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MemberNicholas T Rinehart

I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows and Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, where I am also affiliated with the Comparative Slavery Studies group. My research and teaching focus broadly on Black literature in the Americas and the comparative history of Atlantic slavery. I’m also interested in translation studies, philosophy of history, and queer studies. My scholarly writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Journal of Social History, Journal of American Studies, MELUS, and Winterthur Portfolio, with additional essays in the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (Oxford UP) and Cambridge Companion to Richard Wright (2019). My public-facing writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Transition: Magazine of Africa and the Diaspora, ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, Public Books, and Los Angeles Review of Books. I’m also a co-editor, along with Wai Chee Dimock et al., of American Literature in the World: An Anthology from Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler (Columbia UP, 2017).   My first book project, The Event of Witness: Slave Testimony and Social Practice, charts an alternative cartography of enslaved testimonial expression. Studies of the Anglo-American slave narrative tradition, as well as theories of testimony derived from psychoanalysis and trauma theory, overwhelmingly privilege autobiographical accounts that describe traumatic experience through recollective narration. The Event of Witness investigates Afro-Atlantic testimonial forms that diverge from these established norms. By centering hemispheric, multilingual archives of slave testimony that do not render past “experience,” The Event of Witness draws on feminist and queer theory to reveal how enslaved mystics, correspondents, poets, and storytellers, among others, produced testimony as a mode of mutual witness. The book thus frames slave testimony not as a site of memory but as a worldmaking practice—a way of imagining and enacting forms of social life beyond those imposed by regimes of enslavement and their afterlives.   I received my Ph.D. in English, with a secondary field in African and African American Studies, from Harvard University in 2019. In the English Department, I served as Lead Coordinator for Graduate Colloquia and founder/co-coordinator of the Race & Ethnicity Graduate Colloquium. I was also an affiliate of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, and a member of the Tutorial Board in the Department of Comparative Literature.

MemberLiam Hogan

I’m a public librarian and independent scholar from Youghalarra, Co. Tipperary. I’ve been based in Limerick City and County Library service for over ten years and I specialise in reference services, local history research and the digitisation, retrieval, and preservation of materials.  I am a graduate of the University of Limerick and Aberystwyth University and my special research interests are the history of racialised chattel slavery, the politics of memory, unfree labour in the Atlantic world, the Irish in the Atlantic world and the history/ideology of the far-right/ethno-nationalism. I have published work with openDemocracy, theJournal.ie, Old Limerick Journal, History Ireland, TortoiseThe Irish Story and Rabble magazine. I was also interviewed by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, The New York Times, Pacific Standard magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Al Jazeera, Public Radio International, The Irish Times and Inverse about my years of work tracking and exposing the appropriation and distortion of Irish history by white supremacists via the “Irish slaves” meme.

MemberCarol DeGrasse

I am a doctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and 2021 NEH Summer Scholar. I have published on Rebecca Harding Davis, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, and effective pedagogical practices. My paper, “The Scourged Back: Power of Photography and Print in the Nineteenth Century,” received the 2019 Michael Pueppke Writing Prize for best essay. I am particularly interested in nineteenth-century American literary and cultural history, women writers, visual culture, and the historical narratives of the circum-Atlantic slave trade. I am currently researching the ways in which photography and print served as tools of identity, agency, and power during the Civil War.

MemberLeslie W. Lewis

Leslie W. Lewis is professor of English at Goucher College where she teaches courses in literary studies and the Goucher commons curriculum. Her publications include “Liberatory Education,” The Hedgehog Review: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Culture (Summer 2019); Telling Narratives: Secrets in African American Literature(University of Illinois Press, 2007); Women’s Experience of Modernity, 1875-1945 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, co-edited with Ann L. Ardis); “Biracial Promise and the New South in Minnie’s Sacrifice: A Protocol for Reading The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride”(African American Review,2006); “Philadelphia Fire and The Fire Next Time: Wideman Responds to Baldwin” in Critical Essays on John Edgar Wideman(University of Tennessee Press, 2006); “Naming the Problem Embedded in the Problem That Led to the Question ‘Who Shall Teach African American Literature?’; or, Are We Ready to Discard the Concept of Authenticity Altogether?” in White Scholars, African American Texts(Rutgers University Press, 2005). She has served as Provost of Goucher College, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College, and as a faculty member and administrator at The College of Saint Rose and Emporia State University. She is a native of West Virginia, where her family maintains a farm.

MemberMaria Seger

I’m an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. My research and teaching interests include early and nineteenth-century US literature, African American literature, US ethnic literatures, and critical race and ethnic studies. As a literary and cultural studies scholar, I am broadly interested in the violence of racial capitalism in US literature and culture. My work primarily deals with how violence arises out of and impacts capitalist social relations and ideological production, especially as it relates to notions of selfhood, ownership, and state power across the long nineteenth century. Right now, I’m at work on my book project, At All Costs: Extralegal Violence and Liberal Democracy in US Culture, which examines extralegal violence not as a lawless force that threatened American liberal-democratic governance but instead as emerging from and further entrenching the conditions that governance set.

MemberJohannes Burgers

My research interests encompass the large sweep of changes engendered by modernism and modernity during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. More specifically, I study how discourses of racial and sexual science reconfigured human identity. As a digital humanist I do so using the affordances provided by information technology.