I study cultural genealogies and cultural networks across the Black Atlantic.
I am Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Connecticut at Stamford. Prior to this, I was Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University. I earned a PhD in English at The Pennsylvania State University (M.A., Paris-IV Sorbonne).
In The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture (University of Georgia Press, 2019), my first monograph, I focus on conversations, exchanges and antagonisms between Haiti, France, the United States and the United Kingdom. Beyond literature, I am especially interested in the circulations of the visual arts and music. I translated Philippe Carles and Jean-Louis Comolli’s Free Jazz/Black Power (Mississippi University Press, 2015), a classic French-language treatise on African American music. Most recently, I wrote Decolonize Hipsters, a look at the colonial legacy of hipsterdom.
I am of the opinion that the Haitian Revolution has shaped the modern Atlantic world; much of my writing reflects on the culture produced in its wake. I co-authored with Paul Youngquist (Colorado) a scholarly edition of Marcus Rainsford’s An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti (Duke University Press, 2013). I am co-curator with Tabitha McIntosh (Birkbeck, University of London) of Néhri, Chef des Haytiens, a website dedicated to Juste Chanlatte’s recovered 1819 play, which I translated into English. I co-edited with Marlene L. Daut and Marion C. Rohrleitner Haitian Revolutionary Fictions: An Anthology (UVA Press, 2022), the collection of its kind in English; it compiles, presents and offers translations of hundreds of texts about the revolution.
My work has appeared in Atlantic Studies, Studies in American Fiction, The African American Review, Criticism, Notes and Queries, Small Axe. I am firmly convinced that scholarship must be made available to the greater public: to this effect, I have written in non-academic venues such as The Funambulist, Warscapes, Africa is a Country, Public Books and Los Angeles Review of Books, and appeared in television, radio, podcasts and other media outlets on a variety of topics.
If you’re interested in snarky news commentary, dad jokes and lukewarm takes on soccer, you will find me tweeting erratically as @wwJJDdo.