Imani Owens
Assistant Professor of English
African-American & Diaspora

twentieth and twenty-first-century African American and Caribbean fiction and poetics, Harlem Renaissance, translation studies

Imani D. Owens specializes in 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 poetics in Caribbean and African American texts during the interwar period.

Murray Hall, Room 047, College Ave Campus

  • Scholar-in-Residence, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 2018
  • Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow, 2017
  • Princeton University Postdoctoral Fellow in African American Literature, 2013-2014
  • MLA
  • ASA
  • CSA

Peer Reviewed Publications: 

“New Empires: The Caribbean and the United States.” Caribbean Literature in Transition. Forthcoming, Cambridge University Press.

 “Toward a ‘Truly Indigenous Theatre’: Sylvia Wynter Adapts Federico García Lorca.” Postcolonial Reading Publics, special issue of 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 Studies21.2 (2015): 350-370.


The Transnational Labor of Black Resistance: Caribbean Intellectuals Protest the East St. Louis Riots.” small axe salon 26, Oct 2017




“The Most Talked About Voice in America.”Review of Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan by Elaine Hayes. Women’s Review of Books, May/June 2018

  • Phd Columbia University
  • BA Rutgers University