B.A., Brown University, 1989
M.A., Sussex University, 1990
Ph.D., Columbia University, 1998
Modern and contemporary Trans-Atlantic literature and culture, Critical Theory, feminist theory, Critical Race Studies, African American Studies, American Studies, Transnational cultural studies.
My current project, Hagar's Children: Race and Reproduction in Biocapitalism, explores contemporary cultures and politics of human reproduction in the context of biocapitalism and the commodification of bodies and labor that biocapitalism augurs. It treats cultural production of the last four decades that reflects and refracts the social and economic conflicts and contradictions that have been stirred up by the proliferation of new biotechnologies, the mapping of the human genome, and the creation of global markets in human body parts, genetic materials, biological information, and, most importantly, human reproductive labor power. Individual chapters examine black feminist contributions to a longer black radical tradition focused on gendered enslavement, women's neo-slave narratives that have sought to represent experiences of motherhood and reproduction in bondage, and contemporary speculative fiction and film that allows readers to critically imagine alternatives to current configurations of racial capitalism that are rooted in chattel slavery. Hagar's Children contributes to African American studies, feminist and Marxist theory, and critical race theory; it also engages science studies, science fiction studies, and current debates about imperialism and globalization.
Hagar's Children is a companion to my first book, Wayward Reproductions: Genealogies of Race and Nation in Transatlantic Modern Thought (2004), a study of the intersection of ideas about human reproduction, race, and racial nationalism expressed in major nineteenth and early twentieth century thought-systems such as first wave feminism, classical Marxism, Freudian psychoanalysis, Darwinian evolutionary theory, and anti-racism and anti-imperialism. Other publications include, Next to the Color Line: Gender, Sexuality and W. E. B. Du Bois (2007), a collection of essays on the intersection of Du Bois studies, critical race studies, feminist and queer studies, and The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity and Globalization (2008), a transnational feminist research collaboration on the construction of the unprecedented forms of racialized femininity that appeared around the globe in the early part of the twentieth century. Here the focus is on flappers, garçonnes, moga, modeng xiaojie, and neue Frauen among others.
I regularly teach a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on racial formation, nationalism, biopower, Marxism, feminism, and modern and contemporary literature and culture. My courses combine literary and cultural studies approaches with theory, and emphasize close reading of texts and analysis of relationships between aesthetics and textual politics.