Professor Profiles

English Department faculty specialize in a range of historic periods, areas and genres. Learn what sets English faculty apart in their field and how their research and creative works inform their courses.

This spring, Duke English has had the honor of hosting Kenyan author and journalist Peter Kimani as its Blackburn Artist in Residence. His novel, Dance of the Jakaranda – a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year" – was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the inaugural Big Book Award in the UK. Kimani currently writes a weekly column for The Standard.  During his time with the department this semester, Kimani  taught two fiction writing courses:    English 221S: Introduction to the Writing of Fiction … read more about Blackburn Artist in Residence, Peter Kimani »

Kenyan author and journalist Peter Kimani will be reading from his latest work of fiction this Friday, February 11, 2022.  The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Ruby Lounge in the Rubenstein Arts Center.   Peter Kimani Reading and Q&A  Date: Friday, February 11, 2022  Time: 6:30 p.m.  Location:  Rubenstein Arts Center (The Ruby) at Duke University,                     2020 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27708                      (Free… read more about Join Us for the "Peter Kimani Reading and Q&A" »

Upon reaching milestones of 10, 15, 20 or more years, staff and faculty reflect on their paths read more about Celebrating Staff and Faculty Career Milestones at Duke »

17-year-old Amin Ahmad might’ve been surprised by the trajectory of his life, three decades later.  “It’s very strange where my life has taken me,” Ahmad says. “I didn’t expect to be in North Carolina—and I certainly didn’t expect to be teaching writing!” Last fall, Ahmad joined Duke’s faculty as a professor of English. While he’s new to Duke, Ahmad is no stranger to crafting an engaging story. In addition to his critically acclaimed novels, Ahmad’s work has appeared in a litany of… read more about Writing Across Borders and Genres: Amin Ahmad Brings Scaffolding to Creative Writing Faculty »

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Kathy Psomiades works on Victorian literature and culture. She is the author of Beauty's Body: Femininity and Representation in British Aestheticism (Stanford, 1997), and co-editor, with Talia Schaffer of Women and British Aestheticism (Virginia, 1999). She has been the recipient of an NEH fellowship, and a Kaneb award for undergraduate teaching at the University of Notre Dame. Her current book project, read more about Victorian Lit, Dinner Parties, and Nuns: Q&A With Kathy Psomiades, PhD »

Duke University professor Priscilla Wald used to have a recurring dream about learning how to fly. The R. Florence Brinkley Distinguished Professor of English said that in her dream, people all around her realized they could tap into this new ability, buried deep in their brains. One by one, they took off.  Wald learned how to fly too, and she woke up with a realization. “This dream, in a small way, is what teaching is,” she said, “Teaching and learning are about realizing something new about the world, about ourselves.… read more about Priscilla Wald uses Literature to Track the Outbreak Narrative »