Professor of Comparative Literature andLiterature and Critical Theory and English,
Affiliation: Institute of Women and Gender Studies
PhD, MA, Toronto; BA, Minnesota
Bio & Research
My research is interdisciplinary, involves close textual analysis, and centres primarily on intersections among early modern literature, Euro-colonialism, and political philosophy. For many years I have also been deeply engaged in other areas and historical periods, including the literature and philosophy of revolution (mid-seventeenth century England and the Age of Revolutions, with focus on Haitian Revolution), histories and theories of violence, critical race theory, slavery studies, and early modern, modern, and contemporary poetry. Awarded the Milton Society’s prestigious title of “Honored Scholar” in 2011 (an achievement award not confined to Milton studies), I recently co-edited with Feisal Mohamed Milton and Questions of History: Essays by Canadians Past and Present (University of Toronto, 2012), which won the Irene Samuel prize. I have published essays on Hobbes and Locke that are part of Arbitrary Rule: Slavery, Tyranny, and the Power of Life and Death (Chicago University Press, 2013), which concerns interrelations between transatlantic slavery and the political “slavery” that is central to ancient Graeco-Roman, early modern, and enlightenment political discourses. I continue to work on Hobbes, and currently have three projects on the go: a monograph on embodied servility in ‘Western’ discourses of liberty; one on animality, barbarism and “rights” in early modern and enlightenment colonialist and emancipatory projects; and one on barbarism and tyranny in Shakespeare. Outside the academy, I have done activist work in the areas of racialized and gendered violence, and have published poetry in several Canadian journals, includingThe Malahat Review.