Visiting Fellows 2013-14
Christopher M. Brown
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, English and the Center for African American Studies. Lecturer in English and the Center for African American Studies.
McCosh Hall, Room 22
Chris Brown joins us as an ACLS Fellow and is currently at work on his first book project, 'And There See Justice Done': The Problem of Law in the African American Literary Tradition. Reading across African American literature and culture from Phillis Wheatley to Edward P. Jones, the book argues that black conceptions of liberty, equality and justice are often incommensurable with competing legal articulations, and that this incommensurability is repeatedly figured in tropes of madness, blindness, treason, and the absurd. His research and teaching extend the book's concern with the logics of law and race, exploring how legal and literary discourses alternately converge and diverge over the course of U.S. history.
Brown's published and forthcoming essays appear in Law and Literature, the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies, and Law, Culture and Humanities. His research has been funded by several fellowships and grants, including support from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Ford Foundation. He will teach an upper-level seminar in the fall, "American Literature and the Law"; during the spring term, he will teach a graduate seminar on African American literature and culture as well as "Introduction to African American Literature, 1910-present."
Fanon Che Wilkins
Visiting Fellow, Center for African American Studies
(609) 258 4062
Fanon Che Wilkins is Associate Professor of History and American Studies in the Graduate School of Global Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. A native of Los Angeles, California, Wilkins has held tenured track appointments at Syracuse University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a Ph.D. in History from New York University and is currently completing a manuscript that explores the politics of African liberation solidarity activity in the United States and beyond from 1957 to 1980. Wilkins' work is principally concerned with the global contours of Black radicalism during the heady days of Black Power. He is co-editor with Michael O. West and William G. Martin of From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International Since The Age of Revolution and his scholarly work has appeared in edited collections, The Journal of African American History and Radical History Review. In addition to his scholarly interests Wilkins is a photographer, DJ and avid snowboarder who lives for the outdoors.
Roderick A. Ferguson is professor of race and critical theory at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference (Difference Incorporated) (Minnesota, 2012) and Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (Minnesota, 2003) and the co-editor of Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization (Duke University Press, 2011).
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Stanhope Hall, Room 008
Ph.D., English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University 2013.
Imani earned her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, with a concentration in Comparative Literature and Society. Prior to joining CAAS, Imani was Riley Scholar-in-Residence in the English Department at Colorado College. Her research interests include: Afro-diasporic literature; comparative theories of vernacular culture; and histories of empire in the global South. Imani has worked with the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia and has served as a curatorial intern in the gallery space at Jazz at the Lincoln Center.
While at CAAS, Imani will work on her manuscript entitled, At the Crossroads: African American and Caribbean Writers in the Interwar Period. At the Crossroads charts discourses of folk culture and modernity in the works of six African American and Caribbean writers, positing U.S. empire as an important frame for reading the relationship between various representations of local folk culture. Indeed, from the construction of the Panama Canal on the eve of WWI, to the U.S. military occupation of Haiti and ongoing intervention in Cuba, the interwar years are marked by aggressive U.S. expansion into the Caribbean basin. At the Crossroads considers the entanglements of U.S. empire and Jim Crow as it traces uses of the folk and vernacular culture across this U.S-Caribbean literary space. The “folk” emerge as a concept that varies across space and time, challenging anew the claims to authenticity, shared origins, and monolithic community that have persistently shaped understandings of the folk’s place in the black tradition.
After concluding her fellowship at CAAS, Imani will begin her appointment as Assistant Professor of African American Literature and Culture in the English Department at University of Pittsburgh.
Postdoctoral Research Associate