Education: Emory University

PhD English, Certificate in Women’s Studies

Professor of English, Georgia State University

Interim Co-Director, GSU-CAS Center for the Study of Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD)

Member, UMMC Asylum Hill Research Consortium (AHRC)

Treasurer, College Language Association,

Advisory Board, The Obama Institute for Transnational Studies,

Executive Director, South Atlantic Modern Language Association (2015 - 2020)


My scholarship and teaching engages studies on spirituality and gender in African Diaspora Literatures of the Americas, and I am particularly interested in early works. I co-edit the Roman & Littlefield book series, Black Diasporic Worlds: Origins and Evolutions from New World Slaving. I am the author of African Spirituality in Black Women’s Fiction (Lexington Books 2011), coeditor of Literary Expressions of African Spirituality (Lexington Books 2013). You can find my other publications in critical anthologies and in journals such as ReligionsMELUS, Amerikastudien, CLAJ, PALARA, JCCH, Womanist, Black Magnolias, and South Central Review


Some Highlights: 

“Lift Every Voice: Atlanta’s Contribution to the Black Poetic Tradition.” A Library of America, AARL, Schomburg, CSAD collaboration.

Five Points Podcast on Nikky Finney Interview

March 2017 article, “How World War I sparked the artistic movement that transformed black America,” in The Conversation 

Among scholars interviewed and consulted in the production of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s award winning documentary on the 75th anniversary of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind.