My primary scholarly focus is the analysis of constructions of blackness as distinct from constructions of race in the Early Modern World. Relying heavily on contemporary critical race theory, my work seeks to expand the geographical and temporal framework of Afro-pessimism to reveal the ways in which blackness occupied a position of Social Death prior to the chattel slave trade. In doing so, I aim to reveal ways in which anti-black racism existed in the English psyche prior to encounters with black bodies.
Secondary interests include Early Modern English Drama, Contemporary Black Theatre, Theatre Pedagogy, Chican/x Theatre, Devising, and the role of Black Arts in the Academy.
Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other "Other"
This is the first book to deploy the methods and ensemble of questions from Afro-pessimism to engage and interrogate the methods of Early Modern English studies. Using contemporary Afro-pessimist theories to provide a foundation for structural analyses of race in the Early Modern Period, it engages the arguments for race as a fluid construction of human identity by addressing how race in Early Modern England functioned not only as a marker of human identity, but also as an a priori constituent of human subjectivity. Using dramatic texts such as Othello, Titus Andronicus, and other Early Modern English plays both popular and lesser known, the book shifts the binary away from the currently accepted standard of white/non-white that defines "otherness" in the period and examines race in Early Modern England from the prospective of a non-black/black antagonism. Through the use of structural analysis, this volume works to simplify and demystify notions of race in Renaissance England by arguing that race is not only a marker of human identity, but a structural antagonism between those engaged in human civil society opposed to those who are socially dead.