Colonial and Postcolonial Studies

Brady Smith

I work on literary and environmental history in Africa, especially the interplay between environmental history and literary form. My book project, Southern African Literatures: An Environmental History develops an alternative history of the literatures of South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique from the 19th century to the present, one meant to show how their longstanding engagement with the problem of modernity on the subcontinent has been an exploration of its ecological foundations as well.

Edgar Garcia

I teach, research, and write about hemispheric literatures and cultures of the Americas, principally of the twentieth century. My inquiries have mostly taken place in the fields of indigenous and Latino studies, American literature, poetry and poetics, and environmental criticism, with the following questions focusing my work: How is it that conceptions of difference mediated by literary form(s) create feelings of belonging outside of national paradigms, particularly in kinship networks of race and ethnicity? And how do these values (values of what my colleague at Chicago Marshall Sahlins has sharply termed "cosmographies of difference") shape contestations for power?

Vu Tran

I am a fiction writer whose work thus far is preoccupied with the legacy of the Vietnam War for the Vietnamese who remained in the homeland, the Vietnamese who immigrated to America, and the Americans whose lives have intersected with both.  I write with an awareness of American postcolonial narratives, particularly in the context of cultural identity. 

Christopher Taylor

Christopher TaylorMy research and teaching focus on the hemispheric Americas in the nineteenth century. While the British West Indies is my primary area of focus, I am interested in how these islands were linked to worlds beyond the boundaries of the British Empire. Working at the edges of economic history, political theory, and literary studies, I study how West Indian creoles drew on the ideas and texts that circulated through these entangled worlds to develop norms and model polities opposed to slavery, economic liberalism, and expansionist imperialism.

Janice Knight

Janice KnightMy research and teaching interests are localized with respect to historical period-Early American Cultures-but broad with respect to interest in discourses, peoples and cultures of the colonial period, and with respect to scholarly method. My current research focuses on what might be called the "culture of religious emotion" in the context of women's experience in Early America. I am interested in reflecting on expressions of spiritual ecstasy, melancholy, hauntedness, and possession as they are embodied and contained within such conventional genres as narratives of conversion, captivity, revelation, and spiritual disease.
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