Imani Owens

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Contact Information

Assistant Professor


Imani D. Owens received her PhD in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Before joining the Department of English, Imani was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University and a Riley Scholar-in-Residence at Colorado College. Her research and teaching interests include African American and Caribbean literature, music, and performance, as well as histories of migration and empire in the global South. She is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled Writing Crossroads: Folk Culture, Imperialism, and U.S. Caribbean Literature, which charts discourses of folk culture, literary form, and anti-imperialist politics in Caribbean and African American texts during the interwar period.


PhD Columbia University
MA, MPhil Columbia University
BA Rutgers University

Research and Publications

“Toward a ‘Truly Indigenous Theatre’: Sylvia Wynter Adapts Federico García Lorca,” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 4.1 (2017): 49-67.

“Hard Reading: U.S. Empire and Black Modernist Aesthetics in Eric Walrond’s Tropic Death,” MELUS 41.4  (2016): 96-115.

“Beyond Authenticity: The U.S. Occupation of Haiti and the Politics of Folk Culture,” Journal of Haitian Studies 21.2  (2015): 350-370.

Writing the Crossroads: Folk Culture, Imperialism, and U.S.-Caribbean Literature (book manuscript in progress)



Harlem Renaissance

Intro to African American Literature: Methods and Practices

Literature of the Americas

Senior Seminar: African American Literature and the Urban Landscape


Race, Writing, Sound: Black Music and Literary Culture