Themes of Black feminism, Black sexuality studies, pop culture, literary studies, and interrogations of sexual violence connect my research, publications, presentations, and teaching.

I received an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University, and a B.A. in English from Spelman College. I remain a proud and involved alumna of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate program.

I was a 2021-22 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies and am currently an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

Check out my most recent article in the Spring 2022 special issue of Rejoinder: An Online Journal Published by the Institute for Research on Women on trauma, entitled “Being Toward Trauma: Theorizing Post-Violence Sexuality.” In “Being,” I complicate linear conceptualizations of recovery from sexual trauma and explore some of the anxieties around time that emerge in discussions of sexual trauma: pre/post, before/after, or victim/survivor, for example. The article argues that a historical confluence of sexual stigma, exploitation, and expropriation leave Black women distinctly vulnerable to sexual violence and that the prevalence of anti-Black, gendered sexual violence makes its effects timeless. I read literary representations of Black women’s post-violence sexuality that challenge binaries that characterize popular discourse on sexual trauma and its aftermath. These accounts challenge us to grapple with the sprawling effects of sexual violence and to challenge the conventions that have come to dominate popular discourse about Black women’s sexuality, sexual trauma, and trauma recovery, such as language that places ‘victims’ and ‘survivors’ of sexual assault as polarized opposites.  

My current research and forthcoming book project, Reconfiguring Effects: Race, Representation, & Sexual Violence, make interventions in the fields of rape crisis feminism and anti-rape activism, Black feminism, literary criticism, trauma studies, and gender studies.

Research Interests:

Black Feminism

Black Sexuality Studies

Black Feminist Aesthetics

African American/Black Women’s Literature

Women’s and Gender Studies

Sexual Violence Narratives