Stéphane Robolin
Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for African Studies
(848) 932-8537


African-American & Diaspora, Postcolonial, Theory, Twentieth Century & Contemporary

African Literature; African American Literature; African Diaspora Studies; Postcolonial Literature and Theory; and Spatial Theory

"In the classroom, I aim for an interdisciplinary line of inquiry that allows historical knowledge and cultural theory to inform close textual analysis. My general goal is to create a setting in which students passionately, critically, and respectfully participate in the collaborative production of knowledge. I work to establish an environment of high expectation and high engagement with black cultural production, so that students take the subject matter and themselves seriously, while always remaining open to the element of intellectual surprise. As a result, participants in a course—myself included—tend become stronger thinkers and writers with a genuine sense of accomplishment."

Office / Office Hours

Murray Hall, Room 030, College Ave Campus

Wednesday: 1-3 PM (030 Murray Hall -- College Avenue Campus)

Thursday: 10-11 AM (A342 Lucy Stone Hall -- Livingston Campus)


  • “Introduction.” The Joys of Motherhood. Novel by Buchi Emecheta. 2nd Edition. New York: George Braziller, Inc., [1979] 2013. 1-6.
  • “Of Color and Blindness in Invictus.” Roundtable on film Invictus. Safundi: A Journal of South African and American Studies 13.1-2 (January-April 2012): 120-25. (Special issue: Beyond Rivalry)
  • “Black Transnationalism: 20th-Century South African and African American Literatures.” Literature Compass 9.1 (2012): 80-94.
  • “Properties of Whiteness: (Post)Apartheid Geographies in Zoë Wicomb’s Playing in the Light.” Safundi: A Journal of South African and American Studies 12.3-4 (July-October 2011): 349-71. (Special Issue on Zoë Wicomb, the Cape, and the Cosmopolitan)
  • “Remapping South African and African American Cultural Imaginaries.” Global Circuits of Blackness: Race, Citizenship, and Modern Subjectivities. Edited by Percy C. Hintzen, Jean Muteba Rahier, and Felipe Smith. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010. 127-51.
  • “Loose Memory in Toni Morrison’s Paradise and Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story.” Modern Fiction Studies 52.2 (Summer 2006): 297-320. (Special issue on Toni Morrison)
  • “Gendered Hauntings: The Joys of Motherhood, Interpretive Acts, and Postcolonial Theory.” Research in African Literatures 35.3 (Fall 2004): 76-92.

Courses Taught

  • African Literary Theory
  • Black Literature in Motion
  • Defining the African Diaspora
  • Imagining Africa
  • Postcolonial African Literature
  • Principles of Literary Studies: Narrative
  • Race, Culture, Colorblindness
  • Race, Gender, Space
  • South African and American Intersections
  • South African Literature
  • South African Women Writers
  • Theories of Black Liberation
  • Very Contemporary African Literature
  • (Post)Colonial Spaces of African Literature
  • South African Literature

Awards and Affiliations

  • 2017 African Literature Association First Book Award (Scholarship) for Grounds of Engagement.
  • Faculty Fellow, Sawyer Seminar: “Race, Space, and Place in the Americas.” Center for Race & Ethnicity, Rutgers University, 2012-13.
  • Faculty Fellow, Rutgers University Center for Historical Analysis (RCHA) Seminar: “Narratives of Power,” Rutgers University, 2011-12.
  • Outstanding Mentor Award for Fostering Inclusive Academic Excellence, Williams College, 2009.
  • Faculty/Administrator of the Year, Minority-Coalition/Multicultural Center, Williams College, 2008.
  • Graduate Student Teaching Award, African & African American Studies Program, Duke University, 2003.
  • Stephen J. Horne Teaching Award, English Department, Duke University, 2003.
  • African Literature Association
  • African Studies Association
  • American Comparative Literature Association
  • American Studies Association
  • Modern Language Association


PhD, Duke University
MA, Duke University
BA, Tulane University