RSS Feed



  • PhD, Literature, 2002, University of Washington
  • Dissertation: (Re)Making a Difference: Theorizing Difference and Racial Individuality in Twentieth Century African American Literature and Literary Theory
  • Advisor: Johnnella Butler, Ph.D.



Administrative Appointments

  • Director, African American Studies, College of Charleston, 2007-Present

The college’s program includes an undergraduate major and minor, 2 full-time core faculty, and 15 affiliate faculty. The program serves approximately 650 students per academic year.

  • Faculty Administrative Fellow, College of Charleston, 2014-15

This program has faculty members complete discrete administrative tasks. During my fellowship, I am exploring the feasibility of a curricular diversity requirement and opportunities for expanding the College’s diversity efforts.

  • Liaison, College-in-the High-School Program, University of Washington, 1999-2001

Faculty Positions

  • Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of English, College of Charleston, 2008-Present
  • Assistant Professor (tenure track), Department of English, College of Charleston, 2002-2008
  • Instructor, Bachelor Completion Program, Antioch University, Seattle, 2001-2002




The Critical Reception of James Baldwin, 1963-2000: An Honest Man and a Good Writer. New York: Camden House Press, 2014.

Edited Books 

Conversations with Octavia Butler. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2009.

Book Chapters

“Flipping the Script: Reading Zane’s Erotica as Popular Romance.” forthcoming in Romance Fiction and American Culture, edited by Eric Selinger and William Gleason (Ashgate Press, Spring 2015)

“American Truths: Blackness and the American Superhero.” forthcoming in The Blacker the Ink, edited by John Jennings and Frances Gateward (Rutgers UP, Spring 2015)

“Kyle Baker’s Slave Narrative.” Comics and the U.S. South. Eds. Qiana Whitted and Brannon Costello. Jsckson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2012. 113-137.

Refereed Journal Articles

“My Hair Stood on End!: Talking with Joanna Russ About Slash, Community, and Female Sexuality,” with Alison Piepmeier. Journal of Popular Romance Studies. 1.2 (2011) (6800 words)

“(Re)Making a Difference: The Harlem Renaissance and the Anxiety of 1926.” Langston Hughes Review (Fall/Spring 2002), 49-59.

Encyclopedia Articles

“Nobel Prize Address.” A Toni Morrison Encyclopedia, Elizabeth Beaulieu, ed. Greenwood Publishers, 2003. pp. 248-250.



“Comics Regulation, Comics Censorship: Past and Present,” with Craig Fisher and Christopher Brook. HeroesCon, Charlotte, NC, June 2014,

” Free From the Bounds of Fact: Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist and the Fiction of Blackness,” American Literature Association, Washington, D.C., May 2014

“African American Romance Fiction and the Pleasures of Vulnerability,” Unleashing the Black Erotic, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, SC, September 2013

“Seduced by the Pleasures of Freedom: The Resistant Work of Black Popular Romance.” National Council of Black Studies, Atlanta, GA, March 2012.

“The Radical Possibilities of African American Romance and Erotica.” National Council of Black Studies, Cincinnati, OH, March 2011.

“The Beat of a New Drum: The First Year Experiences of Black Studies Chairs in the World of Administration.” National Council of Black Studies, Cincinnati, OH, March 2011.

“Something New: Resisting the “Coupling Convention” in Contemporary Black Romantic Film.” Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, St. Louis, MO, April 2010

“American Truths: Blackness and the American Superhero.” American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 2009.

“Slash, Academia, and What Happens When Straight Women Start Flirting with Each Other.” Presentation with Alison Piepmeier at Console-ing Passions: An International Conference on Television, Audio, Video, New Media, and Feminism, Santa Barbara, CA, April 2008.

“What’s Black about This?: Teaching Octavia Butler in African American Literature Courses.” African American Literature and Culture Society, St. Louis, MO, October 2007.



“Comics in the Classroom.” Panel Discussion, Comics in the U.S. South, University of South Carolina, October 2013.

“Bridging the Gap Between African American Studies and Libraries Through Book Discussion Groups.” South Carolina Library Association Roundtable for African American Concerns, Summer Colloquium, August 2012.

“Why Race Still Matters.” Lecture at Lowcountry Senior Center, Charleston, SC, July 2008.

“Literacy and Literary Clubs in African American History.” Lecture at Lowcountry Senior Center, Charleston, SC, February 2005.



“Can Minority Characters Play White Superheroes?” with W. Kamau Bell, Noah Berlatsky, and Julian Chambliss. HuffPost Live, Feb. 27, 2014. (

“Harlem Renaissance.” Conversations with Joan Mack (radio program), Charleston, SC, February 2003.



College of Charleston


  • African American Literature–Survey for majors
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Harlem Renaissance/Black Arts Movement
  • Nineteenth Century African American Literature
  • The Graphic Novel
  • Black Women Writers
  • Survey of American Literature
  • Introduction of Academic Writing


  • African American Literature
  • Black Speculative Fiction
  • The Intellectual in African American Literature
  • Toni Morrison
  • Harlem Renaissance/Black Arts Movement
  • Race and Memory in the Graphic Novel 

African American Studies Program

  • Introduction to African American Studies

Honors Program

  • The Slave Narrative in the African American Imagination

Women’s and Gender Studies Program

  • Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

First Year Experience Program

  • Contemporary Constructions of Black Womanhood



National Council of Black Studies Community Engagement Grant, 2012

Teaching Innovation Grant, College of Charleston, 2012

Romance Writers of America Academic Research Award, 2010

HSS Faculty Research and Development Award, Summer 2007

Faculty Technology Institute Award, College of Charleston, Spring 2006 (Declined)

Faculty Research and Development Grant, College of Charleston, Summer 2006

Summer Undergraduate Research with Faculty (SURF) Grant, Summer 2005

Faculty Pedagogy Grant, School of Humanities, College of Charleston, Summer 2004

Faculty Research and Development Grant, College of Charleston, Summer 2003

First Year Faculty Summer Stipend, School of Humanities, College of Charleston, Summer 2003

Honors Program Course Development Stipend, College of Charleston, Summer 2003

Seafirst Bank Endowed Minority Dissertation Fellowship, University of Washington, 2001-2002



Distinguished Service Award Nominee, College of Charleston, 2014

Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Charleston, 2011

Distinguished Teaching Award Nominee, College of Charleston, 2010

Office of Institutional Diversity Woman of the Year Nominee, College of Charleston, 2010, 2012

ExCel Awards Outstanding Faculty of the Year, College of Charleston, 2010

ExCel Awards Outstanding Faculty of the Year Nominee, College of Charleston, 2009








































College of Charleston
Department of English
Office: 74 George #202
Phone: 953-7738
Skip to toolbar