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.

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce that Nathaniel Mackey is one of the 2024 recipients of the Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award. The selection of recommended recipients is made annually by the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Awards Committee, which consists of all prior recipients of the Frantz Fanon, the Nicolás Guillén, and the Stuart Hall Awards, two appointed senior scholars, and two appointed junior scholars. For more information, please consult:… read more about The Caribbean Philosophical Association’s 2024 Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award Goes to Nathaniel Mackey »

A group of students recently joined the Duke English Creative Writing faculty for an Open House. The Open House allowed students to chat with faculty informally about creative writing from all facets, ranging from course offerings to advice on how creative writing can continue beyond the classroom. Among the students in attendance was a local high school senior who has applied to Duke and is interested in majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. “I thought it was a super great opportunity to meet creative… read more about Fall ’23 Creative Writing Open House »

A packed crowd joined Duke English for a reading and an opportunity to meet and chat with poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, the 2023-24 Blackburn Distinguished Artist in Residence. Martinez de las Rivas joined the department for the 2023-24 academic year and is teaching two sections of an “Introduction to Creative Writing” this semester, a multi-genre course designed to allow students to experience imaginative literary texts. The "Read & Greet" allowed the Duke community to hear Professor Martinez de las Rivas… read more about "Read & Greet" With Poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Blackburn Distinguished Artist in Residence »

Poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas will join the Duke English Department this Fall as the 2023-24 Blackburn Artist in Residence. He recently joined sophomore English major Trisha Santanam via Zoom to discuss the course he is teaching this Fall, English 290S.4.01: "Word & Image." English major Trisha Santanam interviews Poet Toby Martinez de las Riva, 2023-24 Blackburn Artist in Residence read more about Meet Poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Blackburn Artist in Residence »

In the Fall of 2023, Professor Chris Ouma will join the Duke English faculty. Recently Prof. Ouma sat down, via Zoom, with sophomore English major Trisha Santanam to discuss the course he will be teaching this Fall, "Small Magazines & African Literary Modernity." His course is one of English's 101S - "Art of Reading" gateway courses taught this Fall. English major Trisha Santanam interviews Professor Chris Ouma read more about Meet Professor Chris Ouma »

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… 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,   … read more about Join Us for the "Peter Kimani Reading and Q&A" »

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… read more about Priscilla Wald uses Literature to Track the Outbreak Narrative »