I'm currently a fifth-year doctoral candidate in English at Harvard University, where I'm also pursuing a secondary field in African and African American Studies. In the English Department, I served as Lead Coordinator for Graduate Colloquia and founder/co-coordinator of the Race & Ethnicity Graduate Colloquium. I'm also an affiliate of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, and a member of the Tutorial Board in the Department of Comparative Literature.
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 research thus far has appeared in Transition, Callaloo, Journal of Social History, Journal of American Studies, ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, Public Books, and MELUS, with additional essays forthcoming in the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (Oxford UP) and Cambridge Companion to Richard Wright. I'm also a co-editor, along with Wai Chee Dimock et al., of American Literature in the World: An Anthology from Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler (Columbia UP, 2017).
My dissertation project, "Narrative Events: Slavery, Testimony, and Temporality in the Afro-Atlantic World," provides an an account of New World slave testimony challenging the primacy of the slave narrative tradition, arguing that vast and heterogeneous archives of slave testimony must be understood on their own terms rather than those derived from this Anglo-American example. Rather than read Anglophone slave narratives as the origin of a single tradition, it proposes a model of “lateral reading”: by constellating the slave narrative with disparate archives and foregrounding testimonial genres that do not constitute the basis of a national or linguistic canon, this method shirks teleological conceptions of Black literary history. Centering non-canonical forms of slave testimony, moreover, reveals new insights into enslaved peoples’ textual production, the comparative history of Atlantic slavery, and the postwar institutionalization of Black Studies.
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. I currently live in Harvard Yard's Mower Hall, where I work as a First-Year Proctor and BGLTQ Specialty Proctor.
See my CV here.