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Michelle A. Stephens
Professor of English
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2011
African-American & Diaspora, Caribbean, Critical Race Studies, Gender & Sexuality, Postcolonial, Theory

Caribbean, American, Black Diaspora, Women and Gender Studies, Psychoanalytic Theory, Critical Race Theory

Michelle Stephens joined the Departments of English and Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in Spring 2011. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, she graduated from Yale University with a Ph.D. in American Studies and has been teaching courses in African American, American, Caribbean and Black Diaspora Literature and Culture. Between 2016 and 2020 she served as Chair of the English department and then Dean of the Humanities. She is currently the Founding Executive Director and principal investigator of the Mellon funded Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers University. Among other works, she is the author of Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914 to 1962 (Duke University Press, 2005), Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and The Black Male Performer (Duke 2014), Archipelagic American Studies, co-edited with Brian Russell Roberts (Duke 2017), Contemporary Archipelagic Thinking, co-edited with Yolanda Matinez-San Miguel (Rowman and Littlefield 2020), and the exhibition catalog and essay collection Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, co-edited with Tatiana Flores (Duke 2017). A founding co-editor of Rutgers University Press’s Critical Caribbean Studies book series, she also sits on the editorial advisory board of Rowman and Littlefield’s Rethinking The Island book series. She is a 2016 graduate of the Licensure Qualifying Program at The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology and also publishes regularly on race and psychoanalysis in such journals as JAPA, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society.

Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

Latino and Caribbean Studies

Murray Hall, Room 008, College Ave Campus

Winants Hall, 7 College Avenue, New Brunswick

  • Caribbean Literatures in English
  • The American Novel in a Global Context
  • Global Desires: Race, Sex and Modernity in Literature
  • Black American Literature
  • New World Literature, 1450-1850
  • Race and Psychoanalysis (Fall 2011, Spring 2016)
  • Archipelagic American Studies (Spring 2013)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award for the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, submitted on behalf of Rutgers University ($15 million; 2021)
  • The Lawrence W. Kaufman Award for the paper, "More Human, More Other: Relating Across Blackness as an Interpersonal Space," William Alanson White Institute (2017)
  • Critical Caribbean Studies Grant, co-sponsor with Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Rutgers University ($100,000); 2011-2013)
  • Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ), 2009 Honorable Mention Award, for RHR #103
  • Colgate/ NEH Endowed Associate Professorship in the Humanities (2006-2007)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Stipend (Summer 2002)
  • Asian/Pacific/American Studies Course Development Grant (Summer 2001)
  • 5 College CISA Fellowship Award (1999-2001)
  • Whiting Fellowship, Yale University (1996-1997)
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook Ward Melville Valedictorian Award (1990-1991)
  • American Studies Association
  • Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society
  • American Psychoanalytic Association
  • International Small Islands Association
  • Modern Language Association
  • National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis

Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914 to 1962 (Duke University Press, 2005),

Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and The Black Male Performer (Duke 2014)

Archipelagic American Studies, co-edited with Brian Russell Roberts (Duke 2017)

Contemporary Archipelagic Thinking, co-edited with Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel (Rowman and Littlefield 2020)

Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, co-edited with Tatiana Flores (Duke 2017).

  • Special issue of the Radical History Review, "Reconceptualizations of the African Diaspora (Jan 2009)

LP, William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology

PhD and MPhil, Yale University
BA, State University of New York at Stony Brook