Luc Barton is currently in his third year in the Rutgers English PhD program. As a scholar working in both 19th century American and postcolonial literatures, his interests concern the overlapping configurations in literature and popular fiction of history and geography in narratives of ethnic, intra- and intercultural difference, with a focus on readings of America as an unstable postcolonial site. Right now, Luc is primarily interested in oceanic relations and the ways in which bodies of water serve as transformative spaces for, or boundaries of, understandings of social difference and transgression.
Tim Bruno holds a B.A. in English from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a M.A. in English from the University of Virginia. He recently began English doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park focusing on African American and US American literature. His current interests include memory studies and afterlives, black conspiracy theorizing, prison teaching, and critical university studies.
Ebonee Davis is a student at Morgan State University in the Museum Studies and Historical Preservation MA Program. For her thesis project she is developing an interpretive manual that will guide museum professionals in interpreting slavery to K-3 audiences. She holds a BA in History from Howard University and currently works for the National Park Service. She has worked in the field of museums and public sites for the last seven years. In 2011 she studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa and visited several museums and monuments. Seeing these public spaces and how the stories were being preserved and passed along inspired her to pursue a career as a public historian.
Dalena Hunter is a fourth year PhD student in the Information Studies Program at UCLA. Her focus is on archives, specifically the relationship between record producing bodies, cultural narratives, and institutions of power.
Alex Johnston is a PhD candidate in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is a practicing documentary filmmaker, and holds a Master’s degree in Social Documentation also from UC Santa Cruz. His scholarly and creative work engages questions of narrativity and historical representation in contemporary media practices, with an emphasis on American social movement history. His dissertation project is a consideration of two distinct events from American carceral history, the 1913 suffocation of eight Texas prisoners in a “hot box” or “dark cell”, and the 1971 uprising of convicts at New York’s Attica prison.
Carrie Y. T. Kholi is a poet/scholar/teacher/blogger, new media strategist, and self-defined goal digger + dream catcher. Co-founder and Creative Director of Khafra Company and The Ardor Brand, Creator of Be Your Own Girlfriend and Black.Girl.Grad.School., and Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University, khoLi spends the bulk of her time using mystical powers conjuring enough hours in the day to complete her dissertation – appropriately titled, “Running Out of Time: Radicalism, Resistance, and the Future of African American Literature.” khoLi mixes her love for literature, creative copy, brand development, and pop culture in order to discuss the generation and progress of trans-historical moments in black resistance while worrying the lines of identity and power. She believes that Jay Z is necessary for the revolution and that joy is a radical political position.
Miranda McLeod is a Ph.D. candidate in Literatures in English at Rutgers University. Her research interests include ethnic literature of the Americas, 20th century and contemporary fiction, gender and sexuality, and migration.
Tasia Milton is a doctoral candidate in English at Rutgers University specializing in African American literature, narrative theory, and theories of creolization. Her dissertation, “Replacing the South: Northern Slavery and Early American History in Black Women’s Writing,” moves discussions of slavery from the plantation to Northern family farms and homes, arguing that the self-fashioning and mobility this locale allows force an interrogation of conceptions of freedom and emancipation for enslaved women.
Donavan L. Ramon is a fifth year PhD candidate in English, specializing in African American Literature. His dissertation, tentatively titled “These Narratives of Racial Passing…Have Risen from the Dead,” traces a new taxonomy for twentieth-century narratives of racial passing. Don earned his B.A. in English and the Special Honors Curriculum at Hunter College, where he now serves as the summer coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. He is also the very first Member-at-Large for Diversity on the board of directors of the Northeast Modern Languages Association (NeMLA) and a graduate assistant at the Rutgers Center for Race and Ethnicity
Jasmine Riley is currently in her second year in the English PhD program at the University of California, Riverside. She received her B.A. from the Tennessee State University, an HBCU, in English with a minor in Women’s Studies in 2011. Her areas of interest in graduate school are African Diaspora and African American literatures from mid-20th to 21st century, Women of Color Feminisms, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Queer of Color Critique. Currently, her specific research interests focus on the immediate post-Katrina moment and its influence on engagements of the black female body. In particular, she is interested in how this moment deploys her to appeal to a typically ephemeral national consciousness with extended discourses on raced and gendered poverty; how this move permeates a 21st century paradox of African American citizenship to shape discussions on race, gender, and sexuality; and in the broader context, how such variegated, yet central, uses of the black female body develop a language of sustainment to impact the discordant intellectual terrains that rely on her. Her past conference presentations concern the rhetorical uses of black feminist culture and the impact of the long civil rights movement on discussions of race and queer materiality. She hopes this presentation will help her formulate more cohesive ideas regarding the impact of black social movements on our uses of the past; the ways that they construct the black, female, and numerous possible signifiers as the other; and how she informs current, critical theoretical engagements.