplinary and racial boundaries.
Image on the banner: District 6, Cape Town, South Africa, 2012.
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