At the University of Missouri-Columbia I research and teach Caribbean literary and cultural studies, Contemporary global Anglophone literature, and mass culture of the African Diaspora. My first book Difficult Subjects: Negotiating Sovereignty in Postcolonial Jamaican Literature was published by the Ohio State University Press in 2014, and my research has been published in various venues including Modern Fiction Studies, Small Axe, The Oxford Research Encyclopedia and The Los Angeles Review of Books. I currently serves as a member of University of Missouri Press’ advisory board, an elected member of the Postcolonial Studies forum of the Modern Languages Association, and advisory board member of Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal and the Post45 Collective.
Jamaica's Difficult Subjects offers a model for clarifying the dissonant politics of contemporary Caribbean fiction by tracing a range of difficult subjects across the Caribbean region's literary history. By constructing a lineage between difficult subjects in classic Caribbean texts like Wide Sargasso Sea and The Harder they Come and contemporary writing by Marlon James and Patricia Powell, this book presents a sweeping new history of Caribbean literature and criticism that reconfigures how we understand both past and present writing. Jamaica's Difficult Subjects thus rethinks how sovereignty is imagined, organized, and policed in the postcolonial Caribbean, opening new possibilities for reading multiple generations of Caribbean writing with new eyes.
I am currently working on a second book project, tentatively titled After the Beginning Ends: Contemporary Fiction and Iconoclasm. It considers the writing of immigrant and immigrant descended writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Teju Cole, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Díaz, and Marlon James, whose work, I argue, is reconfiguring the contemporary American and Caribbean literary landscapes via iconoclastic re-readings of earlier narratives of national and communal belonging. After The Beginning Ends will analyze in particular how contemporary narratives elicit the frames of identity politics provided by postcolonialism, cultural nationalism, and transnationalism in order to break out of them, and to produce new accounts of contemporary global realities.