Staff and Board


Hortense J. Spillers

Photo Credit: Lucius Outlaw

Hortense J. Spillers, Editor
Vanderbilt University

Hortense J. Spillers is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Since receiving her Ph.D. from Brandeis, she has taught at Wellesley College, Haverford College, Emory, and Cornell Universities. She has also served as a guest professor in the Program in Literature at Duke University during academic year 2002-03 and for two consecutive years during tri-semester terms at the John F. Kennedy Center for North American Studies at the Free University in Berlin, Germany, 2000 and 2001. A recipient of numerous honors and awards, among them, grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation, she has been a fellow at the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle, and the Center for the Study of the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto. While at Haverford, she was chair of the English Department for two years before moving to Cornell where she joined the Norton projects by serving as one of the period editors of the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature.

Her collection of scholarly essays, Black, White, and In Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2003. With Marjorie Pryse, she co-edited Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and Literary Tradition, published by Indiana University Press; Spillers also edited for the English Institute series a collection of essays entitled Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text, published by Routledge. Spillers serves on a number of editorial boards, among them, the Editorial Collective of boundary 2, and is a former member of the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association. Some of her more recent essays have appeared in The New Centennial Review, das argument, and boundary 2. Currently, she is at work on two new projects, the idea of black culture and black women and early state formations. She teaches courses in American and African-American literature, Faulkner, and feminist theory. She travels extensively, lectures widely both at home and abroad, most recently delivering the 2010 Sidney Warhaft Distinguished Memorial lecture at the University of Manitoba, the DuBois Lectures at Harvard in the fall of 2014, and the Henry L. Gates Jr. Lecture at Yale in 2016. She received a Lifetime Achievement award from the literary journal, Callaloo, in 2016, and was honored with the Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement award by the Caribbean Philosophical Association at its most recent international conference in summer 2017. She lives in Nashville.

Rich Blint

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Rich Blint, Editor-at-Large
Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School

Rich Blint is a scholar, writer, and curator. He is assistant professor of Literature in the Department of Literary Studies, director of the Program in Race and Ethnicity, and affiliate faculty in Gender Studies at the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School. He is co-editor of a special issue of African American Review on James Baldwin (2014), and wrote the introduction and notes for the eBook Baldwin for Our Times: Writings from James Baldwin for a Time of Sorrow and Struggle (Beacon Press 2016). Upcoming books include A Radical Interiority: James Baldwin and the Personified Self in Modern American Culture, and A Queer Spirit: Incidents in the Life of the Americas. He is also editor of the forthcoming Cambridge volume African American Literature in Transition, 1980-1990, and Approaches to Teaching the Works of James Baldwin, currently under preparation for the Modern Language Association. His writing has appeared in African American Review, James Baldwin Review, Anthropology Now, The Believer, McSweeney’s, sx visualities, and the A-Line: a journal of progressive thought where he serves as editor-at-large. Curatorial projects include Renee Cox: Revisiting The Queen Nanny of the Maroons Series, Columbia University (2016), The Devil Finds Work: James Baldwin on Film, The Film Society of Lincoln Center (2015), The First Sweet Music, The John and June Alcott Gallery, Hanes Art Center (2014), and Bigger Than Shadows, DODGEgallery, New York (2012). Rich was the 2016-2017 Scholar-in-Residence in the MFA Program in Performance and Performance Studies at Pratt Institute, and a 2017-2018 Visiting Scholar at the Center for Experimental Humanities at New York University. He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship foundations.

Nahum Chandler

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Nahum Chandler, Associate Editor
University of California, Irvine

Nahum Dimitri Chandler serves as Professor in the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. His teaching and research is in the fields of African American studies, English literature, comparative literature, and modern intellectual history. He is the author of X: The Problem of the Negro as a Problem for Thought (2014), as well as the editor of W. E. B. Du Bois, The Problem of the Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: The Essential Early Essays (2015), both from Fordham University Press.

Nathan Grant

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Nathan L. Grant, Associate Editor
Saint Louis University

Nathan L. Grant is associate professor of English at Saint Louis University and editor of African American Review. He is also the author of Masculinist Impulses: Toomer, Hurston, Black Writing, and Modernity. Grant has written articles on the African American presence in literature, film, theater, television, and architecture, including essays on Countée Cullen, Ed Bullins, Frantz Fanon, August Wilson, Julia Collins, and Charles Burnett; he was also the first US scholar to write liner notes for the DVD version of Burnett’s film Killer of Sheep for its initial release in the United Kingdom. Grant also served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Graz, Austria, in 2011.

Jennie Kassanoff

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Jennie Kassanoff, Associate Editor
Barnard College, Columbia University

Jennie Kassanoff is the Adolph S. and Effie Ochs Professor of American Studies and History at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she is a Professor of English. She is the author of Edith Wharton and the Politics of Race (Cambridge UP, 2004) and is completing a new book entitled Voter Writes: Race, Gender and the Ballot. Her essays have appeared in PMLA, American Literature, the Henry James Review, and American Literary History, among other books and journals. She serves on the Editorial Board of J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists and helped to co-found Barnard’s Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Thought (CCIS).

Surya Parekh

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Surya Parekh, Associate Editor
Binghamton University

Surya Parekh is assistant professor in the English department at Binghamton University. He is affiliate faculty in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. His book project, Black Enlightenment: Black Subjectivity, Indigeneity, and the Cosmopolitan, investigates the necessity of the black subject to the Enlightenment.


Nicole Spigner

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Nicole Spigner, Associate Editor
Northwestern University

Nicole A. Spigner is assistant professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University where she focuses broadly upon African American literature, Gender and Women’s Studies, and American Studies. Her primary area is nineteenth-century African-American literature with a concentration in Black Classicism. The area of Black Classicism, first named Classica Africana by V. Michele Ronnick in 1996, includes the study of ancient cultures and art, as well as neoclassical writings and imaginings by persons of African descent. Spigner investigates, through a black feminist lens, the neoclassical literature and art in the African American context and the theories arising from these works. Spigner’s book project, entitled Niobe Repeating: Black New Women’s Literature and Ovidian Transformation, examines works by black women authors who rewrote Ovidian forms and plot lines and redefined black feminine identity as a dynamic process of transformation. The project examines the neoclassical poetry and fiction of:  H. Cordelia Ray, Pauline E. Hopkins, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Although I begin with Phillis Wheatley, I concentrate on these later writers to examine the figure of the “precarious mother” as a metonym for the black woman author and intellectual at the turn of the twentieth century.

Christopher Leland Winks

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Christopher Leland Winks, Associate Editor
Queens College, The City University of New York

Christopher Winks is associate professor of Comparative Literature at Queens College/CUNY and a writer, translator, and scholar of comparative modernisms, with particular emphasis on Caribbean, Latin American, and African-American literature. He is the author of Symbolic Cities in Caribbean Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and he has published articles, reviews, and translations (from French and Spanish) in many journals and edited collections.  He is the editor and co-translator with Adriana González Mateos of Los danzantes del tiempo, a bilingual English-Spanish anthology of Kamau Brathwaite’s poems that received the 2011 Casa de las Américas prize.  Among the other authors he has translated are Jorge Luis Borges, Edouard Glissant, José Kozer, Héctor Abad Faciolince, Cecilia Vicuña, and Lila Zemborain.  Current translation projects include Labyrinth, a bilingual English-Spanish anthology of the selected writings of Cuban poet Lorenzo García Vega (Junction Press, forthcoming 2018) and the poetry of Haitian surrealist Magloire Saint-Aude.

Photo of Destiny Birdsong

Photo Credit: Destiny O. Birdsong

Destiny Birdsong, Editorial Associate

Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, essayist, and fiction writer whose work has either appeared or is forthcoming in the Paris Review Daily, Poets & Writers,  Catapult, The Best American Poetry 2021, and elsewhere. Her critical work has appeared in African American Review and The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature. Destiny has won the Academy of American Poets Prize and has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Pink Door, MacDowell, The Ragdale Foundation, and Tin House, where she was a 2018 Summer Workshop Scholar. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in October 2020, and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection. Her debut novel, Nobody’s Magic, is forthcoming from Grand Central in February 2022. She earned her BA in English and history from Fisk University, and her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt.


Paul Bove, Northwestern University
Michael Cobb, University of Toronto
Terrance Dean, Dennison University
Tonya Foster, California College of the Arts
Jeremy Glick, Hunter College, The City University of New York
Lewis Gordon, University of Connecticut
Ahmad Green-Hayes, Princeton University
Jack Halberstam, Columbia University
Nigel Hatton, University of California, Merced
Erica Hunt, Brown University
Gale P.  Jackson, Goodard College
Arthur Jafa, Artist and Filmmaker
Willie Jennings, Yale University
Fred Moten, New York University
Lucius Outlaw, Vanderbilt University
Alice Randall, Vanderbilt University
Claudia Rankine, Yale University
Tiana Alexandra Reid, Columbia University
Omar Ricks, University of California, Berkeley
Greg Tate, Author and Critic
Calvin Warren, Emory University

Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman, Brown University
Margo Crawford, Cornell University
Eve Dunbar, Vassar College
Erica Edwards, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Douglas Field, Manchester University
Ronald A. Judy, University of Pittsburgh
Jim Merod, Soka University
Sherene Seikaly, University of California, Santa Barbara
Christina Sharpe, York University
Winfried Siemerling, University of Waterloo
Patricia J. Williams, Northeastern University
Harvey Young
, Boston University

Charles Bernstein, University of Pennsylvania
Sarah Jane Cervenak, UNC-Greensboro
Jennifer DeVere Brody
, Stanford University
Simone Drake, Ohio State University
Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Vanderbilt University
Macarena Gomez-Barris, Pratt Institute
Pryamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge
Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University
Abdul JanMohamed, University of California, Berkeley
Sheldon Krimsky, Tufts University
Gabrielle McIntire, Queen’s University, Ontario
Gayatri Spivak, Columbia University
Dagmawi Woubshet, University of Pennsylvania

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