Please feel free to get in touch! You can reach me by email (ntrinehart@gmail.com) or by mail at: 

Nicholas Rinehart
Department of English
Harvard University
Barker Center
12 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138


I'm currently a third-year doctoral student in English at Harvard University, where I'm also pursuing a secondary field in African and African American Studies. In the English Department, I serve as Lead Coordinator for Graduate Colloquia and co-coordinator of the Race & Ethnicity Graduate Colloquium.

I study primarily African American, African diasporic, and American multi-ethnic literatures across all periods, especially as they intersect with the history of Atlantic slavery.  My writing thus far has appeared in TransitionCallaloo, and the Journal of Social History, with additional essays forthcoming in the Dictionary of Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Biography and the Cambridge Companion to Richard Wright. I'm also part of the collaborative editorial team, led by Wai Chee Dimock, working on a new web-and-print anthology of American literature forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

My dissertation project, "Narrative Events: Testimony and Temporality in Afro-Atlantic Slavery," aims to articulate a theory of New World slave testimony that challenges scholarly preoccupation with the American slave narrative tradition and its attendant critical conventions. My research asks how various genres of slave testimony produced in North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America in the seventeenth through twentieth centuries—including legal testimonials, public addresses, poetry, letters and petitions, spiritual writing, plays, interviews, and more—have remained illegible to literary criticism and thus marginal to African diasporic literary history more broadly. It also argues that by focusing renewed attention on forms of slave testimony often considered either generically unconventional, extremely scarce, or altogether nonexistent, we glean new understandings of the temporalities of enslavement specifically and the relationship between history and narrative most broadly. Methodologically, the project draws on literary criticism and comparative literature, as well as anthropology, historical ontology, and the history of the disciplines.

I received my B.A. in comparative literature and history from Harvard College, where I lived in Lowell House, wrote for The Harvard Crimson, produced Lowell House Opera, and did research in the departments of English and African and African American Studies. My senior thesis—on the alleged absence of Francophone slave narratives—won four university honors: the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, George B. Sohier Prize, Kwame Anthony Appiah Prize, and the Bowdoin Prize (for the third chapter), and was also nominated for the Radcliffe Institute's Captain Jonathan Fay Prize.

I was born and raised in New York City, where I attended the Dalton School and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division.

See my CV here.


Featured Image: Nineteenth-century engraving of Toussaint Louverture from Historia del Consulado y del Imperio: continuación de la historia de la Revolución Francesa by Adolphe Tiers (1879), courtesy of Fondo Antiguo de la Biblioteca de la Universidad de Sevilla.