My research and teaching foregrounds how Black writers across the diaspora develop complex and nuanced critiques of Black relationality. While my primary area of research is twentieth century Ghanaian and African American literature, my interests also encompass Black Studies, African Studies, 19th Century African American Literature, Feminist Theory, Young Adult Literature, and Childhood Studies. My current project examines how Efua Theodora Sutherland, Maya Angelou, Ama Ata Aidoo, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison have used Black friendship to question and rework theories of race, gender, and intimacy through figurations of Black girlhood. I argue that amidst entanglements in decolonial, Pan-African, and anti-racist projects, these authors saw friendship as a way to renegotiate the terms of being together.
Situated within Black Diaspora Literary Studies, my pedagogy engages with textual analysis and literary and cultural production to make the classroom a bridge between critical and emotional engagement. My students explore how different subjectivities, genres, and varied geographical locations culminate to critique and reimagine histories and futurities. Working with youth organizations such as the Chicago Freedom School, Lee and Low Books, and the Akoma Institute, a pop-up school for Afro-Indigenous girls in Brazil, I am committed to relationship building as a political commitment and intellectual practice.
My research has been supported by the Alumnae Association of Barnard College, the Buffet Institute for Global Affairs, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council.