• Michelle Stephens, Ph.D.
  • Michelle Stephens, Ph.D.
  • Executive Director
  • Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice
  • Professor, English and LCS
  • Office: Room 008, Murray Hall, College Avenue Campus
  • Phone: (848) 932-7974

Research Interests

Ph.D. 1999, Yale University, American Studies
B.A. 1991, State University of New York at Stony Brook, English with a minor in Philosophy

Research Interests

Caribbean, American, Black Diaspora, Women and Gender Studies, Critical Race Theory and Psychoanalytic Theory


Biographical Information

Professor Stephens is a Professor I in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of English. She is the author of Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914 to 1962 (Duke University Press, 2005) and Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and the Black Male Performer (Duke University Press, 2014), She also co-edited the special issue of the Radical History Review, “Reconceptualizations of the African Diaspora” (Jan 2009) and is co-editor with Brian Russell Roberts of the essay collection, Archipelagic American Studies: Decontinentalizing the Study of American Culture (forthcoming). Professor Stephens is a member of the editorial collective of the Radical History Review, a series editor, along with Yolanda Martinez San Miguel and Nelson Maldonado Torres, of the book series in Critical Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University Press, and on the editorial board of the book series Rethinking the Island at Rowman & Littlefield Press. She writes regularly on black literary and performance studies, Caribbean art and visuality, and the emerging field of Archipelagic American Studies.


Courses Regularly Taught

  Caribbean Literatures in English
  The American Novel in a Global Context
  Race and Sexuality in Caribbean and American Literatures
  Literature of the Colonial Caribbean Atlantic
  Women in Worlds of Color
  19th Century Literature of the Black Atlantic
  Islands of Empire: Caribbean Colonial and Postcolonial Literature
  New World Literature of the 18th Century
  Race and Psychoanalysis (graduate)
  Archipelagic American Studies (graduate)




stephens black 2005. Black Empire: the Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean intellectuals in the United States, 1914-1962. Durham: Duke University Press.
Stephens SkinActs 2014. Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and the Black Male Performer. Durham: Duke University Press.



  • March 2015. “New Points of Recognition: Stuart Hall’s Gift to the Study of Blackness.” Small Axe.
  • 2013. “Archipelagic American Studies and the Caribbean.” With Brian Russell Roberts. Journal of Transnational American Studies. Special Forum: American Studies: Caribbean Editio
  • July 2013. “What is an Island?”: Caribbean Studies and the Contemporary Visual Artist. Small Axe.
  • April 2013. “Gestures Beyond Local Color: A Caribbean Calligraphy: Vladimir Cybil Charlier.” ARC: Art. Recognition. Culture.