My recently completed book manuscript, Black Pro Se: Authorship and the Limits of Law in 19th-Century African American Literature, contends that legal form was a feature of African American writing in the first half of the 19th century, that lawyerly imagination is a definitional element in the evolution of the African American literary tradition. Organized around four specific legal forms—appeal, jurisdiction, confession, and precedent—Black Pro Se records the way writers use these legal forms to re-script existing logics of power. The book reads Black literature alongside intertexts from U.S. legal history, including statutes, judicial opinions, and trial transcripts, arguing that Black visions for belonging radically re-organized the juridical structure of the nation-state in general and the U.S. nation-state in particular. As frequently, these visions dispensed with the nation-state altogether, imagining forms of sovereignty that were not place-bound at all. Black Pro Se contextualizes the use of legal form as a technology of visionary worldmaking. For inquiries about Black Pro Se, please email me at email@example.com.
“Encrypted Citations: The Bondwoman’s Narrative and the Case of Jane Johnson.” MELUS 46.1 (2021): 51-74. https://doi.org/10.1093/melus/mlab002.
“Lessons in Legal Literacy: Democratizing Legal Critique as a Means of Resisting Racial Injustice.” Law, Culture, and the Humanities 16.3 (2020): 365-578. doi: 10.1177/1743872117707620. (invited; digital version originally published May 2017)
“Bartleby, Barbarians, and the Legality of Literature.” Latour and the Passage of Law, ed. Kyle McGee. Edinburgh University Press, 2015: 304-330. (invited)
“Family Homes, Inverted: Illicit Occupations and Black Intimacies in and Beyond the Loophole of Retreat.” (under review at African American Review)
Review of Cannons and Codes: Law, Literature, and America’s Wars, eds. Alison L. LaCroix, Jonathan S. Masur, Martha C. Nussbaum, and Laura Weinrib (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021) (in production; solicited for American Literary History Online Review Series, Oxford)
“Barter on Spires: The Practice of Citizenship: Black Politics and Print Culture in the Early United States.” Review of The Practice of Citizenship: Black Politics and Print Culture in the Early United States by Derrick Spires. H-NET Early America Network, June 2021.
“Barter on Yothers, Reading Abolition: The Critical Reception of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass. Review of Reading Abolition: The Critical Reception of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass by Brian Yothers. H-NET Early America Network, April 2018.
“The ‘Loophole of Retreat’: Seclusion, Privacy, and the Intimate Geographies of Black Life.” Center for the Study of Women in Society Annual Review. University of Oregon, 2020. (invited contribution for Faculty Research section)
“Fragmented Rebellions.” 2020-present. http://barter.uo-dhminor.com/cms/. Public humanities project created from my students’ collaborative work in ENG 468/568.
“Affective Meets Effective: Emotion and Academic Writing,” Vanderbilt University Writing Studio, 2014. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/writing/2014/12/affective-meets-effective-emotion-and-academic-writing/.