office hours: TBD
aliabdur @ brandeis.edu
See Professor Abdur-Rahman's Faculty Guide page for more information.
Ph.D., New York University
19th to 21st-century American and African American literature and culture. Gender studies and multiethnic feminisms. Theories of race and racial formation. Visual and media culture.
Against the Closet: Black Political Longing and the Erotics of Race
Duke University Press, 2012
"Tracings: Black Female Figuration in Inner and Outer Space(s)." Callaloo, forthcoming.
"Simply a Menaced Boy: Analogizing Color, Undoing Dominance in James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room." African American Review, Vol. 41.3 (Spring 2007). 477-486.
*Darwin T. Turner Award for best essay in African American Review in 2008
"'The Strangest Freaks of Despotism': Queer Sexuality in Antebellum African American Slave Narratives." African American Review, Vol. 40.2 (Summer 2006). 223-237.
*Darwin T. Turner Award for best essay in African American Review in 2006
"White Disavowal, Black Enfranchisement, and the Homoerotic in William Faulkner's Light in August." The Faulkner Journal, Vol 22.1 (Fall 2006/Spring 2007). 176-192.
“Harriet Ann Jacobs” Entry. The Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Ed. Bonnie G. Smith, Oxford University Press, 2007.
“Forgotten Readers by Elizabeth McHenry, A Review.” Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Spring 2003.
Millennial Style: The Politics of Experiment in African American Fiction
This study analyzes the political implications of generic experimentation in 21st-century African American fiction. Reading such authors as Percival Everett, Carolivia Herron, Colson Whitehead and Martha Southgate, this project examines the ways in which contemporary African American writers thematize black racial identity and the continued impacts of racism in the putatively post-racial era in part by resignifying the formal features of traditional African American protest literature.
Within the Veil: Black Feminism and Literary Islam
This project investigates the growing popularity of Islam among African American women and its representation in their contemporary literary and cultural products. Reading such authors as Florence Ladd, Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur, Sapphire, and Marita Golden, I examine black American women’s deployment of the politics and the ethics of Islamic piety to normalize familial and communal relations in African American communities under duress, to interrogate dominant racial and sexual ideologies, and to provide new frameworks for globalizing the urban in contemporary black American literature and culture.
Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2008-2009
Shortell-Holzer Fellowship, New York University, 2004-2005
Alice Richardson Award, New York University, 2005
Ford Foundation Fellowship, 2003-2004
Selected Courses Taught
The Postmodern African American Novel (ENG 167b)
American Encounters: Faulkner, Baldwin, Roth, Morrison (ENG 227b)
Sex and Race in the American Novel (ENG 87a)
U.S. Slavery and the Popular Imagination (USEM 59a)